On my walk today, it was low LOW tide. With the storm having passed, the beach was filled with all sorts of treasures. Two of my favorite finds are always little white pebbles and egg-shaped rocks, both of which I found this morning. As I was nearing the end of my walk (up Piney Mountain, down the cliffs to the beach – about 3 miles), I noticed I had only one of my favorite edamame-green fleece gloves in my pocket.
My first thought was, “Oh shit. Here I go again losing another glove (on a daily basis substitute sunglasses, camera chip or battery, ipod cord, thumb-drive – the lost or misplaced object du jour…).” I turned around and couldn’t see the glove in the near distance so for a moment (or ten) I contemplated whether or not the glove was worth the time to backtrack the mile and half where I may have dropped it while picking up stones.
I thought, “What if I don’t find it? What if it got washed out to sea? What if someone picked it up? Do I really want to go back and look for something I can replace relatively easily? Do I have the time?
And then, this is where it got interesting. That Observing Self that Wayne Dyer introduced to me so many years ago started talking to me: “You know, maybe some of your financial challenges occur because you don’t value the things that you already have that make your life easier. Sure, you can buy another pair of gloves, but is the cost of doing so, including driving to the store, using gas, using up your irreplaceable precious time looking for another pair of gloves, as well as spending discretionary income that you could “invest” in a good book or a gift for someone else worth it? Are you sure you don’t want to go back and find that glove?
In that moment, I had a thought shift. It was so cool! An idea I’ve written about in my book Living with Enthusiasm happened in real time and I was aware of it: Acknowledge the “situation” and then consciously choose to focus on the good.Â I heard my inner voice say, “If I do this, I’ll get in a longer walk along this beautiful beach. When I find the glove (positive expectation!) I’ll be able to celebrate finding it and feel really great that I took the time to honor my original decision to buy something that protects my hands and keeps me warm and delights my Spirit because the color is so fun and bright. As well, I’ll be valuing the investment I originally made and the $20 I’ve saved could be used as a Christmas gift for someone else. (As I write, I’m thinking, “Am I really this trite?” Shouldn’t I be blogging about world peace? What’s with the glove thing?)
And then…somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind, I made this leap, connecting the lost glove to a lost part of my “Self with a capital S.” Finding this glove became a metaphor for reclaiming that part of myself that I keep losing because I’m not paying enough attention to it — that part of me that warms my heart, delights my brain and values my presence — “my Self with a capital S” – my Spirit. That part of all of us that really can create “Change We Can Believe In” when we make the choice to do so and act on that choice.
it was clear what my choice would be. As I retraced my steps, I searched for that spot of green and saw nothing as far as my eyes could see. A young couple came into my line of sight and as they grew closer, I imagined they had picked up my glove and would pass it like a baton in the Olympics to me. I held up my single green glove with a questioning look in my eyes and they nodded “no,” speaking what sounded like German to each other. I smiled, feeling deflated and wishing I could speak their language. They smiled and shrugged their shoulders. I kept walking.
No green glove. Off in the distance I saw what looked like a large stone. As I came closer, a smile spread across my face. There was my five-fingered-edamame-green glove. Sopping wet. But still there. My heart skipped a beat. My Inner EnthusiMaster was jumping up and down. You’d think I’d won a gold medal in the Olympics!
In a way, I did. The Connection Olympics. As I walked back to my car, I passed my new friends – the shoulder shrugging couple – and held up my glove like it wasÂ that gold medal. They laughed and gave me a thumbs up. I smiled back feeling like the Queen of Sheba! (Now where did that image come from? I’ve heard it but can’t remember ever having used it. Okay, so I’ll look her up on Wikipedia. I’ll be right back. Interesting. She was a wealthy Ethiopian monach in 10 BC who was so inspired by King Solomon’s wisdom and wealth that she sought him out, pronounced a blessing on his deity, and in return was given everything she desired by him. Sounds good to me.)
I walked back to my car, gloves and stones in my pocket, with a full and grateful Spirit. I passed and chatted with a trio of bubbly young women. I offered to take their picture. They posed. I walked by a man dressed in waders scanning the sand with a metal detector. I asked him if I could take his picture. He posed. I shouted above the surf, “Do you ever find anything of value?” He smiled and nodded yes.
My thoughts, exactly. Self with a capital “S”.