Thirty days into “Shelter-in-Place” I notice different rules in my new world. I call this new world of mine religion, not the usual kind, although religious adherence to these rules culminates in a rally that feeds my soul.
Five rules that magnify my religion speak directly to the ME (Mary Ellen) of today.
- Trust heART
- Believe everyone is doing the best they can
- Live BIG — boundaries, integrity, gratitude
- Make a positive energetic difference
Rule #1: Gratitude
IF, in the face of uncertainty, we can practice gratitude, we can find comfort. I sense more people practicing the gratitude rule. From commercials that thank first responders to articles that focus on the neuroscience of gratitude, there’s a lot more recognition and appreciation for others these days.
My 2016 introduction to the 5-minute Journal app gave me a platform for noting gratitude twice daily. Some of my favorite moments lie in the images captured for the day: a sunset, a flower, a person, a cat.
My log is an ongoing representation of touching ordinary and extraordinary moments. Today, for example, an impromptu dulcimer rendition of the hymn “How Great Thou Art” brought tears to my eyes and to those of several webinar participants. I’m grateful to have participated.
Rule #2: Trust heART
In quiet and reflection, I understand and trust myself. I hear the voice within, the one that knows and tracks the power of my heART, from its emergence in 2007 to present day. As a business marketing consultant and entrepreneur, my focused and driven life didn’t prepare me for upsets like a cancer diagnosis for my spouse, or the loss of my Dad. In fact, I approached my beads in much the same way I’d approached consulting at first. Gradually the roar of my heART overcame my resistance to the old ways. I turned my full-time attention to beads and forgot about the other stuff. A stronger, gentler and kinder person emerged and has been running with me ever since.
Read more about my heART focus in this earlier post..
Rule #3: Everyone’s doing the best they can.
Believe everyone is doing the best they can. What a relief to dump comparison, competition and climbing for collaboration, cooperation, and community. No wondering. Fewer stories. Less noise. More Joy.
Nature provides a great example of life for life’s own sake. The beaded antlers that illustrate this piece are from mule deer who shed their antlers annually.
Rule #4: Live BIG!
The BIG acronym—boundaries, integrity, gratitude—came out of a Brene Brown Dare To Lead training I participated in last December. Thanks to facilitator Mary Jury, I came away with a better understanding of the importance of boundaries in our relationships with ourselves and with each other. Integrity means living in accordance with values that move you from BS to behavior. The work of alignment includes daily examination of how one lives into these intentions, these rules. It’s an ongoing practice.
Rule #5: Make a positive, energetic difference.
My heART journey teaches me to focus on my role in the world. It brought me front and center with the possibility that I might never curate a perfect Instagram, or garner millions of followers on YouTube or Facebook. My heART journey forced me to stop looking outside myself for “the” answer. Instead, I was shown again and again that my best self must show up daily to make a positive energetic difference in every situation.
My rules came full circle this week as I received a newsletter from author, speaker and collage specialist Leslie Riley. She described her intentions with this quote:
My art is my religion. …My primary purpose with my art is to inspire other women to follow their dreams, to seek their own happiness. I feel it is a calling to share my journey and discoveries with other women who may be feeling the same spiritual hunger that I once experienced, and to help them on their journey.–Leslie Riley
Wow. That’s it. My art is my religion. In the not-so-distant past I’d have hesitated to mention my rules in the context of religion for a myriad of reasons. Yet, this is an accurate portrayal of sentiment, one that leads to my conclusion to rally, to put heart into, to inspire anew.
It’s time to use heART to summon our best, to lead others in circles of joy, wonder and inspiration.
It’s really that simple.
How will you allow heART to lead?