Early this afternoon I dropped off some art work for the annual Seed Art Silent Auction. It was the first time I’d been in the building in over a week. The art pieces I carried with me were inspired by my art journal, which I began the day I was diagnosed. Each piece represents an aspect of myself I want to give more attention from now on. Breathe. Listen deeply. Rest in the light. Live with a happy heart. If I can practice each one with some regularity, I should be set for life.
Actually, I am set for life. One shift I’ve made already is giving as little attention as possible to thoughts and situations that stress me out. I will still attend to many of those situations, but my approach will be different. I will be delegating more and offering my encouragement to those who ask, “What else can I do?” instead of being irritated by those who ask, “Do I have to?” I will be raising the bar for myself regarding quality of life, and invite those around me to do the same. I will attend to the parts and people in my life who bring me joy, and give them the same in return. I will work on myself and let go of things over which I have no control. I will live with a happier heart.
As I left the school after dropping off the art work, I noticed a woman in the parking lot in a red car who was there when I drove up. In the past I would have probably just driven away, but today I decided to walk over to see if she was okay. She was sitting in the driver’s seat reading a book, shaded by the large acacia trees. Her windows were open and a gentle wind blew through her car. She smiled, and with tears running down her cheeks, showed me the book she was reading. It was about forgiving your parents and healing yourself. Wiping the tears from her face, she went on to tell me that she had recently divorced and the book was really helping her. Although she lived nearby, she liked to read in that spot because the book made her cry and she didn’t want her children to see her crying. For the next ten minutes or so, I practiced deep listening. I breathed and allowed myself to rest in the light of her beautiful being. I didn’t offer advice or make suggestions. I just received what she was there to offer through her story. I told her she was welcome to read in our parking lot any time.
Driving away, my heart felt full and happy. I still had plenty of time left to finish my errands, and in making the time for her, I received a gift. Through our brief exchange I was able to make the Seed available to her as a place of healing, as it is for so many of us, myself included. By including her in the space of our school and the space of my heart, it made everything feel more whole and filled with the light of grace.