Thursday, January 22, 2009

Synchronistic Beginnings

Let me begin by saying that I believe strongly in synchronicity-- meaning fortuitous events, things, or people that just "show up" in your life by seeming coincidence, but are really part of some greater design. As I start to see synchronicity more and more for what it is and recognize it in my life, I live more consistently in gratitude and awe for the Universe.

We can sometimes look back in our lives and pin-point the very moment that changed the path of our life's journey. The day I met Melanie was one of those moments.

No more than two weeks after arriving in Shanghai on my quest to be the first American Chinese Pop Star, I was walking to the internet cafe on a sunny July afternoon when I saw a white lady walking her dog. In any other Chinese city this might have been enough to grab your attention, but in Shanghai with a million foreigners this was not uncommon in the slightest. So I was surprised when I had the sudden urge to go talk to her. I fought the urge telling myself I was in a hurry and didn't want to make a stuttering fool of myself talking to some random lady when I had nothing really to say. I felt the prompting again, and once again I shot it down. Not until the third time did I relinquish. However by then she had already passed me, so I did a 180 turn, went up to her and said the first thing I could think of: "Do you know where the Boona Cafe is?" (I had already been to the Boona cafe a number of times and knew exactly where it was. I just needed something to say--yes, I can be that pathetic).

She was really nice and I picked up on her American accent right away, so we struck up a conversation and introduced ourselves. Melanie had been living in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan for the past 20 years doing PR and she was enthralled by the idea of my coming to China to be a pop star (which I of course had mentioned within the first 30 seconds --I told you, I'm shameless). She gave me her card and we set a time to meet the next week (at Boona cafe of course) and chat over a drink.

As soon as we sat down, ordered our carrot juice, and started talking, I knew that Melanie and I were going to be good friends. Maybe it's more accurate to say that we have always been friends. There was just a vibe about her that I resonated with. We chatted excitedly about...well, everything--our beliefs, thoughts, health regimes, goals, careers. I knew then, and we have definitely proved since, that the two of us can talk for hours without tiring.

In many ways, meeting Melanie that day 2.5 years ago marked the beginning of a new era in my spiritual journey and personal discovery. A small yet significant example are the two experiences she shared with me that first time talking over a glass of carrot juice-- The 7-day cleansing fast at Spa Samui in Thailand and the 10-day silent meditation at the Vipassana center in Taiwan. I told her that I wanted to do the cleansing fast right away and I eventually wanted to do the meditation course--like maybe in 10 or so years. Within one month of meeting Melanie I was on the beaches of Samui experiencing how 7 days of hunger really feels, and now next week I will be doing my second 10-day silent meditation course at the Vipassana center here in Taiwan (more on both of those in later posts). I still joke with Melanie about how many converts she has, but I was definitely the fastest : )

Melanie has been a true friend in every sense of the word. She has been my confidante, adviser, and even unofficial publicist through all my adventures in Asia. The countless lunches we spent chatting together are some of my dearest memories in Shanghai. Her generosity, sincerity, wisdom, and love continue to teach me volumes.

The picture above is of Melanie (right), Beth (middle) and me eating chocolate cake on my 26th birthday. That's the other great thing about friendship--it grows. Through Melanie I also met one of her best friend's, Beth (who, as you might recall from my first post, did my hand analysis). I feel blessed to have met two of my best friends who are also examples and spiritual mentors to me. Thank you Universe.

What kind of sychronicities have you seen in your life lately? What kind of friends do you wish you had? I bet the Universe is waiting and ready to introduce you.

Lots of love,

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