I flipped the Charlie Card across the pad, rode the stairs up, and burst into the open doors of the subway car waiting to transport me to Cambridge. Today was going to be Day 1 of Anything Goes Laband I was really looking forward to the experience. There were not many people on the train, and I plopped myself down on an empty seat. to my dismay, the seat was soaking with some wet liquid. I cringed and stood up abruptly then hurried out of the car and into the next one. I’m not sure why I felt a need to leave the car, but I felt safer next door. Once on our way, my thoughts wandered into dreams of how wonderful the day was going to be. I could see 40 people spread throughout the room working side-by-side and collaborating from time to time. The prototype we were developing was making great progress, and the accolades from the reviewers were awesome.
Then, I was awakened by a putrid smell. I turned up my nose slightly and panicked. Quickly, I looked down at my leg and lifted it to see if it was still wet. Two or three lifts proved to me that it was. My eyes darted around the train, and I nonchalantly ran my right hand under my leg then lifted it discreetly under my nose for a whiff. Eew, it did not smell too good, but that was not the putrid smell. I sighed in relief that it must be wafting from the man who had recently entered the train.
I watched pregnant Heatha’ tahk about her girls at the courts. She had theia’ numba’. She kept tabs on ’em. Her vocalization was a work of art. Her mouth moved with intention as she told her friend one story after another about kids in trouble and who was guilty or not. Each tensing of the lips was made with grace.
“What could I have sat in?” I thought suddenly with a frown. As I contemplated the possibilities, I held my right hand up and away, as if it were no longer a part of me.
The girls has gone without warning. We had arrived at the prison stop. The train was quiet now with little to distract me until I arrived at the Cambridge Innovation Center fifteen minutes later. First thing was to head to the bathroom and wash my hands and put a little antibacterial on the bottom of my now dry pant leg. Slicking back my hair, I slid into Anything Goes right behind ELo as one of the first entrants. Yes sir, the day was about to begin. Subway ride mini-adventure behind me, I felt refreshed.
After a short while of setting up my laptop, checking email and fixing a production issue for a customer, Bill Warner popped in and welcomed the half dozen lab rats that had arrived. He was giddy with excitement for this new program. Although the kickoff was going to begin at 2pm, he could not resist giving us a mini-introduction to his “From the Heart” philosophy and teaching us his intention-to-invention learning exercise, which would become a core component of the Launchpad1A program we were embarking upon. We struggled with creating timeless intentions and beliefs that contrasted those that were immediate and of today. Eventually, some of us mapped out a few of our ideas on cards that we tacked upon the pin boards.
Before we realized, it was 2pm and almost everyone had arrived. Between taking photos of all participants, setting up the boards and having introductory conversations equivalent to “What’s your major?”, the time had flown by like an F15 fighter jet. Bill began a more deliberate overview of what we were doing here and how we really needed to find our inner intention, the one true intention that was timeless. From that, we had to conjure up our deep beliefs (timeless again) that would lead our intention to our people. Yes, our “people” are those for whom our intention is intended, and our beliefs bridge the two. Only this path will lead to a successful invention. Make sense? It can sound like jargon until Bill or one of his newly created disciples explains it. Then, the concepts fit together like a puzzle.
As I rode home on the train after the first day, I started to think about the day. I met a lot of cool people with great intentions, with great beliefs and with great ideas and inventions. Some had them pretty well aligned, but most of us took great value in the exercise of writing down our core intention and the related beliefs that lead to our invention. I found it very helpful to identify “my people” — the ones I need to focus on — because that is often overlooked. Superficially, it cannot be understood. What seems like a simple concept requires a lot of conversation and immersion is best.
Heather’s people were the girls in the court system. Her intention seemed to be to help the girls in trouble. If she follows her heart, she will surely come up with an invention to help her people. I never would have experienced Heather’s intention, if it weren’t for the wet seat in the subway. Serendipity requires keeping your eyes open and paying attention to life.