Daughter number two says that I am obsessed..... And I guess I am!
For many years I've loved to stroll along a beach and down a country lane looking for the perfect heart shaped rock or pebble... I always like to collect the best samples and decorate my garden with them... some dotted around hidden in the vegetation.... and others lined up on the fence and on planter boxes near the Sauna.
Some have even made their way in to the house to decorate rooms...
I'm not quite sure what got me in to it originally... the heart collecting that is, but the obsession progressed to the point that I now love to take photographs of the many hearts that I find in every day life and then post them all on Instagram!!
I've been taking photos of hearts for a while... but posting them on Instagram is a recent thing and over the last month I've had many people ask me how it is that I have managed to find so many different hearts?
A few months ago I gave a workshop on letting go of habits that don't serve you and on the cultivation of personal development and nourishment routines. One of the practices we touched upon was daily visualization... a way to see things as you would like them to be and not as they currently are.
Intentionally looking for hearts each day became a purposeful "exercise" that I decided to carry out as an object lesson to myself (and to everyone else out there) to put visualization in to practice .
So what are the lessons from my experiment and how did I find all those hearts?
For me, searching for and taking the photos was a way to prove to my self that whatever I looked for in life, I could and would eventually find.
Sounds simple right?....well it is and it isn't.
When you picture a heart in the morning ... it may not be "The exact" heart you find later that day.... but just the action of intentionally looking for a heart will open up your awareness... and eyes, to seeing them. Setting a goal and intending on finding and working on it, will put you in the right frame of mind to eventually be able to see it and achieve it.
My mind was focused on the goal of seeing "hearts" each day..... but it could be that you are looking for something else in your life. However, your eyes are closed to seeing it because you haven't yet primed them for looking for what you want. You may not have set your goal or intention to go out and actually find it and achieve it yet.
It's somewhat reminiscent of a story in "The Luck Factor" by Professor Richard Wiseman.
He tells of an experiment where a group of people are asked to watch a video on which they are asked to count how many times some people pass a basket ball to one another. At the end of the video he asks the viewers "Did you spot the gorilla?" no one did. When he played the video back to them they were surprised to see that there was a man in a gorilla suit who walked right in between the people passing the basket ball. No one had seen it because they were too busy and had been primed to look for the number of passes. They were blind to something that was right in front of their own eyes.
So visualization primes us to see... first with our imagination and then with our eyes....It makes us adept at spotting potentially missed opportunities.
Why not put it to the test? Try the visualization challenge on something perhaps small and insignificant to start out with. Like seeing if you can spot a yellow car everyday (that's easy by the way) or maybe look for a boat (if you don't live near the sea) ... maybe a little harder right? Be as obscure as you can and see what happens.
The key is to be open to whatever form it comes in... it may not be a "real" boat... it could be a toy, a picture, a photo, something on television, the word on a sign.... it will be there if you look for it. Give it a try and then report back to me how you got on (Here)
So yes... I guess I am a little obsessed....(but in a good way) .....
I suppose it became most apparent when everyone returned home one day to the ultimate evidence....
...vegetation spread all over the ground, me with shears in hand and the bushes in the front driveway "crafted" in to beautiful heart shaped topiary!
Visualization has been found to be helpful among athletes and in therapy situations for individuals to work on setting and achieving goals... but there are a lot of people who think that by just thinking about something it will magically appear.
Most often when we visualize something it doesn't just miraculously arrive out of nowhere.... and you have to be open to what I call a "potential heart opportunity"... hence the bushes!
That is.... something that requires a little more work and perhaps a tad more imagination on our part to tweak it into its full potential.
Visualization is only the start ....it's the picture in your mind to work towards, and the visual recognition that you have found what you wanted to find. It is knowing and seeing the potential in something and seeing how you can change it to become what you want it to become to match that internal picture.
Sometimes it does just shows up perfectly...pure inspiration and a picture of what we never thought was possible... then there are the other times you have to just work, work, work for both the vision and the result!
This exercise started out for me as a way of "intentionally looking" but it ended out as much more than that... it morphed in to each heart being a message to me of:-
If you look you will find
If you work you will achieve
If you try your hardest you will be blessed.
It was a lesson to me that love surrounds me everywhere and
that a tender higher being showers love on us each and every day... sometimes without us ever seeing or realizing it.
....and life is like a treasure hunt as I look for those tender little mercies and tokens of love strewn in my path.... and sent my way each and every day.
Until next time
If you would like to see some of my Instaheart finds from June please scroll below :-
|Taken walking around Tarn Howes, Cumbria|
|Derbyshire Junk shop find|
|Pullwood Bay floor (see memorial bench)|
|...another one from Pullwood Bay|
|Door Handle at Pullwood Bay|
|Tree stump in front of Heni's memorial bench!|
|Wood carving at Townend (National Trust Property in the Lake District)|
|...another one from Townend|
|cooking in the kitchen!|
|Door handle Berkhamstead high street|
|Garden gate Sarratt|
|Man hole cover!|
|Iron railing Near Grosvenor square, London|
|Iron railing, London|
|Lantern, shop at Hitchin Lavender fields|
|Ouside the Buiscuiteers, Knotting Hill, London|
|Moss heart on a rock|
|Lego heart.... made by the hungry boy|