Michele Attias Life Coach

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Why A Cup Of Coffee Could Change Your World.

Who would have imagined that offering a homeless lady a cup of coffee would change my world.

Navigating throught my professional life, I was fortunate enough recently to have come across John Sweeney, a Kindness CEO for Suspendedcoffees.com. John created a business which involves random acts of kindness through buying a cup of coffee for someone who actually needs it. 

This act means more than just buying a coffee, it provides conversation, comfort, a smile, even a laugh. 

Currently Suspended coffees has over 2,000 cafes around the world who have engaged in John's project, and an online presence of over 30,000. This project has touched and changed the lives of millions of disadvantaged people from around the world and as a result of this, John has become a Ted X speaker sharing his message of kindness.

John connected with his mission to bring communities together in hope, inspire and empower others to change lives and to restore our faith in humanity. 

He used his mission statement to add another strand; Be kinder to others but also to yourself too.  

After connecting with John at an event recently, I was in a tremendously inspired state. As I proceeded to travel back to London, I walked across the train station where I came across a homeless lady sitting on the ground littered with cast out newspapers. Her face was tear stained and her look was one of intense desperation.

Normally I would have given her some money, a smile of hello and walked off.

Inspired by John’s message of kindness, I asked her if she wanted a hot drink. She looked at me barely believing I was engaging her in a conversation, she nodded her head and requested a coffee. I run down to the coffee shop across the station to fetch her the drink.

As I returned, I noticed her hands were dirty, her shoes were torn and what little possessions she had left, were bundled up in an old bag next to her. I decided to ignore her physical appearance and sat next to her. I asked her why she had been crying earlier, she looked up at me even more shocked than she had looked before.

It was clear that she was neither used to or expecting any attention.

We spoke for a while as I heard her desperate story punctuated with tears of desperation. As we both sat there; me in my high end work wear and her in an assortment of materials wrapped around her, we were simply two human beings connecting and engaging in a conversation. What separated us was simply our judgements, and our pre-conceived ideas of how we each present to the world. 

To the general public, she is simply a faceless homeless person, and to a homeless person I am a faceless stranger who has a more fortunate set of circumstances than them.

What is true is that as human beings we all looking radically different on the outside, yet if we bother to scratch through the surface, we all have the ability to feel pain, loss, anxiety, confusion and resentment. Status and financial standing doesn’t protect you from this. We are all the same, we just need to stop dividing ourselves less and start connecting more.

Forget about the cup of coffee and conversation I had provided for this lady.

She had changed me.

Her vulnerability, humanity and authenticity was exposed in the street for everyone to see. It’s actually rare that we see this so clearly exhibited nowadays. 

Most of us spend our lives either pretending all is well, or trying to keep it all together so that no one will ever see our defences collapse. How refreshing to meet someone who can show me their true self, their struggles and their pain with nothing getting in the way.

My conversation with this lady allowed a shift in her mindset and a ray of hope entered it. At this point I felt it was time to bid farewell and as I stood up to leave, I felt something huge and monumental had changed and shifted inside me. 

It reminds me of how each one of us changes the world one person at a time. 

As she sits on the filthy ground outside the station, she might imagine she doesn’t matter, no one cares anyway. But here’s the thing, she changed me. She took me from self important, pre-occupied with status and social standing, to dissolving all those boundaries, by buying her a hot drink and allowing her to feel cared for. 

We don’t need to be Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa or Martin Luther King Jnr to make a huge change in the world. Just as John Sweeney advocates, it all starts with the small things; an act of kindness, a look, a feeling of care and of giving kindness to the world. 

Ask yourself, if you had the potential to impact others, what act of kindness could you do today?  

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Lifestyle Coaching; business coaching; personal development; personal growth;