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What Shark Teeth And Friendship Have In Common…

~ What a brilliant system ~

I like how sharks have an unlimited supply of teeth! Their teeth grow repeatedly over the course of its life, in fact a tooth or multiples can be replaced approximately every 8-10 days. It’s a fascinating system, because their teeth grow in rows, when one falls out, is damaged or lost, it’s replaced by a healthy tooth from the row behind. It’s renewable, sustainable and an intricate healing system. When it is gone, it is replaced. A shark may shed as many as 50,000 teeth in its lifetime. 50,000!

You know we too have an infinite supply. An infinite supply of friends, of possibilities, of mistakes, opportunities, words, money, food, love… When one thing is no longer it becomes nothing or no thing and then it is possible to replace it by some thing different, similar or the same. You get to choose but one way or another it is replaced.

Think about a car – what is a car? What does a car allow you to do? Move from A to B. Transport friends, belongings etc from one point to another. So when you sell your car even if you choose not to buy another car your mode of transport will still be replaced by something else. Whether it’s a motorbike, pushbike, public transport or walking – it is still replaced.

~ There’s a lot to be said about letting go ~

Friends are similar. Are you still in contact with every single person you have met over your lifetime to date? Probably not. When friendships move on, new ones inevitably replace them, if we let it be so.

When I was younger, in primary and junior school I mingled and intermixed with many different people. It felt ‘normal’ to be friends with everyone. It was interesting and exciting to learn about different cultures, attitudes and traditions.  You remember, you liked someone just because with no conditions.

Then as I became a teenager, we created ‘our’ group of friends, where we didn’t stray and rarely invited new people in. We even developed our own language so we were the only ones who really understood what we meant. Looking back I’m not really sure even we knew what we meant but we certainly had fun alienating others.

Then life intervened and it was time to move on, time to branch out and go beyond my comfort zone and security of this one group. Here is where my reflection of my past is what I am grateful for today.

~ I was nervous to go by myself ~

Recently I went to a wedding, I was newly single so I was going alone and it was in the country 2.5 hours from where I live. As I was getting ready I was a little nervous, I wondered whether my ‘meeting new people’ skills were up to date. And then I had a flash back to my earlier days and realised that since my teens I had been meeting new people and intermingling freely and sometimes awkwardly ever since. You would think that 20 years on, I might have had this realisation a little earlier… alas not to my conscious mind and not like this.

It was profound, I was so grateful for all the differences in friendships and bonds that I had been a part of creating.  It has allowed me to grow, to be curious, to explore and discover that through dark times and light each person I have met has had an impact whether minute or massive. And each person has taught me something more: whether it be flexibility to talk with different people of different ages, challenging me, pushing me, stretching me, allowing me to open to discover that everyone has a story. Their story may be of challenge, triumph, sorrow, celebration, of pivotal moments that changed their lives forever. In essence, their stories can be interesting and are all quintessentially life.

~ Addicted to the extraordinary drama ~

There are times when I get wrapped up in my story and feel isolated. Have you ever been surrounded and still felt alone? Disconnected from the world and realised you were disconnected from yourself? It fascinates me how I can still sometimes feel lonely in this big vast world with so many people. I realise then that I only need to seek friendship with myself and things shift immediately. I often find myself now marvelling in how lucky I am to recount the many amazing people, people of life, people of a moment and others friends forever. I can also walk out my front door and talk with someone, anyone, share a smile and laugh just because. That’s the thing about life, we can always find someone to connect with if we truly want to. Most of us have just forgotten to connect with ourselves. It’s also possible if we consciously choose to get out of our own way and be willing to give something of ourselves – just because…

To genuinely lift someone else’s spirits, in turn genuinely lifts your own. Next time you’re ‘not in the mood’ take a moment to be genuine with yourself look in the mirror and say something like ‘I love it when you pout, you look so sexy’ and then have a laugh. You could also call someone and share a funny memory with them. And to truly shift ‘your mood’ walk down the street and genuinely say ‘hello’ to as many passers-bys as possible. Make it into a game. Smile and see how many replies you get… Counting who is in their head and who is open to receiving.

~ It’s time to focus on something else ~

We have an infinite number of moments where we can share and give to others and ourselves. It’s perfectly fine to be in a grump for a little bit, not for an eternity… Give yourself a time limit maybe a few minutes for something small and say 30 minutes for something big. With an unlimited amount of moments available, in what state would you choose to spend most of them? Remembering that what you give out is what you receive and what you’ve received is what you’ve given out… Where your focus goes your energy flows.

I choose to be open to meeting new people because I love how rich our tapestry of memories are when we share it with friends from all era’s, ages and cultures, new and old! And I get excited and intrigued to discover and uncover new things about people because ultimately when I discover something about someone else I also discover something about myself. The more open I am with myself the more open I am as a friend.

It would be interesting, wouldn’t it, if we counted up all the people that have crossed our paths – are there more than a shark sheds in teeth? I look forward to celebrating my 50,000th friend, the moment when we exchange something unique just to us.

I think I’m currently at 19,358, where are you?

© Be Brilliant Now

Julie-Anne ‘Jewells’ Black is an international speaker, author and creator of Be Brilliant Now. Her training programs show emerging leaders how to be bold, sassy and influential communicators in life and business.

She’ll help you escape Groundhog Day, direct their future and be the star of their life.

Julie-Anne combines 22 years experience to share the secrets she’s learnt both on camera and behind the scenes as a production manager for the Sydney Olympic Games Opening Ceremony and top television producer for some of Australia’s favourite TV shows including Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. She’s been interviewed for radio in Australia and USA and featured in publications CLEO, MX and Executive PA among others.

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