There are days where I am more willing to step outside the parameters of my life. And there are moments in those days when I simply go for it, no holds barred. Sometimes the risk factors are crystal-clear to me; often, though, I see the extent of the risk (in its complexities) only after-the-fact.
By the numbers, now; a short story. Two women entering Whole Foods at nearly the same time, each pushing 60 years. A pair of bare legs, that's what I saw. Buff, muscular, toned. Sturdy? Yea, that too. Four seconds; that's what it took for me to scurry inside and find her gathering a bunch of kale. My sixth sense said, "Go for it!"
Two points for a take-down. Nah; I didn't take her to the ground; it was better! I asked if she was ready for a compliment and said I hoped she would take it to heart as it was meant. Without hesitation she spouted: "Yes, I am!" (One point for Jenny!)
"I was coming in the door just behind you when my eyes were drawn to your legs and I got so focused on their beauty and strength, well… I walked right past this (hand basket) and then realized I had to go back and search for the little baskets…"
Now you might be saying to yourself, "Jenny. Jenny. When will you ever learn?" But here's the thing: I have learned. I've learned that people respond favorably to authentic feedback when it resonates with their heart. They can sometimes even let go of conventions of what is 'appropriate'. She was pretty blown away with delight about the whole encounter: what I was doing, what I said; how it was received; how she perceived the need for it today.
An especially sweet moment was when she said, "I'll have to call my mom and tell her!" I loved that! Man, did I love that. And I hope she does. I hope she calls her mother, wherever she lives, and doesn't hold anything back. And her mother-- surely she'll have a few fine words of endorsement too for her fifty-something daughter. For after all, mother's know about the power of their words. And how risky it is to use them. Or not.