I have a February related confession. Not so many years ago I really, really disliked hearts. Perhaps it was bad Valentine’s Day party memories from my childhood. Maybe I just thought hearts seemed cheesy. I just did not like them. At one point I was looking for a couples counselor and I had the rule that if there was a heart on their website it was an automatic NO.
That “love is patent, love is kind” reading that seemed to pop up at EVERY wedding made me bristle and I would roll my eyes and get irritated. I’m not proud to admit my Grinchish attitude about hearts, but that’s where I was. It was the way I was seeing the world at that time.
We all have some kind of metaphorical glasses, through which we see the world. These glasses are created from past experiences, stories, and beliefs that make up our mental models. Even before we are aware of the ingredients from which they are made, they color our world in ways that touch every experience of our lives. The colors bend the light into underlying beliefs of abundance or lack, love or fear, hero or victim, the confidence of trust or the insatiable desire for control.
At the first, intellectual consideration of these options, abundance or lack, my mind was so sure which camp I was in. Abundance, of course. I’m an optimistic, defiantly cheerful person. Right? Then the quiet, gentle voice inside asked again. Are you? It that real, or just a bright red coat you wear for others to see?
Arrrgh! While that little voice is my best teacher, when I listen, often I want to ignore her. Fortunately, or unfortunately, she has the delicate fairy-like persistence of soft raindrops, a form of sweet torture, that never gives us on me. Which glasses was I wearing? Which ones were I pushing away?
There are times where I see the best, skies upon skies of abundance, possibilities and trust, with myself and others. Other times I am up against a rock. I am afraid. I don’t see solutions, I keep trying to control life and believing it’s someone else’s fault when things don’t working out the way I had hoped. It’s gut wrenching to see those places in yourself, accept them with compassion, and find the courage to try another way.
Last week, I receive a note about our weekly email, that the type was too small and too light. I had tried to fix that in the past in response to an earlier, similar request. But clearly I’d failed. It felt like criticism at first and I’d been struggling with trying to find time to create a new template. I checked my glasses.
What if I put on the red heart-shaped ones that could see abundance? What if this was the day to finally tackle a new email template? What if Georgia’s email was the invitation to do just that? A sign that the time was now. She confirmed she was not the only with this observation and I agreed. Why even send the email if it was unreadable? Maybe she would be willing to help me get it right? I asked. She responded she would be happy to “be of service.” I got to work and sent a test email to her. She relied instantly. “MUCH better. Thank you!”
Every moment in life we have a choice. With every breath we have a choice. Those choices and the experiences that happen as a result of those choices loop back and build the corresponding parts of your brain. Science is proving where we put our attention, those parts of our minds get stronger. What we practice, we see more of. As Tal Ben-Shahar, a well know Positive Psychology expert, likes to say “when you appreciate the good, the good appreciates.”
At the end of that day I so appreciated Georgia taking the time to nudge me toward something that had needed my attention. It was a gift. Thank you Georgia. And I’m so glad I choose to see it that way.
ps. The yoga poses I love for cultivating abundance are any heart openers. They splay open our front bodies to help strengthen our tolerance for vulnerability and help build our courage. Try bridge pose with Maria DeNoda, one of the Prasada team instructors, heart bench or cat cow. They tap into heart energy and allow you to open and trust the possibilities to be revealed. Enjoy!