I came to the library to sign some books. The truth is, I now know I wasn’t really here for that. The book signing was to go from 1-4pm. I arrived at 12:40 to set up and realized that those 20 minutes I was here ahead of time was the most important 20 minutes I would spend here today.

I met Julie. But my soul realizes now I didn’t just meet her. I saw her. And the way her eyes sparkled as she leaned over to share her stories with me, she–standing with both hands on my table of books leaned over as if to share worlds of secrets with me in one simple moment and me– sitting behind the table with wide eyes and all my heart gushing out through my smile… the warmth of her voice and her words made me feel full. She radiated as she told me of those around her who have urged her to write a book.

And in the short time I got to connect with Julie she taught me something about me. Real, authentic soulful connection is what lights me up. It’s what creates an energy inside of me that wants to light up the world. It’s what drives and fuels my desire to positively affect one million people in my lifetime. It’s who I am.

Julie is 91 years old and is a volunteer here at the library. She doesn’t just have a story to tell, she IS a story. She spent part of her life in the Marine Corps and has ties to show biz and music. She is a masterpiece and by far one of the sweetest souls I have connected with in a long time.

I shared with her one of my favorite Dr. Wayne Dyer quotes: “Don’t die with your music still inside you.” And told her I would check in with her to make sure she took that advice to heart. Then, she asked me where I was from and I told her I was local, in fact I live just across the street. She said that she was too and began to explain where. I lit up a little more. And in that moment I realized she lived right down the street from me.

“Julie, that’s where I live too! We are neighbors,” I blurted out excitedly. And with that I said something about the fact that we met today for a reason, and she laughed and smiled and told me that she was sure that was so and as her voice trailed off and her eyes looked to the wall behind me like recalling a distant memory, she repeated that the world was small and that she believed we had a purpose for crossing paths.

I am in awe of her beauty, her gentle voice, her soul that radiated in the short time I had to share with her. I know for sure that will not be the last time we see each other. The pull I felt when talking to her was something I don’t always feel when given the opportunity to meet new people.

Her soul was speaking to me… In ways beyond what we can verbally understand or make clear. And when we are lucky enough to feel those moments beyond words, we embrace them with all we have. We live life so quickly that we find our moments slip away much faster than we think we can control. Yet the thing that is constantly in our control is how we handle those moments and how we choose to spend them. I could’ve just said hi and turned my eyes to the next passerby as Julie greeted me. But our energies entwined into a beautiful few moments that I have thought about all day.

And I’m so thankful for being present in all of the beauty I held when I took her hand to say so long.

I wasn’t here to sign books today. I was here to meet Julie.

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