I love heart-shaped rocks. I have collected them my whole life. From river beds and woodland streams; to hiking trails and mountain summits; to ocean and lake shores and sometimes even digging in my own backyard. I distinctly remember the very first one I ever found when I was ten years old. It was in Granite Creek in my childhood home of Prescott, Arizona. My brothers and I used to love to trench through the creek after the rains when we were a foot deep in run-off. Days later when the creek ran dry, we’d quite often find a multitude of treasures washed down by the current and deposited in between rocks along the creek bed. Trinkets, toys, coins and colored glass….I even found an old vintage doll once. But one bright day, while trekking through the muck, I happened to glance down and to my surprise, there in between two large and muddy rocks was the most perfectly symmetrical heart-shaped rock….
As I picked it up, I imagined that it had some secret power and I was meant to find it that day. It was a smooth, dark igneous rock with tiny white speckles that I thought of as freckles…..just like mine. I carried that rock in my pocket for the whole summer and I swear to this day that it brought me a sense of peace when things were not going right. Some days I would hold it when I was sad or afraid and some days I would just keep rubbing it, like Aladdin and his lamp….hoping it would bring me luck…(or at least three wishes.) Such is the life of an imaginary ten- year-old.
My search for heart shaped rocks has continued for over 40 years now. Whenever I am out in nature, I find myself searching for them. Sometimes, when I seem to be looking too hard, I usually come up empty. Yet, sometimes I’ll glance one way just for a moment and then back….and suddenly a rock will just seem to show a little gleam so that I notice it among the many rocks, just waiting for me to pick it up. By and large, these rocks have more often seemed to find me.
Gradually over four decades, I’ve realized that my search for heart shaped rocks has taken on a sense of the metaphoric. Like life lessons learned, there were times when I was looking so hard I’d find nothing, only to look away and then slightly glance beyond my periphery and what I’d been looking for would just show up in my world….usually when I was not paying attention. Sometimes, I’d find answers in the most peculiar and unexpected places.
Over the years, I have seen both family and friends struggle, those of us searching so hard to find strength, courage and purpose, yet it all seems to elude us. It made me think: Is this the path we must follow to find and understand the simple things in life—when we’re looking so hard that we can’t seem to see the forest through the trees? Is this the secret to life’s wonderment and surprise? That constant pull on our hearts for “the true meaning of everything.”
It is that wonderment and surprise that shows up “out the of blue” when I witness my 4 yr old grandson playfully having a “zen-like” conversation with his toy alligator or when my 26 yr old daughter tells me she wants to marry someone who “has the ability to express love in the way she has seen her parents do with each other her whole life.”
I don’t know for sure, but I think this is the closest I have ever come to experiencing TRUE LOVE …and maybe if I “do it right and pay it forward” this true love becomes a generational legacy…
In any case, I will forever be on the lookout for my heart-shaped rocks…and sometimes waiting for them to find me…until my dying day….maybe before then though, I can take my grandkids on the search with me…who knows what we’ll find together…
~ Mick E. ~
BREATHE (Physical) It is the first thing you do upon your birth, your first infusion of human life outside the womb—the beginning of your earthly journey. As you breathe in life, your physical body grows. Breath is the most integral element of your physical being. It can protect you, keep you healthy, aid in immunity, keep you centered and is the pathway to communion with God in prayer. Nourish the body. Learn to listen to its subtle rhythms when in distress. It is a magnificent machine that knows how to heal itself when given the opportunity. Moderation in all things, reverence for healthy behavior, exercise, nutrition, rest, play. Your breath is your anchor of focus, the calm in a sea of chaos, the direction given at the crossroads.
THINK (Mental) Your mind is a tool. The computer that operates your body and YOU are at the controls. Exercise your mind. Knowledge is vast, but is nothing without wisdom and understanding. Expand your vocabulary and your self-awareness will also expand. Words are necessary for effective communication and expression of ideas. Your imagination is limited only by the lack of words to NAME and describe your reality. Learn the laws of nature through mind—cause and affect, attraction and repulsion, reason and chaos. Your mind provides you with the ability to learn and grow, make mistakes, explore the world, correct behavior, understand conflict and confrontation, harmony and resolution, troubleshooting, environment and ecosystems, culture and community. Everything you create begins with a thought. You are the creator of your own reality, so everything you are, you have created. Therefore, be disciplined in your thoughts. You can control the balance of positive and negative through practice and mindful meditation.
LOVE (Emotional) Through thought and physical urges, we learn that we have a range of feelings as diverse as grains of sand. Here lies sadness, joy, anger, gratitude, pride, humility, envy, compassion. The spectrum is Neg = Fear; Pos = Love. Navigating through life, we experience a multitude of feelings. It is our job to find a balance. The negative are necessary for learning and growth. The positive are the gifts of the Holy Spirit reflecting our true self. Your soul in balance. When the negative hurts us, we are prone to want to avoid feeling those emotions, yet it is only through acknowledgment and expression that we can extinguish their power over us. Emotions that go unattended will become toxic and eventually find their way to the surface. FEEL-DEAL-HEAL. Feelings are your connection to the soul. Once you know love, you know your creator. Communion with the Holy Spirit that resides within you is possible only along the pathway of your emotions. Think of them as a rainbow of colors. All distinct, yet necessary for experiencing life to the fullest and creating the grandest reality.
PRAY (Spiritual) Your connection to that which created you. Intuition, serendipity, synchronicity, your connection to ALL THAT IS, the eternal universe of abundance without limitation. It is where you came from. When you are still and silent, with clarity and focus, you can hear the Angels singing and the voice of God through your higher self. NOURISH YOUR LOVE OF SELF. A strong sense of self will guide you through life and reveal your true authenticity. It is your salvation, your sanctuary, your life line. Nourish it every day. Cultivate it like a garden. Clear the weeds so that your flowers blossom and your trees bear fruit. Spread your spiritual wholeness to those around you. Your relationships with others will be a reflection of who you perceive yourself to be. The energy you emit will have a ripple effect with those around you. The more love you give, the more the world is effected and the more it comes back to you. After all, life is a circle.
BREATHE ~ THINK ~ LOVE ~ PRAY
Practice BALANCE every day. Once you have Mastery of balance, you can achieve transformation. This is the essence of the 5th element. Here you are connected to the universe, “plugged in” and in constant flow. This is a state of true knowing where all things are possible. There is no contradiction, only pure love and light.
Practice with expectancy and gratitude. Give thanks, ask for guidance, sit in the quiet stillness of the universe. The knowledge of being connected to everything, where you are on purpose, you are a channel of God’s will. Be open to receive the Holy Spirit and your path will be shown to you. You can create a life of limitless possibilities. This is where you paint the grandest landscape of your desires and dreams… ~ Mick E. ~