“Empty your cup so that it may be filled; become devoid to gain totality.” Bruce Lee
Just short of 20 years ago, I sat around a table at the Hummingbird Music Camp in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico with a bunch of fellow stone carvers playing a game of Scrabble. There isn’t a whole lot you really want to do after a long day of carving in the mountain air. It was a chilly night. I hadn’t packed warm enough clothes and my nose ran like a sieve due to a cold.
For the first two games, I had a “the curse of the vowels.” A, E, I, O, U- over and over. You can’t spell ANYTHING with these letters and they were like the plague for me.
Game 3: My letters are dealt and to my astonishment all vowels!!! Exhausted, dripping and frustrated, I was over it. My turn came and I threw all my vowels back at the table and got new letters.
As my fellow carvers laid down their words, I sat staring at my new letters and suddenly realized the miracle before me. The blessed 7 letters spelled out a word!!! My turn came and with a grin on my face, I laid out that magnificent word and won the came!!!
I wish I could remember that word, but I can’t. In the moment, I didn’t realize the significance of the experience. Years later, I have contemplated this and marveled at it many times since.
This was just the beginning of the story….
The day I left that stone carving symposium as I drove to Santa Fe, I realized my marriage was over and my life had flipped like a pancake. Within 30 days, I left a university job of seven years, the comfort of my friends and family, two beautiful homes and a lifetime in Pittsburgh. I packed my Subaru Outback with two dogs, two rabbits and a few African violets and drove across the country to settle in New Mexico knowing about three people. Within the next month, I got to know Bruce, met my Teacher and I have never looked back.
I return to this story time and time again in my business. Real estate is a business of constant beginnings and endings. People buy and sell. Deals come together and they fall apart. Clients appear and disappear. My daily schedule is rearranged sometimes multiple times a day. The glass is emptied and then refilled, again and again. I believe that the scrabble game was in preparation for it all.
When I meet with a new buyer I tell them that if they do not get a home that I KNOW that there is a better one for them. When a seller experiences the angst of letting go for the unknown, I have compassion and yet trust that they will be more than OK.
This is why I LOVE real estate. It is a constant exercise in letting go and opening up.
One of my goals this year is to make a trip to the Hummingbird Music Camp and celebrate 20 years of ongoing change and growth.