The Abundance of a Button

This entry was posted on Thursday, November 8th, 2012 at 8:05 AM and is filed under Becoming, career, Family Matters

 

“You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might also pray in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.”—Kahlil Gibran

I lost a big funky button on one of my favorite cobalt blue jackets.  And, it was the buttons that made the jacket so unique.

That jacket went with me on a fun date and even to a business casual lunch with a high-powered woman I have greatly admired throughout my career.

After retracing my steps in search of the button, I came up empty-handed.  I even called the boutique where I bought the jacket to see if I could purchase a replacement button.  No luck as they had no extras on hand.

Fast forward a year.  Shopping at a different location of the same boutique, I told the saleswoman of my distress of not being able to wear the jacket I loved so much because I could not locate a replacement button.  She took my business card.  A week later I got a call that she found a new button for me.  I offered to pay her to send it to me. She declined.

Instead, the next week the button arrived in my mailbox, tucked inside a sweet hand-written card with a teaser line:  “Button, button, who’s got the button?”  The saleswoman’s humor and kindness in going the extra mile touched me deeply.

I knew in that moment of holding the new button in my hand that my life was full of abundance.  The generosity of time and effort on behalf of a stranger—and her joy in finding and delivering the button to me—reminded me of the goodness of life, of kind people, and of feeling rich in connection and support.

My prayer for you, my readers, is that you notice and feel abundance in your daily lives, whether it be someone going the extra mile for you or the great celebration of landing a new job or finding new love. 

Sometimes, abundance feels even more poignant when the challenges of life have brought us to edges we were not sure we would endure.  The irony is that those “edges” sometimes become new doors of abundance for greater well-being, expanded joy and more meaningful lives.  

Abundantly grateful,

Gail

P.S.  Thanks to all my clients and friends who have reached out and asked if I am still coaching—and to those who signed on for fall sessions. Yes, I am here doing the work I love so much with a renewed perspective. I intentionally took time off from writing my blog these past few months to integrate some new life lessons before sharing them. May our journeys together continue with a deepening respect for the wisdom gained by stepping off-track every now and then.

 

 

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33 Responses to “The Abundance of a Button”

  • Thanks Gail, great story. People like this saleswoman make life a little sweeter, don’t they? 😉

  • Meg Moran:

    What a beautiful story Gail, it is so true that abundance is not all about money and material goods. Simple abundance is much more meaningful!

  • Gail:

    Thanks, Meg. Kindness really does fill us up in ways materials goods cannot.

  • Gail:

    Yes, they do Janet…and perhaps they inspire us to be as equally thoughtful and generous. Gail

  • Deb Langlais:

    Hi Gail,
    This story was touching and encouraging. I’m glad to see you writing again and I would love to talk with you. As you know, I am not great at writing or emailing.

    Love,
    Deb

  • Dijana Winter:

    Kindness comes in so many forms. Loved your story about the woman’s Gail. Dijana

  • Gail:

    Thanks, Dijana: This woman is an inspiration to many. Gail

  • Gail:

    Deb: Thanks for writing (and stepping out of your comfort zone to post a comment). Writing is in my bones, what I am here “to do.” I could never stop, especially when inspired by acts of kindness and love. Love, Gail

  • Diane polley:

    Gail, you also gave the saleswoman a gift. There is nothing more heartwarming than to be able to do something for another person, be it a loved one or a stranger. You enriched her life just by asking a simple question and she enriched yours by answering with her heart.(Button up and stay warm!)

  • Gail:

    Diane: Thanks for that beautiful insight…and the clever “button up” sign off on this wintry-like day. Gail

  • Patty:

    I guess there is hope for all those button-less blazers hanging in my closet. It is an incredible story as by the looks of the button it was not an easy match. We all need to honor those that go the distance to help others. I hope I am going to be as fortunate as you were!

  • Gail:

    And thanks to the kindness of you, Patty, and my son, who helped me prep the button photo to insert in the blog, the readers can see how truly difficult it was to match that button. The saleswoman had to go online to research where to find it (a year after I bought the jacket, no less), order it on her own, and then mail it to me. When I called to thank her, she made it look like her actions were nothing, She extended herself with such genuine joy–expecting nothing in return. Truly remarkable. Gail

  • Steve fIScher:

    Hi Gail:

    Great post as always!

