Have you ever had a Black and White cookie? It is the official baked good of Manhattan and perhaps some places in New Jersey as well. It is a soft cake-like cookie the size of a newborn’s head. On top it is iced with both a chocolate and vanilla icing and has a striking hard edged line down the middle where the two icings meet. And I just LOVE them!
When you get one in your hand you get to choose how you are going to attack it. You get to have a bite of the chocolate and then the vanilla. Or you can eat all one side then the other. Or perhaps your desire is for balance and take your first bite right down the middle. It is a fun dessert that offers joy no matter how you receive the cookie into your mouth. Both the dark and light parts.
My emotions tell me how things are. But they are not the tellers of the whole truth. They are simply our good messengers. I have come to know when I am able to welcome ANY emotion this way, I am able to feel it and be witness to it at the same time. In the past I suffered from confusion – thinking I WAS my emotions. I think this is because we feel our emotions throughout our bodies. This uber proximity is what got me confused!
Now I think of emotions as electrical charges. They are ignited to show me something. And they naturally run their course then go away. When I allow it, I can open up and look underneath my emotion. This way l can know myself better. And when I know myself better the rest of IT ALL falls into place with ease. Of this I am sure…I am the cake andemotions are the icing!
The dark part. I know I am wounded and healing is underway. The healing takes the form of feeling all sorts of anointed pangs again and again and again. OK… this is a fancy way of saying PAIN… I know. But when I reframe these things I feel as divine, sanctified or blessed it helps me move away from “Damn it – not again!” towards “I wonder what this is trying to tell me?” I am reframing things to survive. I am awash in tears right now. They are the realist of real. I let them flow and wonder what these tears, today – right now- are telling me?
The light part. Love is real too. It is eternal. This is how I am able to take the rest of it all in. Just wish I had a person here with me now to share all this love. THIS is what pains me today. Not in a needy way, but in an exploring way. There are always folks with whom we can share love. A bounty of souls in fact. But having that one, that intimate someone, is a special gift. Can I reframe this circumstance of yearning to acknowledge I am full of love and these tears are calling me out to open my heart even further?Yep, I can!
I wonder how open a heart can get?
How graciously my cookie crumbs have lead me toward this most wonderful question and toward a way to take action. Using Loving Kindness Meditation is a practical approach to a more open heart.
Also called Metta Meditation, practicing Loving Kindness increases positive mind states such as patience, kindness, compassion and acceptance towards yourself and others. Practicing Loving Kindness reduces negative chemicals (cortisol) in our brain and increase oxytocin which can further improve our ability to love and be loved.
Traditional Loving Kindness Meditation goes something like this…
Perhaps centering yourself by making the breath the focus of your attention and then feeling the breath moving and the body sitting.
And when you are ready, bringing to mind someone that it is easy to feel loving kindness towards. An easy, simple relationship may be best. Allowing yourself to hold them in your awareness perhaps seeing them in your mind’s eye or perhaps feeling a sense of them in your heart, can you feel a sense of loving kindness towards them?
As you hold them in your awareness, begin to send wishes of loving kindness to them. Silently repeat these phrases:
May you be safe
May you be happy
May you be healthy
May you live with ease
Now lets switch it up! Gaining a sense of your self, and cradling the sense of yourself in your awareness repeat these words silently to your own sense of self:
May I be safe
May I be happy
May I be healthy
May I live with ease
If it seems artificial and stilted to say such things to yourself, for yourself, maybe you’re not feeling loving kindness in this moment – and that’s OK. Whatever you’re feeling, you can hold the intention of loving kindness… offering it from wherever you are… however you are now …
Is it time to experiment? Or would you rather just go get a cookie? Either way – Joy awaits!
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