The scene is a gray chilly Sunday, December 13th in the year of COVID, Pittsburgh, PA. My friend Mary and I set out for our masked walk about 2:00 PM in the afternoon. It was not overly planned. We were both working at home and "coincidentally" reached out to each other to suss out the other's need to stretch the legs and get fresh air.
We often have a plan for the route that takes us by a favorite house, neighborhood, into a park, or to see a loved natural world being. But not this day. Sometimes we just follow our noses, albeit under masks this year.
Today we decided that when we arrived at an intersection, we would just follow our instincts as to which way felt pulled - trying to pay attention to a real "sense of direction." It was a luxury. No end time really, just wandering, following intersectional instincts, listening to our hearts.
If you exercise, you have probably experienced the frustration of wavering energy. I am referring to the relative ups and downs of how your body may feel on any one day. One day your legs may feel like rocket boosters, the next more towards the Jello end of the spectrum. Today we were both in rocket mode. A shrug of the shoulders indicated to each other that we had no idea why. No worries - let's go!
Arriving at a crossroads, we would pause, look all ways, and almost every time we felt pulled in the same direction. Jokingly, I said, "These legs are taking us somewhere." We laughed, mimed, got goofy, just feeling good to be outside and enjoying both nature made and man made seasonal decorations. (ASIDE: As with Halloween, I would like to note that this year adults have joined in the decorating of homes to celebrate various holidays to a proportion not seen in recent years. MERCY WE NEED CELEBRATION!)
We ended up on a side street in a nearby small municipality. Non-franchised shops lined the main road through town and this side street also had several storefronts. Neither of us had done any window shopping during this strange isolated year so we sauntered down the unknown bricked road. An old restaurant, a music shop closed, an ice cream shop shut down for the season, a small retirement home with one resident sitting on the porch taking in the little bit of activity. I was ready to turn around and seek a natural space when Mary asked if I wanted to continue - just go one block further - to a light pole with a red banner. Sure, onward! Everything looked closed and possibly abandoned but to our delight, the first shop was a coffee shop, and just beyond that, under the red street light decoration, was a little shop of antiques and decor that you might find in a small, quaint New England hamlet. We peered in through the windows at the artisan work and sundries inside. Mary tried the door. Locked. Closed for the day? COVID closed? Two ladies exited from the shop and greeted us, closing up to to go home. Kind, welcoming they let us know when they would be open again and asked us to return. Well yes! Absolutely! They were homeward bound so we continued with our pressed faces against the shop glass. Old holiday items mixed with modern delights glistened in the dim shop lights. A pair of white ice skates that matched the ones I had as a little girl and whose appearance had once been lost me among accumulating memories, sat lovingly atop boxes and other items. I glowed a bit remembering also the wool tartan skating outfit my mom had sewed when I was about 4. Old table top craft trees made of mutli-colored rulers stood tall on a table at the back of the store. Was this where our legs and intuition were leading?
Turning to go and musing on the gifts of this walk, one of the women who had left the shop and rounded the corner, came back to the shop front and asked Mary she was an actress at Little Lake Theater. (back info - yes, she is a wonderful actress at this theater.) The woman continued that she was a season ticket holder, loved watching her roles and wondered how was everyone in the theater doing during this time or no live arts? Warm conversation ensued. A connection. A lift. A recognition.
Feeling lit from the inside and very much "in the zone", we decided to absolutely return and as we began to walk back along the sidewalk, a car pulled up with a family inside. The woman in the passenger seat, disappointed that the shop was closed, asked if we should together call the owners, as she had the number, to see if they could open the shop. We explained that they had just closed and all decided that we would return another day. Another connection. A laugh. Smiling eyes above masked faces. A shared experience.
Ten, twenty, thirty years ago I would not have paid enough attention or given any credit to the energy and intuition that led to this wonderful outing. But now immersed in learning mindfulness, meditation, HeartMath's intuition and energy scientific research, the capacity of the heart to communicate with the brain, to direct the brain even, I am very aware of what falls outside of coincidence. In fact, with the years of life accumulating along with general experience, I don't believe too much in coincidence at all anymore.
Right now scientists and engineers at Princeton and The HeartMath Institute, and others, are studying global coherence, studying and MEASURING the energy fields, the potentials that wide spread coherence and energetic connection can have. If you are curious, look up "Global Coherence Initiative" or "Global Coherence Project." What was once science fiction is now just science. The energetic heart and body, the energetic and magnetic earth have a large components that are not limited to outline, ending where we or the earth ends.
Have you ever walked into a room and sensed an overall mood to that group? Positive or negative? Likewise, have you ever experienced your light or heavy mood, your calm, or anxious state of mind effecting those around you? Aimee often says, "if we could all just mind our own 3-6 feet." By this she means that if we could regulate more effectively the quality of energy signals that are coming from us out into the world and to others, making them more coherent ("in the zone",) more loving, more intuitive, more accepting, more positive, what else can we do?
In our HeartMath course, Aimee talks about multiple studies that have shown the effects that a large group of "in the zone" meditators can have on an area where violence is occurring. The results are mind blowing. But, until I garnered enough personal awareness to note the effects of my energy and be able to pay attention to my own intuition, I would not have believed any of it. Now it is hard to dispute in the face of growing studies and my own experiences.
Energy, connection, intuition, coherence. No longer fiction for many, we are entering a time when these concepts are, as I have noted in earlier blogs with other Practices, entering the mainstream due to backing by science and a tipping point of personal experiences, broad appeal and need. Perhaps, to start, we can simply be more heart led more often, follow our instincts and awareness to the energetic coherent possibilities that may lead to wonderful moments and appreciations of just a simple walk, a simple pair of ice skates, a simply shop, a few connections, an uplifting day.