In the 14 years since I birthed the Inner Fortune journal I have rarely sung its praises — like a mom who doesn’t want to seem obnoxious about bragging over her child. Not only was this because I have judged others for exhibiting “over the top” behaviors when they tout their own business products and services (as I’ve felt harshly judged for my similar passions) but because the world was a different place 14 years ago
2020 has seen nothing if it hasn’t seen a deep dive into emotional transparency.
Emotional transparency is not easy for most people–especially those who have been in and out of the school of hard knocks or have had their egos bruised throughout their personal lives or careers. If you are becoming keenly aware that trust and fear of change are issues you need to tackle, and you don’t want to “air your laundry” in front of anyone, journaling is a safe and effective practice for exploring the roots of your pain points.
The Inner Fortune journal is an amazing tool for building emotional transparency skills. This multi-color, multi-sectioned journal can hold the shame, the fear, the anger and the sadness that may be lodged deep inside–in a gentle and organized way that makes it all feel okay to look at. And we need to look; individually, collectively, familial, societally, immediately–before one more human being goes off the rails brandishing life killing weapons instead of life healing tools.
Have you ever thought about the raging fires across the planet, from California and Argentina to Australia and Southeast Asia, as a literal reflection of the emotional fires raging in our collective hearts and bellies? Do you ever notice how something someone says or does to you can bring up old traumas, loosening the memories like debris (or trash) wedged under rocks below the surface of the ocean. These pains and sufferings are literally stored in our bodies, in our bones, joints and organs!
Or what about the environmental toxins in our air, that if it had a color would be corpse-colored gray, wreaking havoc and wrecking the lungs of our precious inner city youth, leaving them grossly accustomed to the phrase I CAN’T BREATHE? The environmental toxins are akin to the way we speak with each other. We can do so much better.
We must look into one another’s beloved eyes and speak from our hearts–even with the challenge of now doing this virtually when we weren’t so great at making eye contact in person, in real life.
The surface waters are our emotional boundaries and we can do so much better to respect one another’s vulnerable edges as we attend to and care for our own. [And if this thought overwhelms you, buy an Inner Fortune journal; it comes with instructions].
The fires are our skills and abilities, or lack thereof. Fire is serious and not a thing to be played with. Fire keepers know how to sustain and breathe into the embers, how to honor, respect and manage the sources of fire.
And grace is the art of living truthfully–inclusive of all of our truths, navigating actions, words and beliefs with kindness and compassion so that we all may know happiness, joy and inner fortune.
I see you
facing away from my car in the intersection, standing on a street corner (with your mask on) leaning in to the crowd walking by you with “I’m listening to you” body language. Yet they pass by
as if you were invisible.
And somehow, in the span of that red light, you were able to walk up the sidewalk and over near my car, wave at me and, because I waved back, come over smiling and ask
“can you help a homeless man to eat?”
I offered you 1/3 of a bag of pumpkin seeds. You declined saying, “that has peanuts and I’m allergic to peanuts, but thank you.”
And I drove away feeling shitty for not offering you the oatmeal raisin cookie I’d just bought myself. I’m sorry.
I see you
looking so flawless in your zoom square on my screen as I look at my own deeply grooved forehead which doesn’t feel too groovy at the moment.
Your smile matches your fresh and smooth and non-pitted face skin and I imagine your heart full of light — also not pitted toward anyone.
How lovely! How hopeful! How possible?
I see you
look down, look to the right, look away when I ask you to tell me how you feel. Are you trying to manifest a distraction or excuse?
What does it mean in the big scheme of life that I tell you what is on my heart and you can’t share yours with me?
What can I do to help?
I see you
sitting in your big utility truck with your coworker and I feel your four eyes staring down at my body, even at my ass in the rear view mirrors as I walk by having not made eye contact with you.
And after a long walk I still see you sitting there idling. Don’t you know there is a law against that? How I want to say something! To stop the idling!
Maybe it would help stop the ogling. Unlikely.
Another smaller truck is now on the dirt road so I cannot pass without being less than 6’apart from the three of you now standing there.
The Black man giving you two something waves me over to walk by him. I say, “oh I can wait for you” and he moves a bit but there is no way I’ll be less than 2′ between him and the ditch off the side of the road.
I walk by and smile. He says, “hi buddy” to my girl dog with a bright pink leash and asks how old he is. I say, “she just turned a year” and he says, “she’s beautiful.”
I see you
staring back at me with your groovy forehead and your white teeth; funny how the front ones look fresh and smooth but the back ones have been drilled and filled up with heavy metal so many times; trying to root out decay from the oh so bad habit of eating sweets–repeated attempts to sweeten the sourness inside.
Some say it’s bad genes.
Maybe I should look away and stay distracted; they say it’s easier than striving for
a non pitted heart.
Easy money for those who idle, right? Perhaps those of us on the street, conflicted about wanting to be seen, are blessed to have no place
to house their grief.
As the holidays are upon us, we may again hear that lovely We Are The World song, inviting us to make a brighter day, just you and me. Perhaps simply sitting and shining brightly is enough to unite us … in a graceful state of truth.
May it be so.