The Cheers theme song has been playing in my head today ever since meeting a podcast listener while doing my grocery shopping today.
"You wanna go where people know, people are all the same, You wanna go where everybody knows your name."
When you have an online presence, or people hear your voice on a podcast or CD, they can imagine all sorts of things about you. The person I met today thought of me as a "celebrity", "movie star of the meditation set", someone larger than life. I'm sure that that all changed in our meeting! It was the most delightful, funny coming together of two people, and I wanted to share it with you.
I called out hello to Karen who studies hula with me. She said "Mary, do you have a minute? I have someone for you to meet." I said I had a little minute, but it stretched out to many enjoyable minutes. I was introduced to Carol who has been listening to the podcast for over a year. She immediately held up her hands and said "Mary Maddux, I think of you as way up here, a movie start of meditation!" All three of us were soon laughing as Carol recounted how she had assumed I lived in New York or LA, and was amazed when Karen told her that I live in the same small town with her. Apparently yesterday, Karen spotted me walking on a local bike path and called Carol to say "You want to see Mary Maddux, move quickly -- she's walking on the bike path in pink!" Carol lamented that she was in another town and missed the great opportunity ;-). The whole situation was so heart-warming and fun, we were soon laughing and hugging near the checkout aisles. I suppose for Carol this was an unusual "celebrity sighting", in which it was revealed that the celebrity was woman much like herself. Hence the "people are all the same" line going in my mind.
It just so happens that tomorrow is our local guided meditation, and they will both join us. It feels like a coming full circle. My journey with teaching meditation and leading guided meditations was an "in-person" on for years. Reaching people through our podcast, CDs and apps has been an amazing and wonderful experience, but sometimes I miss the in-person part. This will be the second podcast listener to join our monthly meditation. At a time when our reach is growing so much that I have to cut back on answering emails, Facebook comments and so on, it's wonderful to have this personal contact. It's wonderful to be in a "place where everybody knows your name".