A reminder to me how best to approach the challenges of my daily life!
When I’m in my head, I see that the flowers in the garden need deadheading. I grab the secateurs and mindlessly and aggressively snip away muttering to myself about this latest chore. I don’t look back when I’m done! I walk away. We are separate. They are flowers, I am me!
When I’m in my heart, the flowers draw me towards them. Stress and chores slip away. They bring a sense of fullness, they smell wonderful, their colours bright and vibrant, I absorb their beauty into myself my senses become alive. I carefully remove the dead ones and whisper love silently to them. We are together as one. I treat them kindly.
When I am I my head when I make a cup of tea, I just boil the kettle, put the teabag in the cup and pore in the boiled water, give it a quick stir and pore in the milk. I place the cup next to him, avoiding eye contact and he says thank you in at least 3 different ways, searching for eye contact and a smile that I won’t give him. I just turn and walk away. Another job done! We are separate.
When I am in my heart and I make a cup of tea, when I get to the part where I stir the teabag around in the cup I imagine I am adding healing and blessings to the tea. He notices something different about the taste of the tea, it is the best tea he’s ever had and he would like another one. I smile at him and he smiles back. We have connected and come together.
When I’m in my head, and my boss has just landed another thankless task on me. Anger and stress arise in my body and mind and I have negative thoughts and stories arising that build up my anger and stress until I’m seething, tearful, totally self-absorbed. I feel alone and disconnected from my job and the company I work for. I don’t feel part of the team. I want to walk away and leave them to get on with it.
When I’m in my heart, I hear in his voice and in his bearing his frustration and stress when my boss apologises for landing me this thankless task. I appreciate and recognise the thankless tasks he has to do every day just to make a living and how he often has to cow tow to those above in the hierarchy. I take a breath and smile gently and give an understanding nod at my boss which connects our hearts in that moment and I know that that smile makes my boss feel better. We are a team. I get on with the task.
When I’m in my head, I snap back aggressively and angrily at the comment she made even though I know she was joking. It hits deep and brings immediately to the surface a deep sore, a hurt from the past, inside of me and I want to make sure she knows how it feels when someone says that to me. I start to tell myself and her the same old story that reels out with the wound and then stop myself and wonder at the depth of the hurt and why I reacted so viciously. She will probably distrust or dislike me even more now. I have created a rift. It will be hard to be friends again.
When I’m in my heart, I realise that I want to apologise, that I have to apologise. So I buy flowers and a cardboard book for her 15 month old child to say sorry and atone. She says I don’t have to do this, she understood that I was hurt by the remark, she says she was only joking. I tell her I ‘have’ to do this and that I realised she was only joking. I hope her little one enjoys the book. Our hearts meet and we connect.
When I’m in my head, and babysitting my toddler grandchild and then he needs another nappy change! I am disgruntled, worn out but I apply myself to the task. We are separate. It’s a chore that needs doing. My grandchild doesn’t want to get on the changing mat, he’s too busy. I struggle with him, he tries to push me away! We are not a team.
When I’m in my heart, my heart is full of love for my grandchild. I coo instructions to him loaded with love and he comes over to me. He looks at me with trust and allows me to place him on the changing mat, I give him a toy and he lays there looking at the toy as I change him and refresh him and we do this together, hearts as one, synchronised with the task. It was easy this time!
When I’m in my head, my elderly mother needs more library books. I will need to get organised and get to the library for her. Why doesn’t she let me know when she’s run out of books? It’s so tedious to have to ask her all the time! We are separate. She is a task that needs to be attended to.
When I’m in my heart, I realise that my elderly mother doesn’t want to be any trouble and I happily collect her read books and go to the library and choose her some fresh books. I hope she will like them. I choose carefully – it feels like we are doing this together. She is grateful and pleased when I return. I feel connected to her. I don’t mind doing these little things for her.
When I’m in my head, I let the door behind me close on the lady struggling with a pushchair containing two small children. I turn and acknowledge her presence but I’m in too much of a hurry and too impatient to stop to help her through the door. I glance and see someone else is being kind and opening the door for them. We are separate, disconnected.
When I’m in my heart, I joyfully wait patiently for her to reach the door and I hold it open wide for her ensuring that the pushchair will get through okay. The relief, gratitude and smile is reward enough, you’re welcome I say and realise too that my heart is smiling. I feel connected – I’ve been that lady many times in the past! She and I are one.
When I’m in my head, my meditation is mechanistic. The chanting, the visualisation is done without much care or thought. My mind is everywhere and wants to be everywhere but here, now, present. I am not in my heart. I feel separate from my practice. I feel alone and stressed.
When I’m in my heart, my meditation comes alive. My body is relaxed and soft. The words of the chants resonate in my heart and mind and I can visualise, imagine blossom falling softly over me and I touch feelings of inner bliss. I no longer feel alone – I feel connected and cushioned and safe. I wish for everyone to feel and enjoy this too.
Each moment brings a choice – each moment brings a chance to act mindlessly or rest in my heart. Each moment I can be spontaneous or react habitually and mindlessly. When I rest in my open heart I and other always win. When I let my out-of-control mind be present I and other always lose. No contest really! I know where I’d rather be! Practice, practice, practice!
May all beings benefit from this blog.
Written by Christine Jeffcutt