2 Situations That Are Making Me Feel Totally Present & Grateful

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woman_cafe There is so much I wanted to share this week it felt too rich to share on a simple Facebook post or otherwise.

I decided to share it here because it has so much to do with presence, making decisions, compassionate assertiveness, clear communication, and unique expression – basically everything we stand for here.

I also wanted to share because I want to, on occasion, model the thought processes I hope we can all get to at some point as it relates to simply paying attention to our own growth and how day-to-day scenarios provide those opportunities.

Do you ever notice convergences in your life? Like these points where something you learned a long time ago finally comes to the surface and you stand realizing how much you learned from it? Or situations present themselves that show you how much growth you’ve obtained? Or what about repeat circumstances that reveal the level of understanding you have now you know for sure you didn’t have a decade ago?

That was basically my entire week this week, so I wanted to share. One main reason is for personal growth – I think it’s important to share our stories in relation to how we’re growing as a result of things that happen to us.

Another reason is for my own personal practice of a bit more transparency in how I work through my own underbelly of expression.

Still yet, I want you to recognize all of the opportunities that are offered to you, in times and places you might be missing, to show up in the world in your unique way, and express the being that is on a journey within you.

2 Girls Were Sitting at a Restaurant

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 restaurantA Mexican food restaurant, that is, earlier this week for lunch. Me and my friend Alla occasionally co-work and/or meet up for lunch when we need to get out of the house.

On this particular day, the service was horrible, which honestly, is rare at this place, but it happened. It was awful.

We waited over 15 minutes to get our drinks. When they finally brought them to us, they were both watered down.

We had to flag down the receptionist to take our order, since no one ever came back to our table. She wrote my order down wrong and came back with the wrong thing. They had to re-cook it.

I finally got my food, which was great. Then, someone “dropped” our check off at the table. Literally – dropped it on the table and walked off. Astounding.

We actually wanted our check split, dude. So we flag down the receptionist again to please split the check. They finally do it, and I finally kindly offer a bit of a suggestion that it would be nice if we could get a discount for our troubles that day (there was a lot of apologizing, so I took the opportunity).

No can do. No discount. Okay, cool. Then, they offered us a dry, pre-wrapped (and slightly unhealthy) praline for our troubles right before we were set to write down our tip amount on the receipt.

Now, let me tell you. There was a time a while ago where I would’ve made quite the scene over something like this. And likely embarrassed everyone I was with.

In that moment, my friend Alla and I started discussing what had just happened and we both started laughing. Like….we couldn’t believe it.

In that moment, I realized how much I’d grown, and to be honest with you, I was very proud of myself. I realized sitting right there that getting upset, complaining, throwing a hissy fit, or griping to a manager just wasn’t my style anymore. I knew that there was absolutely nothing she or I could change about what just transpired. Nothing. Those moments had come, and they had went just the same.

Here’s the note I wrote on the receipt:

[gdlr_quote align=”center” ]Today’s service here was really unacceptable, and I’m disappointed. However, it seems like you were short staffed, and I love this restaurant, so I will be back. Hopefully the service is better next time.[/gdlr_quote]

I was also, in that moment, delighted to be with someone who was just as calm as me. It was so nice to be fully present with her and be able to laugh about what happened, voice my opinion and disappointment in a respectful way, and leave, hoping to have made an impact on someone else’s service that day. She left a note on her receipt also, and we left. No high blood pressure, no incessant complaining. Just another memory down for the books.

The Shirt I Had to Return

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Luxury BoutiqueYesterday, I had to return a shirt I had purchased at a store. I had discovered a part of the shirt that wasn’t made well and was torn, so I simply went in to get a refund. No biggy.

I get into the store, and they inform me that the system is down. They can only return cash purchases, and card purchases require a phone call to obtain an authorization code to process the return.

I said that was no problem.

Then, she gets on the phone to get the code, and we end up on the phone for over 20 minutes, transferred and bounced to 3 different people with the final lady telling us that she’s unable to provide that information and doesn’t have access to it.

I have an IT background somewhat, so I asked where their HQ office is, and if this is an enterprise-wide system outage or if it’s localized. They told me it was enterprise-wide except for one store in Lewisville they knew was up. I then asked if they have on-call managers at their HQ office that takes care of outages on the weekends. They didn’t know (lack of communication).

In the meanwhile, one lady came over TO the counter where I was standing, looked me dead in the eye and THANKED me for NOT yelling. I was thinking, “wow – this lady just thanked me for not yelling at them – how wounded are we as a society that that is what they expected from me.”

I was floored by that, and it got my attention. I felt horrible that this is the society we have constructed where customers are expected to lash out when things don’t go their way.

We’re still on the phone.

Another lady who had been watching from the front of the store came to see what was taking so long and said, “wow – you are like one of our most patient customers – thank you for being so calm.”

Was I frustrated? Absolutely. We’ve all been there. I even talked to the customer service rep on the phone, since I tend to be a little more assertive about getting things done than some. We still couldn’t get things straightened out, so I finally just told them, “I’ll come back another time – it’s not a big deal.”  And it really wasn’t.

There was absolutely nothing I could do to help by flailing my arms around or breathing hard or rolling my eyes that was going to change what was happening. Nothing but causing more issues and anxiety. And let me tell you – those ladies were SO grateful and astounded. I could tell they didn’t understand why I wasn’t yelling and throwing a fit – that’s what they were used to seeing.

Lessons Learned

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These stories are just communication opportunities, and you and I face them every day.

Here’s what I mean…

Whether with words or without words, you are in fact communicating. You’re letting people know how they can and should treat you by how you treat them, react to being challenged, and respond to growth opportunities.

And by all means, none of us are going to do this perfectly every time. Good Lord, I’ve messed up so many times. But, that’s no excuse to not make every opportunity an exercise in proving we can defy that part of our humanness. And the more you’re able to communicate, the more you’ve grown. The less you respond nastily in these types of situations, the more you can see your own centered self showing up.

Questions to Ask Ourselves:

  1. What kind of CUSTOMER am “I”? How about flipping the switch? Instead of focusing on how someone else is treating YOU or “serving” you – what are you communicating about who you are that could be soliciting that kind of behavior? It’s practically law that how you treat someone else is what is going to be reflected back to you (I cover that in this lesson on assertiveness). And okay – if you’re treating them with respect and you still feel they’re treating you like crap – what is the opportunity there to be the bigger person instead of coming down to their level and returning hurt for hurt or frustration for frustration?
  2. What am I subconsciously communicating that could be soliciting how this situation is going?  
  3. How can I actually rise above this situation in spite of how I actually might want to react or traditionally would have that can help me grow as a person?

Let me know if you’ve encountered anything like these two situations recently, and 1) what you learned from it or 2) what you wished you would’ve done/communicated differently.

And as always, thank you for reading and being here. Our highest expressions are most definitely within our reach.

With a grateful heart,



Words by: Tamisha Ford

PhotographyImage 1 | Image 2 | Image 3


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