Your big secret

If you don’t think you matter, then listen up.

You, and who you are, matter more than you know. You are important.

No matter what you do in life, the way you show up makes a difference; maybe more than you know.

You can profoundly affect the lives of other people, for the good, or the not so good. The choice is yours.

As I prepared for the holidays, I met several people whose demeanour added good to my day. Crazy at it sounds, I still think about those special interactions and people, even though they were weeks ago.

Simple, every-day interactions take on a special quality when they’re wrapped in the gift of your unique presence.

I was reminded of this when my husband and daughter returned from a trip to the mall, laughing, smiling and telling stories of the lovely clerk who helped them in the jewelry store.

My husband doesn’t like shopping, yet he was happy, because of this one young woman and her personable service. The story of her wonderful way was shared as the gift that they bought from her was opened.

I learned an important lesson a long time ago that changed the way I show up in life.

I was blessed to meet a special woman who shared my unusual first name, which made me feel an instant connection to her.

Interestingly, I soon realized I wasn’t the only one who felt connected with her. Everyone seemed uplifted by even a few minutes with this special lady.

Corinne Armour lived her entire life working in a grocery store in Trail. I had come  from the big city of Calgary and found it strange when people would line up at her till, even when other lines were empty. It made no sense to me.

Then, I experienced her. Despite the long lineups at her cash register, she never seemed too busy to warmly greet each person and ask a few questions. I felt seen and important, as I’m certain everyone did.

Soon, I was also lining up at Corinne’s till, pleased to wait, just to have a few moments to say hello, as I paid for my groceries.

I always felt something special had happened. Grocery shopping took on new meaning. Crazy, hey?

Everyone loved her. Everyone in town knew her name. She worked at a grocery store.

When Corinne was killed in a car accident, her funeral was held in the largest venue possible. Even then, people spilled into the streets.

Everyone came to pay tribute to this woman who worked at, what some might consider, a simple job.

Stories were shared of how Corinne’s caring uplifted and helped so many people. She had actually saved lives as she ministered from behind her till as she’d say, “What’s up sports fans?”

The magic was her. The magic is you.

What matters most is you, and the way you do what you do.

It’s the personal factor, the way we each show up that makes what we do special. This is what touches people.

Anyone can learn a task, but what’s essential is taking the opportunities for human connection in our everyday lives.

An interesting thing happens when we make the effort to wake up and engage with the people we encounter in our day-to-day living. Mundane activities become a pleasure.

As we wake up and engage with others, we experience the benefits of our own caring. In nursing, we call it the reciprocity of care.

Our bodies and minds are uplifted by the very act of our care for another.

We’ve all experienced those wonderful feelings inside when doing acts of kindness. We feel good.

The lesson I learned at Corinne’s cash register transformed my life. I make new friends everywhere I go.

I make a point to engage with the people I serve and those who serve me.

I love seeing each person uniquely. Even those who I’d deem crabby or disengaged appear to come to life when a personal connection is made.

I must admit to feeling joy when I’m able to leave a person a little better than I found them.

What is important is knowing you’re important.

The way you do what you do matters. You and your way of being are the secret ingredient no one else has.


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About the Author

Corinne is first a wife, mother, and grandmother, whose eclectic background has created a rich alchemy that serves to inform her perspectives on life.

Corinne, a registered nurse with a master’s degree in Health Science, is a staff minister with the Centre for Spiritual Living Kelowna, and a hospice volunteer. She is an adjunct professor with the school of nursing  at UBC Okanagan, and is currently teaching smartUBC, a unique Mindfulness program offered at UBC, to the public. She is an invited speaker and presenter.

From diverse experience and knowledge, personally and professionally, Corinne has developed an extraordinary passion for helping people to gain a new perspective, awaken, and to recognize that we do not have to be a slave to our thoughts or to life; we are always at a point of change.

Through this column, Corinne blends her insights and research to provide food for the mind and the heart, to encourage an awakening of the power and potential within everyone.

Corinne lives in Kelowna with her husband of 41 years, and can be reached at [email protected].

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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