Making new friends

July 30, 2018

I just love these words from author Irénée Guilane Dioh:

“Every world and every being come knocking at your door bringing you their mystery.
If you are open to them, they will flood you with their riches.”
As I wrote this month's blog I recalled Dioh’s quote, remembering the magic that comes into your life when you connect with new people.
Last year I took an Uber ride in Stockholm. My driver was an Afgan man named Farhad, who had come to Sweden as a refugee. I had traveled to Sweden under completely different circumstances. I was there as a (then) girlfriend to a Swedish guy and that day I was taking an Uber to move my things from one apartment to another. Standing on the sidewalk with my pot plants, IKEA bags piled high with house stuff and my boyfriend’s surfboard I wondered how all our stuff was going to fit in the car that had pulled up. My friend Hanna, who had booked the ride for me, chatted to the driver in Swedish, reassuring him everything would fit. Moments later, miraculously, everything was packed into the car.
I sat in the passenger seat and began chatting to Farhad. 
He was present, gentle and honest. I was curious, sad and jet lagged. He was speaking to me in English, the only language I can speak. For him, English was his third. 
After only a few minutes though we began to communicate in a language beyond words, the language of the heart. We were strangers, but through our presence with one another and honest sharing we were strangers no longer, both crying and laughing as we talked about life and our journeys to the present moment... an Uber ride in Stockholm. In between traffic lights and traffic jams we connected with one another in a true, deeply loving way. We let one another in to our loneliness, our fears and our joys. In that drive across the city, we came to see one another, to know one another. We recognised our shared humanity and we were no longer strangers.
Farhad shared his journey to Sweden, speaking about his new life in Sweden, his home in Afghanistan, his family and his love for his country and his favourite food. After we unloaded my belongings, we hugged, swapped details and made plans to share a meal together with his family. Farhad helped me tremendously that day, in so many ways. By simply starting a conversation, this stranger became a friend, and my heart was flooded with connection, kindness and truth.

I didn't get to share a meal with Farhad, as a few days later I was on a plane flying home to Australia after my relationship ended (you can read about that here). I have come to learn that connections of the heart are eternal and these genuine moments in time, no matter how short, can be everlasting.

Friendships need not be between people who speak the same language or are the same age. Just last week I became friends with the most fantastic 5 year old named Miller who lives in Bendigo, Victoria. Miller is curious, witty, gentle and brave. We spent only one day together, but as my train pulled out of the station to take me back to Melbourne we both cried as we waved goodbye. That day we had shared cuddles, conversations and rice paper rolls. We played hair dressers and let one another into our imaginations and our hearts. Miller and I have been keeping in touch on voice messages via her mum Jordyn, another beautiful friend.

As many of you know, I love to journal. I've included an #inspiredreflections journaling prompt for you in the blog. I invite you to reflect on the journal prompt below and take some time for yourself to write about the last time a stranger became a friend.

If it has been a little while since you have shared a heart connection with someone new, here are three ways you could open a new connection:

ONE. This is a simple, beautiful way to connect with another person: make eye contact with them and smile. It's not just a beautiful way to connect with another person, but it is also a beautiful way to connect with yourself! Try it next time you look in the mirror.

TWO. Find something you genuinely like or appreciate about them and tell them.
It may be something they are wearing, the way you feel around them or something you noticed they did like hold the door open for someone. If you feel a little funny telling a stranger they have kind eyes, or glowing skin then start with something that connects you, such as the moment in time or the place you are both in.

THREE. Be honest. Don’t underestimate the connection that can be formed with someone when you are honest about how you are feeling or who you are.

It is your authenticity that often gives another the courage to show up as who they truly are.
I would love to hear your stories of friendship and connection in the comment section below and for you to share this blog with friends and strangers in your life.
With love, your friend, Rosie

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