I wrote a poem yesterday that got me thinking about how when you see rocks on the beach they are dazzling, sparkling, glowing...and when you bring them home, they suddenly become dull and more ordinary. I remember being so disappointed about this as a kid- I would even try putting them in a bowl of water to see if I could bring back their sparkle and that still didn't really work. I think this often holds true as an metaphor in my life - I seek out experiences that have the sun on my face, waves washing me free, wild wind in my hair, nature just doing what she does and letting it fill me with wonder. I seek out connections with people that encourage our hearts to beam, that let the brightness of who we are to come to the surface for some fresh air, that allow the forces of our inner nature to coalesce into creation. I experience these amazing moments that feel so good...and then I come home to the dishes and the laundry. Or waking up to a day of uncertainty. Or bills. Or 3 year olds who refuse socks in the middle of snowstorms. Or dinner to make over the sound of crying children who then throw most of that hard earned meal on the floor.
The thing is I've come to know about the sparkle and how lovely it feels to sink into moments with appreciation and wonder. So it's too late to live a dull life, because I know what's possible, and I refuse to settle for not feeling good. I know that rock from the beach still holds it's sparkle, the rock has not changed. I'm the one who has carried it to an unsparkly-able place.
So how do I cultivate my own sparkle?
First, I breathe. But not like anyone has ever told me to breathe. I take one breath the way I would hug a friend, so they know they are not alone. I take a breath with the most ease I can take. Soft, gentle, a breath that is only mine because it is only for me. You have your own soft, lovely breath that fits just right for you, takes no effort once you start to feel it, carries the signature of the kindness you offer others, only it's just for you and you alone.
I remind myself the sparkle is hidden from my eyes, but this gentle, kind breath is here to help me see it. It softens me from the inside out, starts to melt the tension in my body, lets me start to see more of what's in front of me, not just my first impressions and assumptions- instead of only seeing the crying baby and the unfed (unruly) children, I see oh my word - I helped create you? I really grew you from a couple cells and now here you are in front of me, this living being with all your own ideas, searching for your own sparkle? I see how bright their eyes are and I just want to take their little hands to my lips to kiss their palms.
There is the potential for sparkle in any moment. In every single one. That doesn't mean we need to find every single one, but how about enough to feel like it's been a good day? Or how about practicing and building up the skill so we can find it in the moments we most need it.
The one thing I know for certain, is that I want a life full of moments that feel so so good. I want my life to shimmer and sparkle with the delight of my enjoyment.
ps Also, I just started wearing sparkly lip gloss. Like all the time, in the house, in my pajamas, with my hair uncombed. So if you think everything above sounds like a bunch of hogwash, maybe just start with some lip gloss. At least your mouth will sparkle.