    I have a brief story that I think you (and perhaps your other subscribers) would appreciate. I held a yard sale a couple of weeks ago, and at the end of the day, I put the remaining items out for free, at the end of the driveway.

    After several people stopped and took stuff, I re-organized the items that were left onto one table. In doing so, I noticed a small flat stone, painted purple, with red letters on it saying “Live Life,” which I had made for myself several years ago. It had been priced at 25 cents, but no one wanted it. In fact, this was the fourth or fifth time I had put it out at a yard sale. On an impulse, I decided to keep it, so I picked it up off the table and put it in my pocket.

    Awhile later, after several other people had taken more free things, a car pulled into the driveway, and an older gentleman (70’s?) got out and went over to the table. I remembered that he had been there about an hour earlier, and had taken a lot of the free things. He spent quite a few minutes looking at the table (just a small card table with a few things left on it). He then called out to me, and approached me at the other end of the driveway.

    He told me that he had been there earlier and had taken some things, but that there was one thing he didn’t take that he now regretted very much. He told me that he didn’t see it on the table any more, and he assumed that someone else had taken it, but that he just had to ask me if there was any chance I still had it.

    Naturally, I asked him what the item was, and he said “Well, it was this small flat stone, painted purple, with red letters on it saying “Live Life.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

    After I gave him the stone, he was quite excited and explained to me that he and his sister had recently had a huge fight, and were no longer speaking to each other. He planned to give her the stone, and was certain that it would heal the rift between them. I have to tell you, I almost cried. I can’t say where the impulse to keep the stone came from, but I definitely understood why it was given to me.

    -Steve

  • Gail:

    Steve:

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story of your intuition at work!!! It truly is uplifting to see the way kindness works in life. I am not surprised that he came back and found you, and the perfect hand-painted stone you created and kept. Gail

    and ps..I apologize for the misspelling of your last name, which was a technical glitch. The correct spelling, Fischer, will be fixed by re-subscribing you. I will handle that.

  • Woo Hoo! Gail! Looking forward to hearing your new insights, stories and always inspiring shares. You are an brilliant writer a thought leader. You are a gift to all who read and follow you, your work and your journey. Thank you for making a postive difference in my life and in the lives of many. Rock On! Love, Marta XOXO

  • Patty:

    Steve, I just loved your story! Even a simple rock has value to someone!

  • Gail:

    Oh my, Marta–who would have thought by sharing such a heart-warming story on a wintry day that I would be blessed by such huge kindness again. I am deeply touched by your endorsement of me as “a brilliant writer/a thought leader.” The words so often come to me, inspired by divine wisdom and love, from others like you who consistently believe in me and my work. Much love and appreciation, Gail

  • I believe in you and your work which inspires and touches the lives of so many! I declare this is your year and your time. Rise up to this day and let your light shine! You are a gift to this world. May your messages continue to light up the world in ways you can’t even imagine. This is your day! This is your time! Let your light shine! I adore you and always will…

  • Gail:

    Thanks again, Marta…I feel it too, that the time is now. I am READY! So much divine wisdom to share from the quiet places of reflection I have given myself to better serve the world. Like you, I always believed in walking my talk!!!! What fun it will be to celebrate…lv, g.

  • Christine:

    What a beautiful post, Gail! A few weeks ago I had to go on a business trip and was feeling sad about leaving my family for two days- and they were sad, too. My 5 year old handed me a big pink button, which she said she had planted a big kiss on and told me to keep it in my pocket so I could feel her love while I was gone. I think we can call that Abundance of a Button as well!

    So nice to read a post from you again!

  • Gail:

    Christine: Thanks for your kind words and for sharing such a sweet story. Who would have thought buttons could send such powerful messages of love? Gail

  • Mary Ann:

    During this time of great suffering and divide, thank you so much for writing this! You have reached into all our hearts.
    Thanks again for being there on my computer tonight!
    Mary Ann

  • Gail:

    MaryAnn: I am so happy that the kindness of a stranger touched your heart as it did mine. Thanks for sharing its impact on you. Gail

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