Last week, I bought a tiny japanese pull-apart eraser in the shape of a giraffe. I was feeling particularly low that day, and a small thing I could fidget with seemed like the perfect distraction. Not only was my heart heavy, but my mind was clouded with worry and self-doubt. The crippling kind of self-doubt that makes you want to quit all of your life's work and flip burgers in a fast food joint.
Normally, I'm not a person who indulges in retail therapy. But a tiny little giraffe, with her head stretched high into the clouds, that's not retail therapy, is it?
This eraser has become a reminder for me. According to Ina Woolcott,
Giraffe helps us explain the expression 'to stick one's neck out.' When we take risks by going further than we ever imagined possible, we see find worlds of possibility. The giraffe's vulnerability when lowering its head to drink, is a reminder to us that if we lose sight of our greater vision and consciousness and sink into a mundane way of life, we risk losing our spiritual connection.
Whoa. This is exactly what I needed to remember! I wasn't just feeling self-doubt that day, I was feeling disconnected/discontented/disoriented emotionally and spiritually (because my spiritual work is my everyday work). Giraffe was the perfect creature to come to me and remind me to keep my head tall, look beyond my immediate surroundings to the bigger picture, and have faith that my body and spirit have the knowledge and sustenance to keep moving forward.
So, as I have been carrying this eraser around in my pocket, the 4th of July and it's festivities roll around. Unlike most years, when I hide in my house and avoid all reminders of fireworks, strawberry shortcake, and american patriotism (that has gone crazy in the past several years) -- This year, I had plans. I made plans. I created plans out of nothingness. And I went with very dear friends to see fireworks (TWICE!) on the 4th of July.
Sitting on the grass in front of us last night was the sweetest pair of girls I have seen in ages. No older than 4, they created a game out of the intermittent fireworks display: When there were no fireworks, you sat up. When there were fireworks, you lay back to watch them explode, then giggle hysterically at one another. Their laughter echoed across the field and infected all those around them, causing giggles to erupt from family and friends, strangers and passers-by. Sitting near enough to see them play this game, I was reminded of my own childhood celebrations, getting a dilly bar from the DQ and sitting in a ditch on the lake to watch the fireworks display. And I wondered:
What if each of us, every day, giggled with wild abandon at the beautiful, delightful and unique experiences of life? What would happen if we set aside the worry that someone is watching us and stretched our glorious selves into the world?
These are the questions I'm pondering today as I write my first newsletter and gear up for another round of workbook writing, creating a monthly prompt program (3x weekly! right in your inbox!), and believe that all things are possible.
What are you pondering today?