Just a couple weeks ago, Bill and I had one of those full-circle life moments. My posts on Facebook said it all. First update early in the day: “Very excited to see Robert Plant tonight! Bill has been a fan since 2nd grade when he bought ‘Led Zeppelin II’ at a garage sale across the street for a quarter.”
Second update much later that night: “Front-row center concert tickets – $200; dinner & drinks before the show – $60; Robert Plant giving us a smile & a nod after ‘Ramble On’ – Priceless.”
Wow, what an absolute thrill to hang out right at the stage, just a few feet in front of one of the greatest rockstars of all time. An experience we won’t ever forget!
There was so much magic and synchronicity wrapped up into that night. Initially, we had fantastic third-row seats and were incredibly excited as my first Facebook update showed. Shortly before the concert, though, I ‘accidentally’ stumbled upon a pair of tickets in the pit – right up front and center. For less than face value. No accidents, though, right? So I grabbed them and figured we would find just the right fans who wanted to buy our other tickets.
When we got downtown, I didn’t want just anyone to have those tickets; I wanted someone who would truly care, someone who would really appreciate them. There were plenty of scalpers on the street who would have loved to have given me a few bucks (and that’s it) for the seats, but that wasn’t what I was looking for.
A meeting meant to happen
Just then I saw a nice couple inside by the box office. “Are you interested in tickets?” I asked. The guy’s eyes lit up and he wondered what we had available. When I said third-row center, there was an amazing bolt of energy that went through the four of us. “We just drove here from out-of-town,” he said, “And this is my youngest daughter and I promised I’d get her here.”
I looked over at the young woman, her eyes instantly filling with tears, and she began telling me what a huge lifelong fan she has been. So my eyes – and then Bill’s eyes – filled up, too. This sweet father and daughter duo was so genuine and beyond excited at the idea of buying our tickets.
We made the exchange, gave them a good deal, and the daughter so graciously said to me, “Can I hug you? I know I’m going to cry during the show tonight. It’s like you guys are angels, ‘ticket angels.’” And we hugged tight, with a knowing that there was something larger than ourselves that brought the four of us together.
I do believe at the last minute, those front-row center seats had our names on them; they were meant for us. And part of the plan was obviously so that we could pass along our other great seats to someone else who really wanted them. Ahhh…perfect!
This fun experience reminded me of several other instances we’ve been blessed to be a part of. And every time I tell the stories, people seem to get emotional. So I decided I’ve got to share a couple of them here.
At concerts, Bill and I magically always get great seats – often times front-row. So many of our friends ask how we do it, and I’m going to save that topic for a separate post. But in the meantime, what we’ve seen unfold has to do with: 1) Trust, 2) Divine timing, and 3) Connection. Here goes…
–Sioux City, Iowa–
Bill and I had great seats to see Neil Diamond (my favorite!). When we were in the hotel room getting ready, Bill put on his Hawaiian “front-row” shirt and we headed out for the evening. Before we left, we did our customary intention-setting for the evening. We talked about how we were delighted with our tickets…but, if it was in everyone’s best interest – we would love front-row seats! An opportunity to mirror back to Neil all of the joy that he gives to us.
We went out to dinner and leisurely chatted with fans and met the locals. Afterwards, we slowly walked over to the arena in the hot summer sun, and just for fun I went to the box office and asked if any excellent seats opened up. Whadda ya know? Two tickets: FRONT-ROW CENTER. Two open seats were there just for us! Crazy. But then again, not really. This stuff happens over and over for us.
Of course we grabbed them.
And then we had to quickly sell our other tickets before we went in, since it was almost show-time. But, we couldn’t find one person who wanted to buy them – everyone was already set for the night.
I was beside myself. Caught up in the enthusiasm of getting front-row seats, I found myself stuck with spending a lot more money than we had planned on.
A shift in perspective
Here’s what I love about Bill. He had a strong feeling that we should go inside the arena and find two huge fans who had far away seats. And then make their day.
Brilliant. Total shift in perspective.
We went up high in the arena and started asking people if they would like to sit in the third-row. Can you believe that we were met with “No thanks” and many others whose eyes quickly darted away as though we were trying to scam them?
Once again, I was completely bummed out. It was so important to me to find someone who truly cared and really appreciated being up close. Just then, I was strongly moved to go up to two women standing together and asked them on a scale of 1-10 how big of fans they were. They shouted “Oh my god – a 10!” They were really pumped up and told us how excited they were, but disappointed to be sitting so far from the stage. They said they splurged but could only afford the ‘nosebleed’ seats.
I think I found my people.
We asked if they would like to sit in the third-row instead. When they realized we were serious (and there would be no cost for the tickets), they started crying and hugging us, and then we started crying, too. Such genuine appreciation and gratitude. They asked what they could give us and our answer: “Please just pay it forward.”
