After a run in Chicago this am, I stopped for a protein shake at a local shop. I handed my sweaty sopping wet $10 bill to the cashier who watched in awe or disgust (I'm not sure which) as I pulled it, literally dripping, out of my jog bra and handed it to him. (Yep, gross or awesome depending on your perspective, I didn't quite think the transport of jogging money thru.) It was not pretty. I felt "gross", I actually felt vulnerable about him taking my bill or not. Would he reject me and my sweat? Or would he accept it? Vulnerability in that moment is the emotion that presenced itself.
In the next moment I noted I had a choice...to act totally cool and pretend as though nothing was wrong -- that a sweaty dripping bill pulled from my chest was perfectly normal, and even that he was "lucky I was a customer"....Or I could name it, make a joke about it, and ask him if he'd mind or prefer not -- either was cool. I did the latter. As I did, we "connected", his energy totally shifted, he laughed, and we dove into an oddly meaningful conversation.
Four minutes later, after talking about authenticity, leadership, fitness, and designing your life, he shared he'd been waiting for permission for 2 years to do something important to him...waiting to be led. Waiting to tell the truth. Waiting to know when the time was right. Waiting. He was scared. He felt vulnerable sharing it. Somehow my sweaty $10 bill took care of that.
And somehow, during our sweaty little tete-a-tete - he saw "it". He saw that there's no one to wait for, no one to lead it (or do it)...it was his. He could choose the time, he could lead it, he could do it, he could have it. Now. (Cue excitement.)
He gave me some kind choice words, "awesomed" my morning up, kindly patted and wrapped the remainder of my sweaty bills in a tissue for me, and then he told me this: "I wasn't supposed to work today, or even be in this early, but something told me to be here, that today was important. Today my life could change. This conversation will change my life." He also shared, that me being a sweaty hot mess - and kind about it, made him more open to changing his life. "If you had been all clean and perfect, I wouldn't have listened to you." Apparently my mess was a "gift" and his truth and vulnerability became okay. Our humanness together, created impact, we both walked away changed. (I can't help but be grateful that I'm rarely "clean and perfect".)
We meet each other for a reason, at the perfect time, in the perfect state...vulnerability, serendipity, 4-minutes, and just a bit of sweat can go a long way. You just never know what will happen, what your impact will be, or how you might be changed.
Show up. Show up for your run, for the cashier, for that big talk on stage. Show up for your mission, for your kids, for that trip to the dry cleaners. Show up. Be you. Skip "clean and perfect". Be a mess. Show up.
And let yourself be changed.