Sunday, January 22, 2012

Follow Your Heart!

When you hear your heart speak, it can be so quiet and faint that you forget what it said or ignore it altogether. When your heart speaks, it is always telling the truth. How do you know if it was truly your heart speaking? Well, as one master says, “By the results.” And my footnote is that after you see the results, you start to catalog backward by asking yourself if the results turned out positively, and in line with goodness, what did it feel like  before you acted/spoke/didn’t act? If the results turned out poorly or you realized it wasn’t the best choice, again, what did it feel like beforehand

This is critical. The other morning I was amazing at my incredible life; feeling lucky, blessed, privileged, happy, peaceful, and all around good. “How did I get so lucky?” I ask myself all the time. What I then realized is that I’m not necessarily all so lucky, although my life is awesome, I’m actually full of trust. I trust that things are going to work out and that my meddling is oftentimes not necessary. For example, if I wonder and worry about how I’m going to get all this work done that I signed myself up for, I stop. I try to frame the thought in the positive. Such as, “I feel fortunate to have all of these incredible opportunities to use my skills and support myself financially.” If I really can’t think of a positive way to frame a situation, which is rare, I offer a blessing. For example, “May this situation turn out for the best.” Or even more simply, “Blessings to you (UPS guy who hasn’t delivered my package, ex-boyfriend who shows up at very inopportune times, co-worker who wants more out of me than I want to give, etc).” I also offer blessings when I am sad. When my cat Enrique was sick, I tried so hard to offer him blessings instead of focus on his pain and discomfort. The thought would arise, “My poor baby! Why does he have to suffer?” and I would try, as quickly as I could, to change my thought pattern to, “Blessings to you, blessings to you.” 

This changing of thought patterns does some amazing things in my mind. First, it gets me out of a big, long, sad, complicated story about how hard life is and how unfair it can be, which albeit true at times, is simply a huge waste of time. Secondly, it puts me in a state of contribution to the wellness or well-being of the world in general. And the tertiary point (I love this word by the way): it puts my focus on the trust in the universe that things will work out and I will survive.

Here is another great example from my personal experience. This is a long one, but bear with me, it’s a great one. The first time I went to Hawaii, I went with a boyfriend. We were not a good match and it was not a good trip. My birthday occurred during this trip, and anyone who knows me knows how much I love my birthday. Not just because I love presents, but because I love the fact that I was born. If I know you, I likely celebrate your birthday, because I love the fact that you were born! Thanks for that, by the way, thanks for being born and being a part of my life!

So, my birthday that year was really painful and raw and I hated it. A couple of days later, the trip had not improved and I was feeling like I was going to lose it in a serious way. I heard a faint whispering of something I’d heard somewhere before. It said, “Ask the universe for a sign. When you think you’re going to lose it, ask for a sign!” I didn’t really believe in this kind of thing at the time; however, I was utterly desperate so I said to the Universe, “Universe, show me a sign that I’m going to be okay because I’m not okay right now. Universe, show me a sign and show it to me soon and don’t make it something stupid like a butterfly or a rainbow or a stranger smiling at me. Make it real. Thanks.” And I sat back numbly and waited. We got to the grocery store in Pa’ia, Maui. I got out and went in alone. I crossed the threshold and passed the registers. Some stickers of surfing cats caught my eye. I grabbed them to bring back to the kids I work with. I turned around and was facing John Friend. (This man is a shining star full of love and grace, a true servant to Goodness, and my teacher of yoga. He is wicked famous in the yoga world and not someone you run into every day, especially not when you’re thousands of miles away from your home. Or maybe he is...)

He recognized me and we had a short and strange conversation. I left. I knew. The Universe was on my side, all I had to do was listen. After shopping and getting back in the car with impatiently waiting boyfriend, he drove right past John Friend on the street without even noticing. We stopped at Ho’okipa Bay - a stunning lookout over a surf spot on the North Shore. As I stood there looking at the ocean, the people on boards and kites merging with the gorgeous blue and white of the Pacific, I felt the insides of me shift. A neon greenish/blackish shape of myself inside of myself lifted up out of myself and hovered above me just long enough to make a 180 degree turn and then settle back in, inside of me. That, right there, was my heart speaking quite loudly. It was saying to me, “I have made the turn, now you must follow.” From that moment on, I vowed to myself never to ever do anything intentionally that went against my truth. I had to learn to speak up. I had to learn to stand up. I had to learn to do what served me best and not cower to anyone else’s commands. 

That was hard. The crappy relationship deteriorated over the next days. And although it was so difficult and inadvertently hurt so many beings in so many ways, and hurt me in so many ways, it was the driving force that got me to stand up, turn around, open my eyes, and start living truthfully. I haven’t looked back since and really haven’t needed to. The truth has a sweet and playful way of keeping you engaged in the present moment and allowing you to trust what’s next. It has a way of calming the past so that blessings can be sent in retro to the ones who taught you to be yourself even through their own bad behavior, as well as sending blessings of thanks to the one you used to be, the one who had the courage to become.

I often have a dream about that trip, that one day when I went up into the shack on Ho’okipa Bay to ask about the surf and the winds, that the very kind and rough lifeguard recognized the fear and sadness in my eyes and hid me under a tarp. When the boyfriend came looking, this much buffer and honest dude told him to take a hike. I stayed and lived on Maui, learning to surf and growing long curly hair that covered me when I slept on the beach in the moonlight. Basically, that is what happened. Only the man of my dreams is tall and svelt, and brighter and shinier and awesomer than I could ever have dreamed. I learned to ski instead of surf. Strands of my hair turned silver and glittery and the moonlight makes them sparkle through my bedroom window at night.