I sauntered in to Starbucks with my post yoga glow, half awake, half holding on to the bliss of my practice and stepped to the cash register to place my order.

I looked up to make eye contact with the barista and was breathless! This womans’ eyes were stunning. The most beautiful green I’ve seen and piercing but friendly. She had a strong gaze, yet mysterious, almost sexy. I’m sure I paused before I was able to say anything in reference to the drink I wanted to order. As I made my way through the line I couldn’t help but feel I needed to let her know.

As I was making up my mind about what to say, how to say it, I noticed my heart beating loudly in my chest. My ears started to get hot and I had butterflies in my stomach. I was nervous? Weird. I was nervous to give a stranger a compliment. I started to reflect on how often I do this type of thing, or when was the last time I had given someone a genuine compliment. I’m a generally friendly and positive person, so I feel like my interpersonal relationships reflect this, but I was SO nervous.

I started peeping around people, standing on my tip toes to spot the barista who had wandered away to her next task. I hadn’t heard my drink order called yet, so I had a few moments to pull her aside, heart beating in my head at this point. I walked over to her and ask “May I tell you something?” “Sure,” she responded. I continue to say “you have incredibly beautiful green eyes.”

And she smiled. And said “thank you.”

Now she may have people compliment her eyes all the time, and if I had to guess I would say of course she does. But my small act of service was two fold. ¬†While I was doing something for someone else, I actually helped myself. The nervousness that I was feeling was a physiological response to getting outside of my comfort zone. As I analyzed this I began to realize how great it was that I did something for someone else, but that it also taught me that maybe I’m not as friendly or as open as I could be. I considered how good it makes ME feel to get a compliment from someone, stranger or not, and decide this is something I must do more often. After all, stepping outside of who we think we are and what we always do or don’t do is how we grow. This definitely made me glow a little more that day.