01/31/2012 06:46 pm ET Updated Apr 01, 2012

A Single Life

When the clock struck twelve this past New Years, my niece sent a simple text that really moved me. It read:

"For last years words
belong to last years language
and next years words
await another voice."

It moved me for two reasons really.

One, the fact that my seventeen year old niece was quoting T.S. Eliot and the other, for the simple fact that I received it. Although I'm able to send texts, my phone rarely receives them. So I guess I was really meant to get that message.

That simple quote reminded me that sometimes its the simple things that make the biggest difference.

This year I'm aware more than ever that for me, it's all about being in the moment and listening to the voice that would have me rise to my best self. I know how easy it is to fall back into old patterns and let old voices play over and over again. I've been around long enough to know lists of good intentions and "new years resolutions" are too often forgotten and replaced by old routines.

Old routines that rarely make us feel very special or that we can make any difference at all, let alone a "BIG" one ~ in our own, or anyone elses life.

That's where our friends come in, and why friends are so important. I remember hearing "A friend reminds us of who we are when we forget." And maybe its me, but the older I seem to get, the easier it is for me to forget. All the more reason to keep friends nearby.

This past weekend I drove up to San Jose with my brother to see and celebrate a friend. The long drive gave me plenty of time to reflect on the importance of friendship and I thought about the many friends who have come into my life, and how each in their own unique way have helped me re-discover forgotten pieces of myself ~ and even find new voices.

Around midnight we checked into our hotel, and needless to say we were both ready to pass out after the long days drive. I must have seen in my mind the face of every single friend I'd ever met on the way to San Jose.

That next morning, as I stepped onto the elevator, I met a beautiful young girl from Michigan. In our sixty or so seconds together, she told me she was there for the U.S. Figure Skating Championship and how she and her friends became skaters because of their idol, the most decorated skater of all time, Michelle Kwan.

In that moment, I thought about the power and effect a single life can have on another. This young girl from Michigan would probably never meet Michelle Kwan, and yet she and her friends all became skaters ~ simply because of her.

People like Michelle Kwan must listen to a new voice within all the time. How else can they reach and touch the stars the way they do? They teach by demonstration, and as they rise to their best self, they awaken in others a beautiful truth:

What is achieved by any one of us, is potentially accessible to every one of us.

And as we both individually and collectively remember that, our world is touched and changed forever.

I asked the girl her name as we parted and she said "Allesandra."

As I walked away from that elevator and Allesandra, it dawned on me how we can sometimes get so busy and caught up in "surviving" we forget what it means to be "living" , and what a gift it is to simply "be alive". A simple exchange can have such a positive effect on someones life. The longer I live, the more I believe we need one another to become our best selves, and we need to stop long enough in our routines ~ to celebrate not only who our friends are,
but who WE ARE.

In this Year of the dragon, I am aware more than ever before that I am here to celebrate my friends. And hopefully as I do that, I will find the gift of being in the moment, and celebrate myself.

Most of us will never get inducted into a Hall of Fame, but its nice to surround ourselves with friends "who would if they could", put us there.

That's why I went to San Jose this past weekend, to see and celebrate a friend get inducted into the Hall of Fame.

I shared a moment in an elevator with a young skater named Allesandra and was reminded what a beautiful gift the power of a single life can have on the world. And although we found our way to San Jose on two very complete and different journeys, we were brought there together by the power of a single life. . .

Her idol, my friend.

"For last years words
belong to last years language
and next years words
await another voice." T.S. Eliot