June 23, 2019
What would you do? Imagine my surprise, when I got to the airport today at noon for my 1:50pm flight and the airline didn’t have my confirmed booking. I had booked my flight on JetBlue through a 3rd party booking site yesterday. I received confirmation of my booking by email, but apparently not my e-ticket. So when my friend dropped me off at Boston Logan International Airport, I went straight to the ticketing counter to print my ticket. When the JetBlue representative said that her system showed that my reservation was cancelled, I immediately called the 3rd party booking company. Apparently, they couldn’t process my credit card, but never emailed me or left a voicemail letting me know that happened… or didn’t happen in my case. So at that point, my flight was full and there were no other reasonable flight options until the next day.
We’ve all been in a similar situation to this at some point or other, right? Your blood starts to boil a bit, your head fills up with tense “what am I going to do” thoughts, that good vibe energy you were feeling at the start of the day quickly gets consumed by a stressful moment, and you know that what has transpired is not your fault, but ALSO out of your control. I’ve been in this situation more times than I can remember, and depending on my mood, my energy, my circumstances, or my level of self-awareness in that moment, I handle the stress of these “undesired” and unexpected circumstances differently.
Today, I was very aware of my energy. And you know what? It turned out to be a GREAT day! No, the forces of airline magic did not get me on the next flight, I’m still leaving tomorrow now. It’s so easy in those moments to just get stuck. Stress has a way of shutting us down to creativity and inspiration, but I had encountered lovely staff members at the JetBlue counter (photo below), and even though they couldn’t really help me, their support and positivity encouraged enough space in my mindset to allow myself to believe that something more desirable was possible. And so I made a choice.
As I felt my energy dropping, I caught myself just in time and whispered audibly to myself, “well, I don’t have to stay here!”, both literally and figuratively. So I hopped up, went back to the ticketing counter and asked if there was anywhere close and outside of the airport to grab some lunch and work on my computer. All 3 of them quickly jumped into action and offered me the information I needed to catch a free shuttle to South Station and enjoy the awesomeness that Boston is! I had no idea I would arrive in pretty much the city centre with countless options at my toe-tips.
And so the adventure begins! I ended up having such a great conversation with someone I met on the shuttle that we both decided to continue over a drink and some lite bites on the “Greenway”. Young is originally from Zimbabwe, has lived in Munich, London, and now Texas and also has done consulting work in countless other fun cities including my hometown of Chicago! For a curious and passionate world traveler like myself, this was fodder for great conversation AND proved my premise for Spread Goodness®. When we allow ourselves the opportunity to connect, the world opens up to us.
Once we finished our drinks, I continued on my unplanned day to the North End. I know it sounds silly, but a good coffee shop makes me incredibly happy. Someone I met recommended Cafe Vittoria, which did NOT disappoint! Great atmosphere with American Standard Repertoire playing in the background, and a European style vibe that felt more French, but I know was Italian. Working on my computer with a thé au lait and probably the BEST tiramisu I’ve ever had in my life made me feel like I was in heaven. Yes, simple things that make a good working space absolutely delight me! 🙂
After spending a few hours at Café Vittoria and making the last bite of tiramisu last as long as possible, it was time to start on my way back to the commuter rail to head to my sister’s house for the night. I wandered through the beautiful Boston Greenway and detoured through Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall Marketplace where I met this sweet horse, Nellie, on her birthday. I started talking with her owner, and quickly learned how loved and cared for Nellie and her other horse friends were.
When I started traveling with the intention of launching a new platform called Spread Goodness®, I guess it’s not a surprise that I became even more aware of how many people I encountered on a daily basis that exemplify our mission. In their own ways, individuals everywhere I turn are raising the vibration of the planet through their own unique acts of kindness and generosity of spirit.
This couldn’t be more true of Sally C. Sutherland, owner of Bridal Carriage Co. Inc. Sally has been taking care of horses for over 55 years. Like many entrepreneurs I know and meet, myself included, the work Sally does, as she puts it, “is a Labour of Love.” She said that she and her husband make “just enough to get by and everything [they] bring in is to take care of these animals and run the business…. and the work is never done.” What impressed me most about Sally in the brief time that I spoke with her was her philosophy that guides her in daily life, “when you see an animal that’s in distress, you help them.”
Meet Danny, Nellie’s “boyfriend.” A few years ago, Sally and her husband answered a craigslist ad and drove 3.5 hours to Vermont to meet him. Sally describes, “We were in shock. He was covered in cow manure and burrs (before photo), I looked at him and told my husband, this horse is in pain. He had been sleeping in 20 below weather and to keep warm he was sleeping in cow manure in a backyard farm where they didn’t know how to take care of animals. The hair was like superglued under his belly. It took me 3 months to take care of it slowly so I didn’t hurt his skin. I tried all kinds of things and finally he got better.” Danny is now a healthy working horse, in good spirits and loved.
It makes me wonder, if Sally and her husband hadn’t come along, what would have become of Danny? I believe every one of us has the power within us to protect, save, and/or improve our own corner of the world, and for Sally it doesn’t stop at horses. She has a cat named Lucky who she rescued from the street during rush hour, and apparently has been rescuing animals since she was 10 years old. Sally is willing to help anyone and will do what she can for people and animals in need. “That’s just my heart,” Sally told me. She believes that “horses teach people about kindness. I’m just doing what I can do and the horses have taught me how to do it.”
Some people may read this and say, “We need more Sally’s in this world.” I would agree AND I believe our world is full of people like Sally who do what they can for others and to make the world a better place. We just don’t hear about it enough. This is my mission. I want to amplify the voices of those doing good in the world. We need to be reminded of the goodness that surrounds us because it’s more prevalent than we might realize. It is my honor and privilege to provide a platform to share stories that exemplify human kindness and acts of grace throughout the world. Maybe your story will be next!
So my unexpected day in Boston that started off stressful and what seemed to be “in error” turned out to be filled with blessings. We have the power to turn days like this into our favor. It’s the choice I made in that moment believing, “I don’t have to stay here.” I hope to catch myself more often in situations like this, giving myself the chance to turn it around and I invite you to join me! You may be just as surprised at the magic that surrounds you too. I would love for you to share your experiences in the comments below!