ALCHEMY OF WORDS
ALCHEMY OF WORDS
Your minds to what I am about to say.
I am not here to hand you another overwrought cliché for you to toss into your growing stack of inspirational quotes you'll forget by dinnertime. I'm talking about changing the way you see the world around you. About rethinking your interactions with that world.
It's not just about your heart.
Sure, being open requires an open heart. And I promise I'll get to that. But first we need to talk about the mind. We all live such a ridiculous amount of time there that the mind is the first door we need to get through.
It would be easy to blame our modern habits. How, increasingly, every spare second of waking life is spent in a frenzy of multi-task-driven dysphoria. And so I will, a little. But it isn’t technology’s fault. It’s what we do with it. It’s how we do what we do with it.
While our technological abilities are growing like a virus on, well, virus steroids, our minds are being numbed into submission. Our minds are constantly opening to new ways to use technology, and steadily closing to almost everything else.
The mind and technology have one primary thing in common. They both are meant to work for us. Instead, we end up working for them. To be open means that sometimes we have to stop. We have to put down our electronic addictions and rethink every thing in our lives we have put on autopilot.
Though your heart is essential.
What can be said about the heart that hasn’t already been said? Plenty, I’m sure. Because the heart knows everything the mind has ever learned and forgotten. And so much more. The heart has a stash of secrets so large it has taken thousands of years of poets just to reveal a tiny few.
Yes, it is counter-intuitive.
Because everywhere, all day long, there are reasons to close down. To protect yourself. From the naysayers and the nit-pickers, the needy and the ne’er-do-wells. What you cannot see with your heart slammed shut is that everywhere, all day long, there are millions of reasons to stay open.
And I’m not just talking about the birds and the butterflies, the sexy storms and the saturation of colors under Sierra clouds. But when you open a door for yourself, you open a door for others.
Find your door to freedom.
Because that is the only way. Because until we are open, we are not free. While we are vigilantly patrolling the borders of our egos, our comfort zone, our I-don’t-want-others-to-know-I’m-human, we are missing out on real life.
The battle between open and closed is not new. Its roots are ancient and are still deeply embedded in the modern world. From the oppression of religious theocracies to the free love and new age movements, this tension between open and close remains a central theme of life.
I get it. The world can be a scary place. But the secret to freedom is the same as the secret to conquering dream monsters. You must turn and look them in the face. Though you’re afraid of whatever may be on the other side of the door, you must open it anyway.
This is the only way to freedom. You must open doors. Everywhere, every day, all the time. Open the door to smiling at strangers. Open the door to asking him out. Open the door to admitting mistakes. Open the door to saying you’re sorry. Open the door to letting more go.
And then open a little more.
I'm talking about standing on desks. About challenging your thoughts, your feelings, your fears, your ideas, your knowings, your ways.
You may think you’re already there. You’re already open and out there. But I'll bet you a beer you’re not. I'll bet that you could add a million tiny freedoms to your life that take no time or money.
Open to the idea of rain, to the possibilities of flowers. Open to the rush of your real life lived, not simply imagined. Open your skin to the touch of a lover. Open your arms to your friends. Open your wallet to a stranger. Open your chakras, your mantras, and your ideas of yourself.
There will always be naysayers. Open the door and let them go. Let go of all your collected thoughts of you. And make room for the joy that will flood itself in as soon as you unclutter your you.
Because really, is there anything better? Then do it in everything you do. Strip off the layers of closed-door clothes and dive in. Feel the silky caress down the length of your life. And live all the secrets of you.
Let yourself unfold like all the flowers of spring. Give yourself and your beauty to the world. And then let the world shine it right back on you.
-from the Gold Nautilus Award winning collection, Happiness Is an Imaginary Line in the Sand. Available here: https://www.tlqonline.com/happiness-is-an-imaginary-line