This photo tickled me when it showed up in my message feed this week on Facebook, for many reasons. One is that it quoted my friend and inpsiration, His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He knows first hand the power of love and the investment of heart and soul into embodying its essence. The other is the beatific look on the face of the person who is wafting about from heaven to earth. Many years ago, if that were me, the look would have been one of panic, feeling as if I were in free fall rather then free flight. These days, I am trusting more often that even when I take physical and emotional leaps of faith, the safety net of Spirit is there to catch me.
Each day, we all take risks…heck some days, just getting out of bed feels like a daunting task as the inner child whines…”Do I hafta get up? Can’t I just stay under the cozy covers for a bit longer?” I have found that there is always some delight awaiting me when I do put my feet on the sky blue carpeted floor for the first time each morning. It could be the sound of the birds serenading me awake, the dappled sunlight through the curtains, leaving patterns on the closet door. It could be remembering how blessed I am to have such wonderful, loving friends and family and exciting adventures to persue. I set challenges before myself, to be more mindful, rather than mind-full (like an overflowing sink full of dishes…maybe that’s why I always make sure my kitchen sink is empty of them before going to bed…ask my son:) . I open my heart to allowing love to move through, without impediment. I meet new people every day, because I know how much we enrich each other’s lives. I expand my horizions, thinking outside the box. I offer love as if chocolate on a plate. Some people, believe it or not, don’t like or desire chocolate.
Yesterday was Global Love Day and I decided to give out heart stickers. The first batch went to the tellers at the bank when I went in to do business. They smiled with delight and asked if they could keep me there yesterday. On my way out the door, I offered one to a man who was walking in, and although he smiled, he politely declined. Offering love can be risky too, since the thought of ‘what if they say no?’, can accompany it. I have learned that receiving a ‘no’ isn’t a rejection of me and doesn’t need to disempower me in any way. I can keep on offering and see what happens. At my job as a social worker in a psychiatric hospital, I continued to scatter the hearts, giving them to my co-workers. To a one, they all said yes. One of the docs took two; one for each of her children. People put them on their clothing and badges. On my way out the door, I tucked a few stickers under the windshield wipers and in the door of the car of my friend Peggy since I didn’t have any in my pocket to give her when we saw each other at lunch time. One of the psychiatrists saw me by her car, and asked what I was doing. I assured him that I was ‘vandalizing with love’ and gave him a few as well. He walked away smiling.
So were they great achievements? Not in the grand scheme of things. Were they risky? Not much. And yet, we may never know the impact of our actions on the lives of folks whose paths we cross. My growing edge and yours might look different. Some of my emotional bungie jumping risks involve putting my creative work out there for all to see and critique, to ask for what I deserve in terms of compensation for my work, to stand on stage and share what I have learned over the past 53 years. One of the most challenging risks is acknowledging my struggles, since I want it all to look effortless…at least my ego does. I know how blessed I am, so often I have dialogues with myself that sound like “What the heck do you have to compain about when you have so much?” and then I hear the voice of friends echoing in my ears…”Stop being so hard on yourself!” That’s when self compassion takes the wheel and the words “Sweetheart, you have just as much right to kvetch as anyone. Just don’t stay there.” That’s when I can move from ‘oy to joy’ by remembering how I have safely landed after every experience I have had.
What risks are you willing to take today to allow yourself to enjoy the excitement of free flight? Happy Landings! <3
http://youtu.be/UF5V2PEujqs If I Were Brave by Jana Stanfield