The beauty of this scenery captivated me the other day … For years, I’ve walked past this bit of lush green loveliness, on my way to the yoga studio, without noticing it. It’s tucked away a bit off the side of the highway, so isn’t in your face (so to speak) but takes little effort to notice. Seeing it Wednesday, it reminded me: Beauty is all around, often “hiding” in plain sight or unusual places, we just need to look for and “open” our eyes to it!
As I reflected more on this, as I do ;), I was reminded of something Jesus taught: “Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a musty cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!” (Matthew 6:22-3 The Message) In other words, what we focus our attention on, what we rest our “gaze” on, deeply influences not only who we become, but also what we experience.
For instance, we’re in a really busy little stretch of life. When I ponder and talk about the work I need to get done, the doctoral assignments coming up, the budget plans to be made, the home improvements to be picked from and carried out, the trips we have coming up, the … (I think you get the point) I become stressed and anxious. Meanwhile, when I turn my energies to the beautiful trees outside our windows, the life-giving, inspiring, and transformative conversations we’re having in both the doctoral program and a yoga teacher training I’m mentoring, our friends and family who are so incredible that my heart swells thinking about their Big Love, and so on, every bit of me gets brighter!
Happily, when I read the passage above, I noticed just before it Jesus offers this bit of complementary wisdom: “Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.” (Matt. 6:19-21 The Message) What a couple of powerful invitations to focus our energy on what matters most in life!
I know, firsthand, that to buy into the messages of capitalism, political (and other) polarization, and consumerism—which call us to compete, compare, judge, divide, and fight (forgive me for neglecting their good parts to focus on these)—is to fill the storehouse of one’s life with fear, worry, scarcity, and fleeting things. Meanwhile, when I turn my “gaze” to care, compassion, connection, celebration, sharing, and kindness (i.e., when I focus on Love), I find I’m already in heaven. How about you?
Hugs & Love,
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