Standing in line at Basha's grocery store, I realized the universe had just handed me the perfect New Year's blog for you. Cindy, the checker, was all decked out for a party, sporting a shimmery gold dress with an overdress in black mesh with stripes of solid. (Can you see it?) Subtle, yet unmistakably blingy, the sparkles were crowned by her red hair, done in a flip. The frosting was her laugh, and the hearty, sincere, "Happy New Year!" that kept escaping from her petite body. Cindy is a force.
I think her spiritual sister is the woman who used to work in the local Starbucks. She made every visit worth your while, with her down-to-earth approach--big on the eye contact, and decked out with spiked-haired whimsy. I miss her every time I go there.
Cindy's spiritual brother works at our local Trader Joe's. Ethan is legendary for his big laugh, his reliable wine tips, and the hugs he gives to his ever-growing clan. He is a magnet, dressed in a handsome African American body.
What is it that Cindy's tribe has in common? It's a lot more than cheeriness. We've all seen that taken too far, and in a manner that no one can believe. (My daughter calls overly-sweet employees 'Marthas," after a waitress who was so reminiscent of the Brady Bunch that we were all stifling giggles during the entire pancake breakfast.) Cindy's joy is not a performance; I believe it is her essence, and that it is also a choice she made.
"You are always so cheerful," I commented to her today. "You seem to be having fun here, even though (how to put it?) some might not find this fun."
"You do what you can," she shrugged. "You have a choice."
Indeed. It has to do with the belief you hold. If she chose to tell herself the story that she has a crappy minimum wage job, that people are mean and unappreciative, that...blah, blah...well, you get it. She has flipped that belief (if she ever held it) on its head. Wonder if she's done The Work by Byron Katie!
I have assigned myself a lovely New Year's process of "gathering my jewels" and deciding how to arrange them this year and add to them. I will keep asking myself, "How can I expand the arc of my life into this new decade of the 70's? What is my work now? Where does my heart long to reach out, to travel, and how can I serve as a bright light?"
As I do this process, I will think of Cindy's tribe. It is not about how much money I can make (though I'd like to do better in that department) or how many followers I have on Facebook (though those are a good thing.) Even when I'm not doing so well in those areas, I have a choice to make: keep plodding along in the old, traditional fashion, wearing a virtual suit and serious face, or sporting the purple dress and tennies in the photo? Plod and complain? Hold the belief that I am incapable or the world is rejecting and cruel? Or make a new decision?
I hereby decide every day to tune into the spirit that chooses beauty, harmony, truth and freedom. The spirit that longs to be a bright light just because. The spirit that just does the best I can, while hopefully wearing something sparkly. I will throw the old beliefs into the fire in a New Year's ceremony and promise to tell the truth. Because the truth is, I am a Spirited Woman.