What do you see?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I had a dream.
I was sitting on a bench at the Metropolitan Museum of Art staring at a 14x14 canvas in an olive green wooden frame. In the center was a red dot the size of a dollar coin. My eyes were transfixed on the red dot.
A voice whispered to me: “Can you see the red dot?”
I nodded.
“Was that the first thing you noticed?” the voice continued.
I nodded again.
“Can you see the olive green border? Was that the second thing that you noticed?” the voice carried on.
“Yes,” I answered.
“Did you spot the white background at all?”
I shook my head from side to side.

And then I looked up and noticed through the glass ceiling of the museum: white clouds hovering over me. That’s when I woke up.
I got up, sat on my bed and started thinking about what the next chapter of my life would be like.
I tried all the positive thinking techniques.
I told myself that it is easy to view our lives the way we view that painting. We focus on that one spot, that one flaw in our lives, and we forget to see the whole picture. I was stuck in that frame of mind. Logically, it made sense to move on and learn from the decisions I had made. Logically, it made sense to remind myself that my life was one big white canvas. Sometimes there was that one thing that might overwhelm the big picture, but I just needed to remember that as a whole, I was still blessed and fortunate.
It made sense to think that the olive border represented my faith and the love of family and friends – the things that kept me together and helped contain that one red spot. The red spot was just a small dot of challenges and adjustments that my family would have to overcome.
But it was so difficult to turn my eyes away from the red spot. I was not feeling enough positive vibes to make me feel very thankful. Not even life coach and motivational speaker Anthony Robbins could unleash the power within me! All positive vibes had evaporated into thin air!
No matter how much I tried to psychoanalyze the situation, I just couldn’t feel better.
Maybe in time!*

 (The story you just read was an excerpt from my first e-book publication, “Out ofStatus”. You can read a sample by clicking HERE. )

Sometimes when we’re overwhelmed with challenges, we lose track of what inspires us to keep up the fight. We live our lives to be happy, so when we’re feeling down we need to remind ourselves to focus on the people that make us happy. 

When we look at ourselves, we sometimes see the imperfections instead of the strengths and talents we can share to the world. We just need to remind ourselves that we are beautiful - and we have to tell our children the same thing!

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten Season for Christians. According to the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus fasted for 40 days before beginning his public ministry.

Lent is the time when most Christians prepare for Easter. It is the period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. On Ash Wednesday, the priests or minister will lightly rub the sign of the cross with ashes onto the foreheads of worshipers. So if you see people with ashes on their forehead, it’s a sign that they went to church today in celebration of Ash Wednesday.

Sometimes we need to take a break, close our eyes and try to help ourselves focus on what’s important – to do what matters most.

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