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The challenge for an artist, or seeker, observer, conscious student and activist, is the very real need for solitude.

The other side of that coin is the reality of being a human, and thus a social animal. We need a support structure, and a lot of us who might live within one may take it for granted…

In general, we don’t know what we don’t know, and there’s certainly enough room for more compassion and empathy out there… starting with ourselves.

Life can seem a lonely journey when we isolate our efforts, and make-believe we must not only be our own motivators and inspirers, but also our own champions, supporters, and counsel.

That’s both arrogant and virtually impossible — and probably a recipe for frequently stalled engines, and more often, empty fuel tanks.

A young barista asked what my plans were for the day. I said I’d sit here for a while, reading and maybe writing. See what comes up. He asked what I write about. I said I observe myself and people and life and share what I learn and grow through, and what I see out there that others who read my stuff might resonate with.

I certainly didn’t say it with any confidence, yet he surprised me with, “Nice! I love reading that kind of stuff, and reading books in that area.”

And, a few more bits of banter, then some nuggets and gems:

Kid: “What’s it like, making a living writing…”

Me: “Oh, I don’t make a living writing. I’m looking for work.”

Kid: “Well, if you believe it’s your work — if you know it’s what you’re to do, things will come together for you. It’s all available for us.”

Surreal. I felt like I’d just slipped into an alternate reality where I inhabited both of our skins… After a breath, I snapped-to and thanked him for giving me something to chew on.

And he went back to brewing coffee.

In that moment, I was humbled, inspired, wakened and a little pissed off at this clever little shit who so brazenly just fed me my own medicine.

Thankful, I am. As ever, messengers, mentors, angels and answers just show up.

But the greater point here is that it’s important to know and feel that someone has your back. We need to be open to such opportunities, awkward as they may initially feel.

And we’re always asking, whether we’re aware of it or not. The next big step, is through discernment and receiving.

Solvitur ambulando