Monthly archives "August 2014"

life is like hot chocolate

hot chocolate love

A group of graduates, well established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor, now retired. After arriving at his home, each began to boast of their individual successes, and before long old rivalries began to surface.  Their only common thread seemed to be bitter complaints about the stresses each of them experienced in their workplaces and in their daily lives.

Offering his guests hot chocolate, the professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot chocolate and an assortment of cups-porcelain, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite — telling them to help themselves to the hot chocolate.

When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the professor said: ‘Notice that all the nice looking; expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.

The cup that you’re drinking from adds nothing to the quality of the hot chocolate. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was hot chocolate, not the cup; but you consciously went for the best cups… And then you began eyeing each other’s cups.

Now consider this: Life is the hot chocolate; your job, money and position in society are the cups.  They are just tools to hold and contain life.  The cup you have does not define, nor change the quality of life  you have.  Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the hot chocolate God has provided us.  God makes the hot chocolate, man chooses the cups. The happiest people don’t have the best of everything.  They just make the best of everything that they have.  Live simply.  Love generously.  Care deeply. Speak kindly. And enjoy your hot chocolate.

be Love.

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sorry for not being sorry

popeye

If there’s one thing I’m learning more and more on this journey, it’s not apologizing for how I feel.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as though I’m walking around saying, “hey, guy, maybe buy some pants that cover your ankles. It’s not as cool as you think and will probably be out of style in like, 4 months, anyway. And, your socks are obnoxious, by the way” Or, asking the less-than-adept patrons at the Superstore why they like wasting 4 weeks of my life not being able to use the extremely on-screen guided self-checkout lanes. “This machine does not accept cash. Would you like to proceed with your order?” – “Yes”. Then, when it comes to pay, they’re blowing up the attendant because all they have is paper money. It’s not even like I needed these bananas all that bad, anyway.

I digress.

When I speak about “how I feel”, I mean, who I really am when it comes to my Heart.

When I’m coming from my Heart, I’m telling someone how much they mean to me. Or, it’s trying to, with kindness and understanding, derail a person’s rant or anger not worrying that they might think I’m not supporting them. I’m supporting them. I’m just not supporting their anger because it doesn’t get anyone anywhere. Or, it’s speaking up (not always. At the least, not joining in) in defense of whoever isn’t there, that’s getting torn to ribbons by everyone else. Or, it’s stuff like writing, “Love is always working overtime” on the white board in my office not giving a shit who sees it.

When you’re coming from your Heart, there’s nothing to be sorry for or embarrassed about. Granted, sometimes I think I’m being a bit of a wuss or overly dramatic with certain things I share, but if that’s the case, so be it. Truthfully, there’s more than enough things I’m not okay with about myself, that if I’m not okay with who my Heart wants me to be, which is to be my true self, then I might as well board the Titantic.

The great thing about living from your Heart is that it doesn’t know what fear is. Maybe it seems like it does, but that’s not your Heart talking. That’s the rest of you. It’s your over-thinking brain and your predisposed nature to expect the worst and your loud-mouthed ego that doesn’t want you to be a beautiful messenger of Love. It’s everything other than your Heart trying to sabotage you. There’s nothing wrong with using with your head, but don’t substitute for it for what you feel in your Heart.

Being who you really are, Love, will be supported by the universe. If we want it to, if we’re open to the idea; the universe will have your back. It’s not going to give you anything you don’t need right then. And, there’s never anything to be scared of. Ever.

If there’s one thing I’m learning more and more on this journey, it’s not apologizing for who I am.

I’m glad Love is patient. It knows exactly who I’m supposed to be, I’m just trying to catch up.

be Love.

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hulk, smash….er no….Love

hulk

Even this guy has the choice.

To have power is not to use power; to have power is to use choice.

Last week, I had an interesting conversation on the topic of anger, hostility, antagonism; all that stuff. My fellow kibitzer offered this, “if someone comes at me being angry, raising their voice, being irrational; they’re basically making me react defensively and come back at them the same way.” Calmly, I said, “I disagree”. My internal monologue was at the height of exasperation shouting, “this is the exact reason why we don’t understand each other and why we hate so much!” That one really hit my Heart that day.

I’ve heard it, read it and thought it more times than I can count – Love your enemy (even when it’s you). This isn’t easier said than done, either. It’s about bringing it into your wheelhouse. Here’s the thing about anger, it’s a reactive emotion. As much as it seems like it sometimes, no one really gets angry for no reason. There’s always something behind it, whether we understand it or think we understand it (this includes our own anger, too). I promise you, though, no matter how green you turn, you’re not going to change whatever it was that happened.

Love is what creates the change. Herein lays your choice.

