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Simply Sharing Joy!

Posted By Jo Birch, 01 July 2017

I’m sharing this story because this moment in time felt so significant to me, so fundamental to my essence. Since I bring that essence of me into my relationships with my clients and supervisees this story must therefore relate to my craft as a coach and coaching supervisor. The story reminds me, and I guess confirms to me, that magic happens…and it is not always where I expect it to be! See what you think. How does this story of joy and connection resonate for you and you work? 

I was cycling through the park. As it happens I was returning from my own supervision. I was deep in reflection on the work I had been covering in my session, going over some of my thinking and learning, turning the pedals slowly.

I heard a loud pop…a bit like a gun. I looked up and realised a school were using the running track for a sports afternoon and the 100m sprint group had just left the blocks at the far side of the field. 

It was quite a distance away and I was cycling along a tree lined path. I couldn’t see faces. I could see the children were small. One of these small people, a young girl, maybe 8 years old, was striding out. In the first seconds she seemed to expand her presence, her very being… even though in reality she was tiny. She ripped down the track like a tornado and stretched over the finish line. She was far, far ahead of the pack.

In the few seconds it took her to run the distance I wobbled on the bike…. hoping I wouldn’t hit a secret pothole and end up a heap. I was unable to avert my eyes.

A middle aged man had also been watching as he walked towards me. He was equally mesmerised. He looked around for someone. I looked for him. We were both wide eyed and smiling. ‘She was amazing’ ‘We’ve seen someone really special there, lass!’

I felt a huge surge of emotion between us - a flash of deep connection in our shared wonder at what we had witnessed, both of us present in the moment, holding each other’s gaze for a fleeting second. We passed on by, yet the emotion stayed. I felt tearful and not at all sad, I felt expansive, happy and connected. I felt hopeful and a sense that ‘all was well with the world’. I felt joy.  

A small girl skipped back to her classmates, not knowing anything of the experience of these strangers. 

The moment has stayed with me and I have turned it over and over. 

Why was this so magical? How did we both know ‘something’ was happening here? Did we in fact ‘know’ or am I simply making meaning out of a co-incidence? What (if anything) does this tell me about people? What (if anything) does this tell me about me? 

I may not know the answers to any of these questions (yet) except to say that here-and-now, on this day, two strangers experienced a moment as special, and reached out to connect. I know I’d like more of these moments; more noticing of magic; more sharing of joy; more hopefulness. 

I wonder…might it also be possible that I may somewhere, sometime, have unknowingly touched the heart of another? I smile at the possibility. That is indeed a wonderful thought.

Jo Birch

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