My journaling today led me to thinking and writing about Experiences That I Consider to be Spiritual:
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:
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.
Is it all really this simple?
Maybe not in the engineering of a road grade or the building of a bridge or the designing of a rocket or the researching of a cure, but I do believe it might be true regarding most things in life. Find x. Here it is. Doink.
When I am in that perfect place in the moment — when life just feels so great, life is simple. It is not complicated. It is not orchestrated. It isn’t planned. It is simply . . . fun. It is spontaneous. And timeless. It’s like having a terrific laugh with your best friend. . . the kind when you have to hold on to each other to keep standing. It’s like that hilarious inside joke with your sweetheart that only the two of you understand. You give each other the look, and you both just crack up.
It is like knowingly dodging some complicated pitfall in the day that would create a crazy amount of stress. It is stepping aside and letting the trouble molecules move on to different territory. Embracing simplicity. Cultivating mindfulness. Finding humor. Allowing love to light. It just feels so great. Life is good.
“The simplest solutions are often the cleverest . . . They are also usually wrong.” I am not so sure about this. Perhaps this is true when you bomb your algebra final in a pre-req that you are doomed to repeat until a passing grade has been achieved. But when it comes to life and love and all things in between and around, I am thinking that over-thinking and over-projecting can complicate in ways that aren’t always the best. At least this is what life has repeatedly taught me. Sometimes it is best to see the truth and point to the obvious and just say it. Just do it. Be impetuous. Be bold. Exercise courage in making a decision. Point to x without apology. Without apology.
There is immense beauty in simplicity. I have fallen victim to over-complicating that which neither requested nor required my sometimes insanely-high levels of energy. Wow. Sometimes it is good to let things grow or to let them go. But to try to manage both at the same time? This takes me away from center — when it would be better to just Find x.
So beautifully simple: a2 + b2 = c2 The Pythagorean Theorem possibly has the most proofs of any mathematical theorem. It can even be generalized to include higher-dimensional spaces . . . the Pythagorean proof being one of rearrangement. Were I grading the answer to this math problem, I would give extra credit for originality in higher-dimensional thinking. For thinking outside the box. For admitting, “I have no idea what Pythagoras was thinking when he created this theorem. And I certainly have no idea what the answer to this problem is.” It takes a lot of courage to be creative when having absolutely no idea how to solve a problem.
When I cultivate an awareness of What’s Going On, I can feel my perceptions rearranging themselves as neatly as that of Pythagoras’ four identical right triangles. It all makes sense when you go into rearrangement mode. There is a neatness to it — a beautiful usefulness that precludes any single answer. Life opens up to a multitude of possibilities. There are a lot of places for x to light.
Find x. It’s right here all around me in a state of constant rearrangement– dependent on so many binding factors: appreciation, beauty, selflessness, creativity, positivity, identity. . . Is it really all this simple? Yes.