While on a surf trip to Tofino, a small town in British Columbia, Canada, I found myself in a boutique where I came into contact with The Giving Keys for the very first time. As I was looking through all of the necklaces, I came across one key that spoke to me. It was stamped with the word BREATHE.
In my life, I help people BREATHE when they need to find calm, help them BREATHE as they’re struggling with their career; I give breath, encouragement and life to those around me.
When I decided to take this trip, I felt like I had been holding my breath in life for too long. I had been waiting for my life partner before I took certain trips that I had wanted to take. I realized that I had waited eagerly for unnecessary benchmarks to occur in my life, rather than being in my life, enjoying it in the moment at hand.
No one knows when they may BREATHE their last breath.
After I got my key I wore it nearly every day, which was rare for me. I received so many compliments and when people commented on my necklace, I shared the importance of the word and the meaning behind this being a Giving Key.
In 2018, I finally decided to stop waiting. I traveled solo to Sicily, Italy, which was a place I had previously only envisioned sharing with someone special. In the first few days of my trip, I met a super helpful server, Danilo, who I eventually befriended.
I realized, after a few days with him as my guide, that we were both taking the same moment in our lives to reflect: Pressing pause and embracing being present in our lives.
After a deep discussion in the city's center amphitheater ruins, Danilo shared a story about his passion for drumming. He recalled a story of one of his bands best performances and explained that he was so into the moment that he nearly passed out because he forgot to BREATHE.
We would never had crossed paths if I had kept waiting for the right time to travel.
He helped me in so many ways and set the tone and mindset for the weeks to follow as I made my way around Sicily.
When we parted, he thanked me for my friendship and gave me his bracelet which he had brought all the way from India. I took off my Giving Key and gave it to him. I thought it was fitting.
It's amazing how life works: We meet people with whom we either become friends or have fleeting moments; other are meant to guide you.