My journaling today led me to thinking and writing about Experiences That I Consider to be Spiritual:
- physical health
- mental health
- spiritual health
- generosity of spirit
- acts of kindness
- cultivation of mindfulness
- being in love
- true sharing of the good things in life
I seek peace in my heart’s chambers. I seek the cultivation of that miraculous moment — the pause — that allows me to seek my Higher Self and to focus on my heart’s horizons. To believe that “every little thing’s gonna be all right.”
As I wrote, a visualization floated into my mind:
At first, a little curled-edge leaf boat. The leaf looked like a small alder leaf with serrated edges.
Then . . . a piece of pale blue beach glass in the shape of a heart: faceted on the edges and surf-scratched to a state of opaqueness . . . I placed the little heart on the curled-edge leaf boat and let it float on a dark puddle that grew and flowed into a current of water with higher energy.
I don’t know where the little leaf will light . . . but where it does, it will be received with kindness and appreciation for my willingness to trust and to allow healing on its journey of hope.
I finished writing in my journal and I thought, Wow! All of this mysterious and unrelated stuff simply from taking 20 minutes to just stop and to listen. The power of writing and listening to the thoughts in my mind.
Life takes on such a busy and rapidly-moving pace. It bustles and hustles and sometimes grinds to a halt from a frighteningly-high speed. When it slams to a stop, we stress and we worry. We wonder. We forget to be positive. And we lose our way. We are in the forest and the trees no longer feel friendly. We aren’t having fun anymore.
These moments are part of life. I remember a conversation I had with two of my good friends. We were talking about some particular life challenges. Difficulties. Stress. This sort of thing. One friend felt it best to set everything aside and choose lightness. Move above and beyond the challenge. Let it go. Do not grant it any attention. It will slip away. Turn your focus away. It will disappear ultimately.
My other friend believed that there was healing and growth in seeking a way through. He saw the obstacle as an opportunity to grow. And to become strengthened by powering through. By feeling the discomfort, it would dissipate. Ultimately. It would no longer sting because he had invited it into his life. He was welcoming it. There was no fear involved.
Wow. This was good stuff. I found myself transfixed by the conversation and by their guided philosophies. Essentially both felt that there was a measure of enlightenment, growth, and transcendence in each of their approaches. We all could see how both were good strategies for addressing a challenge.
Then they looked at me. What do you do? What do you do when life feels challenging? What is your approach? Sitting in the midst of such great thinking and spiritualizing, I didn’t know how to answer. I wanted to say, Well, first I panic a little bit. Then I might panic a lot. I might start pacing, and I might drink some water to rehydrate my cells. I might take the dog out for a walk. Or call my best friend. Or feel sick in my stomach. Or go to the gym. Or tune my fiddle and read challenging sheet music. Or eat foods that aren’t in my nutritionally-best interest. I don’t know.
And I didn’t know how to answer them with words or metaphors or images. The two of them, being my good friends, know me. They know how I analyze and bob and innovate my way through a problem. By all accounts, it ultimately feels as if my methodology could best be entitled Distraction Theory to Ascendancy . . . distracting myself to a place where I can govern the problem into manageable bits by administering tiny tweaks along the way. Thinking and feeling and loving and hoping and laughing my way through.
Back to my list of Experiences I Consider to Be Spiritual. It may be a Grab Bag of pick-and-choose, but I default to my sense of spiritual.
Sound complicated? A little bit like nailing my shoe to the floor and going around in circles? It is. My friends’ descriptions of their paths to transcendence were quite inspiring. And a lot convicting. I don’t know if I have a fallback philosophy of any consistency, but I do attempt to pursue a state of positivity through my distractions. While I am walking the dog or sweating on the elliptical trainer, I repeat to myself: Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen. I jump into the pool of many options and grab hold of what makes the most sense at the time.
And the good news about always believing that something wonderful is about to happen? It does. Something wonderful always happens. Eventually. Maybe not in the very nano-second, but there have been times when it has happened that quickly. In the midst of my Sea of Distracted State, I am launched into an orbit of transcendence that rids my heart and mind of worry or fear or gloom or overwhelm-ment.
Always believe. Believe. Keep hope alive by choosing the positive option. I want to be that little piece of blue beach glass floating serenely on that curly-edge alder leaf. Flowing into a current of water of Higher Energy.
My two very lovely friends have both moved to different parts of the world. And I miss them so much. I wish that I could tell them about my Lovely Leaf Boat Theory in person over a glass of wine at our favorite place to meet. I would now have a better-defined answer to their question of Your turn. What do you do?
But they know me. They know that I will Think Light and stay afloat in the current before I allow my vessel to sink. I might not be floating above and away from things or powering my way through with amazing discipline and will . . . but I will stay afloat.
I am lucky to have met such friends. It is funny how friends have no idea how important — how essential –they are in the life of another. Isn’t this amazing when you think about it? That they are the hands that are beneath the leaf. Trimming it in the rough waves and spinning it out of the eddies that tangle me into a swirl of confusion.
Friends. I forgot to add “Friends” to my list of Experiences That I Consider to Be Spiritual. And I find it remarkable that everything Spiritual on this list is embodied within my Friends. For this, I feel abundantly blessed. To all of my friends, I thank you thank you thank you. You are amazing beyond wonder.