Stretching, I poked the feather duster into the furthest reaches of the cobwebby shelf above my armchair. Caught off-balance, I toppled into the chair. I saw a book launch itself off the shelf, seemingly under its own volition! It opened upside down, as it landed in my lap. My yellow rubber-gloved hands turned it over. With that, the housework stopped, and my world turned over with it.
Years before, my friend Barb, had given me Affirmations by Stuart Wilde. As she cleaned her shelves, readying for a move, knowing my curious bent, she tossed it in my direction, saying, "I think you’ll find this interesting!” I did not. It confused me. Not wanting to disappoint, I carried it away and, to be a good friend, carried it around for 10 years until the day it literally fell into my lap.
At the time, I was questioning. I was now in therapy, seeking psychological guidance, as well as metaphysical answers through sessions and regressions. I felt broken; wanting someone to "fix” me, to make everything all right.
Reading the large font in this thin, white, soft-cover book, with the yellow glove hovering over the page, I saw the words. I got it! This wasn’t just an "Aha!” moment. This was shift! Until then, my lazy mind had observed the tools, but didn’t heed them; my lazy soul saw them, but didn’t work them; my lazy hand had dropped them, so as to insert thumb back into mouth and curl lazy body back into fetal position.
The focus had been on academics or work or clean house, my misguided aim at redemption in the eyes of husband, parents and bosses. While all erudition is required to round out the sphere of life, the study of heart and soul is important; more important than polishing the silver.
Before the shift, I didn’t know my partner except in a dance of anger, or how to unhook a transparent belief. After that shift, I clearly saw the step that would take me from the brink of sadness, into the warmth of grace. It was time to get to work, girl! Write. Meditate. Practice gratitude daily. Practice, practice, PRACTICE! Get to work using those gracious tools of life, present in every moment! Utilize them, step by step and over and over again, much the same as exercise, integrating them into the muscle of the spirit. Learning curves taught me how to drive a car, play guitar, or calculate math; why not to fulfill my soul?
Since that sunny day, I’ve come to know Stuart, Louise, Shakti, Eckhart, Harry and others, including Siddartha Guatama (Buddha), Tenzin Gyatso (the 14th Dalai Lama), and Jesus of Nazareth. They found the tools, learned how they work, and practiced putting them to use. I may never know how to use all of the tools like them, but my best day is the day I try, and try I do.
When the book fell, the housework stopped, and the book, a sunny spot on the sofa, and a cup of tea became my turned world. The gloves are off and still my world is turning in the light; occasionally in the dark, and when it does, I reach for another tool.
Currently a resident of her birth-town Campbell River, Sandra the multifaceted artist produces photographs, fine art gift cards, and mixed media art pieces reflective of her spiritual introspection.