Anger is not your natural instinct. It’s something we’ve all learned and, therefore, can unlearn….let me be more concise. There’s nothing wrong with anger. We shouldn’t suppress it, or ignore it or pretend like it’s not there. It’s how we usually express it that isn’t okay. When you get hungry, you don’t bite the arm of the nearest person. You think, “I’m hungry. I’d better find myself something to eat”. And so, when we get angry, what are we doing? Are we biting arms or are we recognizing how we feel, composing ourselves and finding a constructive course of action?

More often than not, I think we start biting. Instead, choose Love.  And, when I say to choose Love, I’m not suggesting you hug whoever it was that hit your car with a shopping cart. I’m asking, what is the response that is going to create a positive outcome for YOU? The damage is done, so why create more?

My path these past few years has been very transformational for me. I won’t say I don’t ever get angry, but I will say that it’s extremely rare. And, I definitely wasn’t shy to my temper back in those days. Changing how I reacted was a tough process. It took a lot of years to finally realize that I can help myself, and others around me, by choosing to find the Love in my Heart. I didn’t need to tie a string around my finger or count to ten, either. It was simply about awareness. It was about being tuned in to how I was reacting and changing that instinct. It was about believing that Love is what truly gets us past whatever situation we choose to be in.

There’s no magic here. Take pause and think about this idea. Think about what is more constructive, hate or Love? Think about, if you had the choice, which would you rather be? Then, remind yourself that you always have the choice.

be Love.

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i [heart] zombies

zombies

This one’s going to be to the point. 🙂

This past week, I attended a meditation retreat – no phones, no Internet, no television. I lived. And, I don’t mean that in the context of, “I survived”, but rather, “I lived”. I wasn’t just “alive”.

During my time away, I really did my best to leave behind the “real world” and fully embrace the nature around me, the beauty in silence and the personal growth involved with introspection.

My humble conclusion – we’re zombies.

We sure do a lot of stuff, but I’m not sure we know why. We just kinda do, because that’s what we do. Doesn’t make it wrong, but it doesn’t make it right, either.

I’ve decided to start asking myself why I do the things I do. And, when I give myself the answers to those questions, I want them to be, “because this reflects my true self”, or “it will make somebody smile”, or “because it will make the world a better place”. I don’t think it’s entirely realistic to expect every answer to be one of those right away, but I think it’s a start. No one finished a marathon the first day they learned to run.

So, I think I’ve decided to stop being a zombie. But, I’m going to lead by example and still Love the zombies. Because zombies need Love, too.

be Love.

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so, i’m a dad….

beauty is everywhere

….well, not really. But, hear me out.

A few weeks ago, I discovered 7 baby bunnies in my backyard. And, although Jack Hanna I am not, with a bit of a watchful eye (the extent of my “dad-ness”), it appeared as though they were doing okay. I often spotted their mama not very far away. Although, she would scurry off when I tried to approach her – a consistent trend between myself and women. 🙂

After about a week and a half, and with some help and education, I mustered the courage to introduce myself to the bunnies. Their little house in the grass was looking a bit crowded, so why not persuade them to come out for a bit? And, I have to say, if you don’t turn to mush with one of these little guys in the palm of your hand, I can’t help you.

As I sat on my deck with Tom (they all have names), I had no choice but to be happy. Or, it definitely felt that way. It’s not as though nothing mattered anymore, or I had had an epiphany or some kind of revelation, it’s just that I took pause. I took pause for what was happening right then and there. I was present in the beauty of life.

With this little guy trying to nuzzle his way further into my hands, I felt taken with how much beauty I simply disregard every day. There are vegetables growing in my garden that I would soon eat; the sun was warming me as I sat there; the birds were singing to each other; and the colours of the flowers in my yard were nature’s way of showing me what true high definition is. Beauty was everywhere and I had barely left my house!

I realized that nothing was different from the day before or would be different the day after. Except, my choice to see it all. It was my choice to want to be part of all the beauty and Love that surrounded me. All it needed was to get my attention.

And, so without fail, it did. Again.

“You should watch the movie, About Time” was the recommendation I received. So, I watched it. The men of the family in the movie possess the ability to travel back in time to events they’ve already lived. For the vast majority of the story, the main character uses this power to give himself “do-overs” to sort out where he’d gone wrong throughout life. As he gets on, his desire to change his past “mistakes” fades. Instead, he decides to live each day twice, exactly the same. Only, on the second go-round, he lives every moment noticing the beautiful nuances, quirks and frustrations in everything that he hadn’t the first time. Eventually, he realizes that he doesn’t need a do-over day to do this; he has the choice, each day, the first time, to see life’s beauty.

And so, this is the simple answer we all need. Nothing more is required then our decision to see the beauty that surrounds us. It’s in the smiles you see, your untied shoelaces, the trees in the park and the forest wheel at Tinker Town. The reason beauty is everywhere you are, is because you find it in your Heart.

be Love.

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