Emily Oehler at 6

At the time, I wasn’t sure why I did it. The idea just popped in my head. A few clicks and it was done. I posted a new Facebook profile picture of me at about 6 years old. A classic school photo that somehow captured possibility.

Each time I opened the app, that possibility – my possibility – greeted me with a pure smile. It was like looking in a mirror seeing something I’d forgotten and wanted to know again. A mix of “bright-eyed and bushy tailed,” giddiness, and fierceness. A grounded purity fueled by boundless energy, love, and curiosity. There was a welcoming openness on my face that gave me peace and cause a smile.

It wasn’t until I chatted with friend and mindfulness mentor Cole Baker-Bagwell that I made the connection. I mentioned what I did – laughing at the silliness of it. Her response, “That’s it, that’s mindfulness!” felt like a gong going off in my soul. A long, “hmmmmmmm.”

She helped me understand the connection between a thought that emerged, my attention to it, and its impact on me. That by being in the moment I could embrace what I called out for at an emotional, intuitive level. That that space between quirky idea and action is the space of mindfulness, and as I think about it, magic. Though she’s quick to explain how it’s more biology than magic. That this is the result of neural pathways in action – the connection of science and soul.

When I put the photo up I set it for 2 weeks… I’m now back to my adult identity. I happy to share though that I feel like a lost piece of me is back. Being face to face with Emily version 1.0 was refreshing. Both grounding and empowering. While I reconnected to possibility, I also basked in my accomplishments, most of which would have been too big for that little girl to imagine. From where I started to where I am – I can now more clearly see my path of serendipity. A path lined with golden acorns… love, education, intuition, work, lessons learned, joy, missteps, friendship, trepidation, and faith.

Now, reconnected with my travel buddy, I’m eager for what lies ahead on my path and excited to live up to her boldness. Now, I have to rethink what’s possible.



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