"Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is but good; if it does not, it is of no use. Carlos Castaneda
I awoke from a rather bland dream the other night, as a result of a feeling in the pit of my stomach. It's pretty typical for me to wake up in the middle of the night, just because I am in need of seeing my baby's face, but this felt different. I immediately began writing this exact blog, and none of it made sense until now. I am still in awe at how a spontaneous conversation can clear the fog, and in a very indirect way, teach me a lesson.
The dream I was having was very simple. I was sitting in an unfamiliar place with a few familiar faces, feeding Amelia with a bright orange spoon. Her hair was strawberry blonde, but under the sun, it was sparkling like gold. I could feel every sensation and I remember looking at her, in the dream, and thinking, why is this relevant to my life right now.
Everything is relevant.
I have always been extremely independent. I am a self-sufficient, strong willed, hard headed, controlling, and over achieving woman. I have spent countless hours questioning my previous and future choices. I've made extensive and detailed lists containing my life dreams and goals. I am constantly checking off an imaginary checklist. I have this picture perfect life envisioned, down to the color of the shutters on my non-existent house, and everything that comes into my life is subject to this list of expectations. As i begin down my checklist, looking for the slightest thing to fall short, I practically ask the universe for something to go wrong. There comes some sort of satisfaction from something not being 'good enough' for me. What I can't seem to understand, is why I am even searching for happiness when I am not even willing to allow it into my life.
What does this have to do with anything?
I have come to the conclusion that when you base your life goals, dreams and expectations on anything other than what makes your heart beat, you are setting yourself up for defeat. Reason and logic will only get you so far! Use it to make things happen, use your heart to decide what those things will be.
When I think of happiness, I don't think of a tingly sensation in my brain. It is a flutter in your stomach, a strong beat of your heart, an irrevocable smile, a free-to-fly soul, a sense of peace. My heart feels full when I make a woman, or man feel beautiful, sing, write, share a laugh with someone,. When I look into my daughters eyes, see a flower, taste a ripe peach, make something with my hands, nurse my child, see an animal, praise God. When I touch the pages of a handwritten work, feel a baby kick , share a kiss or an embrace, challenge someone to be a better version of themselves. When I feel a loving touch, show gratitude, make a difference in the world, stand up for another, and tell someone how I feel.
These are the things that make me happy.
It isn't the yellow house with blue shutters, it's the memory I know I am going to make painting those shutters blue and the satisfaction I get every time I look at them. It isn't having a picture perfect man by my side, its having someone who knows my soul and understands the inner workings of my heart and mind, making every moment euphoric to share . It isn't the money that I will work so hard to acquire, its the places I can go, the people I can meet and things I can do for them.
In my dream I was surrounded by people I know, in an insignificant place, doing a typical and mundane task. What I didn't see, was that, every person that was there is responsible for my happiness, on many different levels. Feeding Amelia is, in a way , metaphoric for me giving, nourishing, raising, and enjoying a beautiful little life. She is the sole reason my heart beats. Sitting in the grass outside, enjoying God's grand design, feeling the cool breeze on my skin, feeling the sun kiss my shoulders and smelling the fresh spring air couldn't portray what I love about nature any more.
What it comes down to is, in order to be happy, throw away the lists, the over-thought plans, the money-based goals. Let your brain do the thinking. Live with your heart. Do what makes your soul dance. And learn with every second your heart beats.