A quick shout out to Tyler Chartrand of Ogopogo Salsa (the best f***ing salsa I've ever had the pleasure of ramming into my face hole) which was the only reason why I took a special trip to the Farmers Market today!
Sadly, he wasn't there. But something else happened that I wanted to share.
As I was walking through the heavily crowded shop strips, a girl behind a produce stand caught my eye.
The first thing I noticed about her was her full lips and what seemed to me, a gentle presence.
Isn't it funny how sometimes we feel we can pick up on someones energy without even talking to them?
Perhaps not, I thought. How do I know for sure?
But in that moment she turned her head away from her customer to receive my stare.
We held eye contact for two of my footsteps, just long enough for it to be something other than a casual glance.
Is there anything better than that first moment you look into someones eyes and experience a dose of spontaneous, raw attraction?
It's so vulnerable. But we love it because it's real.
...We also fear it for the same reasons.
As I kept walking it didn't take long for the thought of her to be replaced by my mouths mission to find Mr. Ogopogo again.
Where the fuck is he? I thought, mildly confused. Is he even here?
I did another lap to see if I missed him and on my second round little Ms. Produce ignored the person she was helping again, this time to smile at me.
I came here to put something particularly hot in my mouth...but I wasn't thinking of a girl...
Okay, I can't leave without talking to her, I decided as I continued my stride, ready to give up on my favourite Mexican treat.
I went to get my second grade salsa on the other side of the Farmers Market and then set out back to her stand.
Now pause. Stop reading for a second. I want you to imagine yourself in my position.
I know you've been in the exact same position I found myself in today, probably dozens of times throughout your life. You see someone in public or even online that you feel attracted towards. You want to talk to them but you have no idea what you would say.
"Hi...this is weird...but my name is ___________....?"
But you don't do that, do you? Your nerves and fears of rejection and judgement get the best of you and you let that person walk out of your life forever.
This isn't uncommon. It happens to everyone on some level in a variety of areas of life. We see this kind of fear based resistance play out in our health, career, hobbies, etc.
In short, most humans have a bad habit of ignoring many of their natural feelings of attraction and desire. We simply walk on pretending we don't feel anything.
But I wasn't going to allow that to be my story today. I wasn't going to let resistance win.
As I walked back towards her I checked in with my stomach and reminded myself to be vulnerable.
Being vulnerable for me means to be as honest as I can be with my desires and intentions without reservations. It's a practice of non-resistance to whatever I'm feeling in the moment.
The only reason why I wasn't shitting my pants as I was walking over to her is because I've made it a conscious habit in life to go after what I want when I want it. The more I've consciously dealt with the fears holding me back, the more easy, fun and exhilarating it gets to act on whatever I feel compelled to do.
Am I always successful? I'll get to that in a minute. For now, let's get back to little Ms. Produce.
I had absolutely no plan of what I was going to say to her. What I was clear on, however, was my intention.
I just want to meet this girl, I affirmed. I wouldn't forgive myself if I didn't at least go up and say hi. I don't want to be attached to any outcome, I just want to meet her.
As I approached her stand I took a look at what she was selling. There were several giant bags of fresh Okanagan spinach.
Delicious. I forgot that I actually need spinach right now. Perfect.
I picked up the bag and before I could say anything I heard her soft, sweet voice say, "Is that the one you want?"
Not exactly, my insides coyly smirked.
I took my sunglasses off and saw her up close. She was clearly young but I could tell she was mature for her age by the way she gently, yet confidently looked into my eyes. She was oozing friendly, warm vibes that I found deafeningly attractive.
"I actually came over to talk to you," I said with a calm voice, staring back into her eyes, curious to meet the soul that lived behind them.
That's when it happened. Suddenly, half of my attention was torn away from her gorgeous energy by my heart slamming against my chest. It was my bold openness that tried to momentarily knock me off from my bodies presence.
"Really?" she said as her cheeks and face slowly started to transform to a light hue of pink.
I fought my way back to my breath and ground where my feet stood firmly. Refusing to let go of her gaze, I asserted, "Yeah. You're beautiful."
The sound of the hundreds of people walking around us was drowned out by the blunt, honest way I uttered those three words.
"Really?" she said again with suspended surprise, looking deeper into my eyes, her cheeks not quitting.
I said it matter of factly. I didn't care how she responded. I came there to give her a piece of my truth. What she did with it was up to her.
I reached out my hand and introduced myself. Her soft hand met mine. It turned out she actually knew who I was from years ago back in our home town. Small world.
We exchanged a few more words that I didn't fully take in over the loud clapping of my heart and chest.
I payed for my spinach and said, "I'd love to see you again sometime."
She looked at me again with intent before her chin fell slightly towards her chest. Her face crinkled. Was this a look of regret?
I saw it coming before she even said it but I didn't want it to be true.
"I have a boyfriend..."
I smiled and gave an insinuating nod. I know, I heard my intuition speak over my ego's attempt to be upset by this information.
"...But I really appreciate you saying hi. You made my day," she beamed a bright honest smile at me.
There was a pause. "Yeah, of course," I said with finality. "Have a great day." I smiled back, reluctantly pulled my eyes from hers, turned and walked away, the clapping dying with each step.
The Truth is a Gift
I don't share this story because it was about "a guy who got the girl."
It wasn't. I didn't. And that's okay.
It was about a guy who took the time to share his truth, despite the nerves he felt when he offered them.
This wasn't my first time walking up to a girl to tell her I found her attractive. Years ago when I first started getting into personal development, I realized that one of my biggest sticking points in life revolved around my relationships with women.
In elementary and high school I never got the girl I wanted. I had low self worth and I never dealt with the reasons why until I was in my twenties.
The first time I approached a girl I'd never met I thought I was going to die. I can remember my entire body going instantly numb and having next to zero control over the words that came out of my mouth. My insides felt like lava, filled with dread and panic. It wasn't pretty.
In adolescence I was trained to value what other people thought of me far more than what I thought of myself. Like so many other people, it seemed to be burned into my paradigm because it effected me so greatly throughout those years.
Even though my confidence around women was stunted, I forced myself to continually face these fears by going out and talking to not only women, but also anyone I felt inspired to talk to for whatever reason.
Was it easy? Hell no. Nothing vulnerable ever is. Over the years I've had countless experiences that ended in feelings of embarrassment, shame, regret and judgement.
Was it worth it? Hell yes. Every time you do something you want to do but are afraid of doing it you get slapped in the soul with true liberation. You also put yourself in a position where you get to learn from what didn't work and do better next time.
Suffice to say, it's taken me a long time to get good at sharing my truth without being attached to an outcome. And that's just it. The difference between the way I learned to approach Ms. Produce today and the way I used to approach these situations in the past was all about my intention behind my actions.
It used to be about getting the approval the small boy inside me desperately craved from girls and other people around him. Today it was about acting out of a pure, genuine attraction without needing any particular result.
Do I still struggle expressing myself openly without reservation? Sometimes, but not often. I've had a lot of