So they did! They called some relatives who were visiting from out-of-town and told them to come and use their tickets. The relatives were elated!
Thinking back, I was uneasy because we were spending way more money that night than we had ever imagined. But the return was ten-fold. It was one of the biggest highs I have ever experienced! You certainly can’t put a price on that.
The whole experience had to do with trusting that we would divinely connect with just the right people at just the right time. And we did.
Bill and I had an incredible night with Neil and his band, and it was a thrill to watch our new friends rock out from the third-row. We certainly did get to mirror all of our joy right back to Neil! That was the night when one of the local radio station guys came up to us afterwards and said, “I saw you guys up front. You two were the happiest mother f’ers in the entire building!” It’s true. We were on our feet and dancing the entire time. One of our many life highlights.
The next morning I remembered that my vision board at home included the words: “Front-row center” and “Road trip,” and also had a picture of Neil Diamond. Hmmmm…
–Madison Square Garden, New York City–
Coincidentally (or not), my cousin was getting married in New York the same weekend that Neil Diamond was playing at Madison Square Garden four nights in a row! That entire experience deserves a blog post all on its own. Stay tuned – I’ll work on that one, too!
The bottom-line is this. We had great seats for one of the shows. But in “Michelle and Bill” fashion, at the last-minute we scored front-row tickets…again. Oh man, we had already spent a ton of money just being in New York, and I was really anxious to get our original tickets sold as soon as possible.
Then Bill and I remembered the tremendous joy we experienced earlier that year in Sioux City.
So I took a deep breath, and we did it again.
We went inside the arena and way high-up to the top of the world-renowned “Garden.” What a cool view from up there! But then I got lost in my head again, especially when we tried to give the tickets away to several pairs of unsuspecting fans. They didn’t want them. They thought there were strings attached. They walked away. Huh? I was getting nervous because it was getting close to show-time. I had to go to the bathroom before we took our seats. I wanted to grab a drink. Time was of the essence!
Trusting in divine connection
I was just about in tears when Bill intervened, once again. “Just trust that we will find the right people who will love these seats. Just trust.”
As soon as he finished uttering those words, all of a sudden from around the corner – paraded two women, arm-in-arm, skipping and singing “Sweet Caroline.”
I knew I had found my targets.
They skipped right in front of us and I yelled “WAIT!” The two smiley and giddy women stopped in their tracks, and I asked if they were there on their own and where they were sitting. Just then Bill flashed the third-row tickets and asked if they would like to have them.
The look on their faces was priceless. And that moment is etched forever in my mind. I started to cry and they both hugged me. “Why are you crying, Honey?” they asked. Then, they looked at Bill, hugged me again and asked, “Why is she crying?”
We passed the tickets along to them and then the four of us proudly made our way down to the front together. The two immediately made calls on their cell phones, and just hearing their enthusiasm about their new seats was worth multitudes more than we had paid that night.
At that night’s show a DVD was being filmed. Bill and I were thrilled when it came out the next year and we saw our two new friends jumping up and down in the crowd! They screamed the entire night. It was glorious. And they were part of the reason that Neil kept coming over to our side of the stage and indulging all of us.
The two women said the night for them was life-changing. They both had had a tough couple of years with health and family problems. And they said that night gave them a renewed energy and a positive outlook on life and was just the medicine they needed.
Again, we could have lamented the fact that we paid a small fortune for those third-row seats, only to give them away. But instead, we really only paid a small price for a concert experience of a lifetime – one that still gives us goosebumps years later.
With Bill leading the way earlier that night, we trusted. The right people came skipping along at just the right time. It was a divine connection along our path. And now we just happen to be blessed with two new wonderful east-coast friends for life.
There are many other stories to tell like the ones shared here, but these are the ones that stand out for me.
In thinking back to the Robert Plant concert, it shouldn’t have been a surprise to us that our ticket experience went so smoothly, since this same scenario has played out for us so many other times in the past. We never “expect” this type of magic to happen, but we always remain open to the possibilities.
Or maybe we do expect magic. Just not at any particular time or place – leaving it up to the universe to surprise us in the most wonderful way. It sure is a thrill when these synchronicities and moments of serendipity land in our path when we least expect it!
Bill and I have seen so many magical things happen, right before our eyes. The kind of stuff that doesn’t logically make sense; the kind of stuff you could never predict or orchestrate yourself. Part of our quest in life is that we want others to understand and believe this can happen to them, too. How gratifying for us to have the privilege – in some small way – of playing a part in a magical life-moment for others. It’s following our joy in the purest sense.
Remember those folks at the arena who said “No thanks” or walked the other way because they thought we were up to no good? They weren’t fully open to receiving in that moment. It’s a good reminder that the magic might be unfolding right in front of you…but the only way you can see it is if you’re open to letting it in.