I met a chap on a train journey recently who revealed himself as an avid supporter of Stoicism. Not particularly something you hear about every day.
It was one of those chance meetings where my hope on boarding the train was to accomplish my ‘to do list’ between Exeter St Davids & London Waterloo, but it seems the Universe had other ideas.
On boarding the train, I firstly sat down to discover that there was no plug point, to which I admit I was mildly horrified as I had purposefully forged out the three and a half hour journey specifically to ensure that I caught up on administration and not ‘waste’ my travelling time. It did make me take a pause with my more mindful hat on, welcoming the opportunity to lean into the space of ‘wasting time’ that my mind had constructed and smile at my familiar patterning. Yet, the other part of me who likes to maximise every potential moment had a little silent ‘humph’ that it now looked like that wasn’t going to happen.
The chap who sat opposite me sat down with the same element of disgruntlement regarding the lack of plug points on the train, following up with the statement that it would be a very different matter should we be travelling in France or Germany. On that particular note of ‘meeting’ we were able to politely nod in acknowledgement and simultaneously settle into the world of Mac in front of us.
However, the inevitable happened and the ‘juice’ ran out of my computer, which led to me closing the top of my laptop down and taking a breath. With much discomfort, I noticed that with that gesture, the chap decided to also shut his down too and took this as an opportunity to strike up a conversation.
I believe the question was “What do you do?” and at this particular time in my life/career, I noticed that I am not always entirely sure how to answer that question. I decided to go with ‘I’m an Author’, forever trying to become familiar and comfortable with that statement but very quickly followed it up with the far more natural statement for me of “I run a wellbeing & Reiki school in Devon”. To my surprise he answered with “Oh, a good friend of mine owns a Reiki school but I have never let him do Reiki on me. “ I paused for a moment before asking “why not” as I felt that it was potentially an invitation of enquiry that may lead for a long discussion. I was right.
I am not going to go into the whole conversation, for it was a long one with many differing points of views from both parties sitting across the shallow train table. I’m not even going to go into my own thoughts on Stoicism but rather it was just to acknowledge my continued wonder at the ‘timings’ of life and the people we meet. For a belief I will share is that, everyone comes into our life for a ‘reason, season or a life time’. As I opened to the incredible conversation I had on the train, I had a sense of ‘I wonder where this meeting will lead’. Will it be an introduction to his friend the Reiki Master (who I have since found out I have a number of his books!), will it be to a layering of knowledge around the philosophy of Stoicism, will it be finding a gem in the book he recommended to me called “Meditations” or perhaps an introduction I can make in relation to one of his other business ventures. I suspect it might be all of the above, but really the choice is mine. I could choose simply to acknowledge that unexpected interruption to my day and journey as one that I could have done without, or I could be open to the numerous possibilities that could come from that meeting. I guess, as is always the case, the choice is mine..