Today has been excellent.
On the first Friday of every month, there’s an incredibly powerful event hosted in downtown Vancouver called Creative Mornings. It takes place in major cities all across the world. Picture a room filled with creative thinkers, an inspirational presenter, thought-provoking discussions, and even free breakfast and coffee! I always leave feeling energized for the month ahead.
It’s no surprise that I met the stranger of the day at the event. We met and bonded over our mutual excitement for coffee. She was particularly excited about it because she had been up late the previous night soaking up the festivities at Vancouver’s Indian Summer Festival, where she assured me there was no shortage of good vibes and exotic melodies.
Her name is Jessie. She has a gentle warmth about her and I enjoyed spending time with her today.
Something she has been working on lately is getting out of her comfort zone. She knows that true magic originates outside of its edges. So, she challenges herself to get outside of it as much as she can and I commend her for doing so.
She told me about the PR company she owns. When I asked her where she works she said it doesn’t really matter. I was confused at first. Then she explained. For the work that she does, all she needs are her laptop and phone and she’s good to go. This allows her to spend time in different atmospheres. She’s really passionate about public relations and South Asian health and communities. She’s pursuing her PhD soon to learn more about the field, even though, she said jokingly, her parents’ worst advice to her was to become a doctor.
The event today started with an engaging partner activity led by the THNK School of Creative Leadership where we had to collaboratively draw a picture of a face together and then create its name, line by line and letter by letter, in an alternating fashion. She and I agreed that it was a great experience in learning to release our desire to control situations. It forced us to focus on and embrace the wonderfully organic process of true collaboration, where originality can surface in ways not possible alone. Whereas I envisioned Shar with a feather hat, Jessie helped me realize that what she really needed was an exquisite pair of eyelashes.
Here’s Jessie fiercely posing with our masterpiece:
Lastly, I have some very exciting news. At the end of the event each month, audience members have a chance to give a plug about cool events and projects going on in the city. I jolted my hand up at the soonest moment and told the crowd about my 101 Strangers project. I told them that I’m looking for strangers to have coffee, tea, and walks with over the next 97 days and that we should exchange contact information if they’re interested in meeting up.
Then, something magical happened. A couple of people came and gave me their business cards. Then a couple more. Then a dozen more. And more after that. They were all really excited about my project and about having an engaging, one-on-one conversation. And let me tell you — these folks are absolutely fascinating. From meditation and yoga entrepreneurs, to cartoonists, to scientists, to storytellers, I have some very compelling strangers and stories to introduce you to very soon. Stay tuned!