On June 4th at 9:00 PM EST I still wasn’t sure if I was going to hop on a train the next morning to go to Book Expo America in New York City or not. I knew on many levels it was a good strategic decision to go, but I didn’t feel the resonance in my heart that I needed to take the day away to be there.
Then, at 9:15 PM EST, it was clear that I was supposed to go. No lightning bold struck, or anything like that. I simply felt the “YES” in my heart – so I booked my day pass for the BEA and my Amtrak ticket.
Despite the major traffic jam on the way to the train station – and making the train by the skin of my teeth after a mad dash from the parking lot to the train station – it was a grace-guided day from beginning to end.
So, what does that grace look like to me…
First, rather than being upset by the unexpected traffic, I talked with God the whole way and said, “If I’m meant to be on this train, then make this happen.” And it did.
Once I got on the train (and caught my breath) I thanked God for making it happen and proceeded to have a fantastic, relaxing and productive train trip.
Midway through the train ride it dawned on me that I’d be near the garment district. I’m working on a fabric product (a wrap) and needed to do some research on fabric vendors and manufacturers.
After a brief Google search on my phone (an hour outside NY), I had an address for a fabric shop that looked like they’d have the fabric I needed. No luck on Googling manufacturers.
So I got off the train, found that fabric shop and discovered they didn’t have what I needed. They pointed me somewhere else. And that next store pointed me somewhere else. And the final store still didn’t have the fabric I needed (at the price I wanted) but, they did have 2 addresses for manufacturers where other clients had fabric sent for production.
I find the manufacturer (two blocks away) and slip into a locked front door only to greet an official looking doorman who asked me where I was going. I told him up front that I didn’t have an appointment but was looking for this particular manufacturer. He smiled and showed me the way.
When I arrived at the 6th floor location, I was slightly disappointed because they were only a cutting house, but didn’t do the sewing. Well, as grace would have it, within 60 seconds the woman I spoke with called her friend who happened to have a sewing company across the hall.
Next thing I know I’m speaking to them both and they’ve told me they can produce my product at the price I want and requested I send them sample fabric. (By now, I’m giggling at the perfection of it all).
Next, I head to the 2nd manufacturer recommended to me and a nice man is there to show me exactly how to get to the well hidden basement. It turns out they can do the sewing and the cutting right there… but for twice the price of the first manufacturer.
Manufacturing decision made. I found the right one the first time.
Next it’s off to the BEA where I realize I’m truly only going there to say Hello to Marc Allen and Bill Gladstone face to face.
I walk right in to the main hall where my intuition says to go straight to Marc’s booth for New World Library. Low and behold, he is there. And not only is here there, but he’s not in a meeting and had just arrived a short while ago.
After a nice hello hug, we chatted for nearly 20 minutes about the Transformational Author Experience and Writing Contest, his new book and my new book (which he strongly requested that I send him my proposal).
That was easy!
At the end of the aisle, I’m then guided to go to the gift section. Not because of all things book related, but because my wrap product is a gift item and I felt it would be good to check out other gifts at the show.
Boy, I was supposed to go down that aisle. Because the third person I talked to happened to be a high-end gift store rep and after hearing the story behind my wrap, she emphasized what a great idea she thought it was and wanted me to get in touch when I was ready to sell them.
She kept listing off buyers who’d be interested in it! Totally fun… and totally unexpected to find a gift rep at the book expo!
Then, she proceeds to ask about my books and soon requested I send her copies of both of them (Beyond Mindset and Pebbles in the Pond) because she felt she could sell them into her gift stores. Hot damn! Two for one and I’ve only been at the BEA for 45 minutes!
Now, I’m simply looking up to the heavens laughing and saying “thank you!” I could never have planned this to happen if I tried.
So, I am giggling my way down the next aisle when I find an open seat at a booth. I ask the woman there if I can sit down and she said “sure, I’m just here resting my feet.”
After a little chit chat, I’m prompted to offer her my cell phone charger after she commented that her battery was low. Thought nothing of it… just helping someone out. It didn’t matter that I had no idea who she was.
We end up chatting more and I discover that she is one of the people that works for the New York Time Bestseller list and creates the list. Of course I ask her if I can interview her because that would be one heck of a call!
She declines due to proprietary restrictions, but we proceed to have an awesome conversation about the list, how it’s created, what they do to try to thwart forced listings, etc.
We were totally connected, authentic, in the moment and loving our time together. As we parted she asked to see my book so she could remember my name and look for me on the list. So sweet…
I continue giggling my way down the aisle only to hear some man say “so what’s Transformation Books?” That was the company listed on my name tag.
I tell him what I do and a bit about me, and he proceeds to tell me he’s one of the top 100 blogs on the internet with 50,000,000 (million) hits a month and he’d love to feature my stuff on his blog.
The conversation evolved from there and we’re working on setting up a meeting to discuss other ideas. He’s a wealth of inspiration and information and he loves what I’m doing and wants to help.
Note to self… Transformation Books on my name badge is a good decision.
There’s much more grace that flowed than this, but you have other things to do and I don’t need to write a book here. So, I’ll wrap this up for now and hope that you now have an idea of what grace looks like… at least to me.
It looks like unexpected miracles, gratitude, giggles, serendipitous meetings, being at the right time and the right place and being in awe of it as it is happening. Offering constant thanks and recognition to the source that is making all of these things happen without effort. That, to me, is what grace looks like.
And I am grateful for it and pray for it everything single day. Both for me, and that I can be a channel of grace for you, too.