Have you ever been to a conference or a workshop, settled into your place with your materials, a cup of coffee in hand, and the facilitator asks everyone to get up and move? It seems like such a huge task. I’m not resistant to the principle of moving–I know the value of conversation with different people in the room- but what about my stuff? Should I take my purse and my bag of materials? What about my little plate with the Danish and fruit? Are we coming back to this spot later? The things around me, my stuff, make movement difficult. We know we live in a materialistic society, encumbered by our belongings, but I’m thinking the same thing is true with my “mental stuff.” You know, all the thoughts that ramble around in my head that make it difficult for me to move.
Emotional movement is what I’m talking about. Picture a child, who sees the day as a clean sheet of paper waiting for a story to be written. She is energized by the promise of discovery and possibility. She is present and emotionally available. I don’t remember my six year old saying, “I think I’ll try to be curious today,” but I’ve had to say that to myself as an adult. I’ve “matured” into a limited, restricted, “reasonable” view of possibility. It’s hard to move into wonder. My mind is a busy, multitasking place, and there is no telling what I’ve missed in the moment, because it was too hard to shift emotional gears.
Like moving our bodies, it is sometimes hard to let go and move our hearts. Here is a challenge: let opportunity guide your emotional engagement. I don’t mean yell at someone when you feel frustrated. I mean notice the moment that calls for generosity, and then give a little. Expend some emotional energy for a stranger. Be wowed by beauty in nature. Soak in the sound of children’s laughter. What’s wrong with being in the emotional moment of wonder? My teenager did his homework! The cashier made eye contact with me! What’s wrong with letting your heart show up on your face?