Seeing With the Eye of Your Heart

Seeing With the Eye of Your Heart

Our whole business in this life, is to heal the eye of our heart, whereby God may be seen.

I heard this quote in a conversation the other day, and it really made me think about the value of doing personal growth work. We often live inside a barrier of our wounds, and the energy it takes and the noise it makes keeps us disconnected not just from others, but from our own wise side that lives inside us, connected to our source.

What keeps us from healing? A lot of it is our fears that we will discover that the worst things we believe about ourselves will turn out to be true. That we are unloveable at our core. That we will discover something at our core that we can’t forgive ourselves for.

It’s time to change our stories about ourselves and heal the eye of our hearts. There are multiple ways to do that, but I’ll share with you some of the ways that I do.

Here are my top three.

1.  Be actively grateful to myself and others. What this means is to find one thing about yourself that you are grateful for. Right now it’s writing this blog post, as I am committed to writing more regularly and can always find a million things to do instead. (Dusting, anyone?) Next, find one thing that you are grateful for toward another person (bonus points if you can find something about someone you tend to be critical of!). I heard Wayne Dyer speak one time about keeping a picture of the conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh in his study so that he could remind himself to find something about him to be grateful for. He admitted that he struggled at times so it made me feel better about when I struggle as well.

2.  Speak to yourself like you’re someone you love. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes talk to myself in ways I’d never tolerate from another person. So when you catch yourself doing it, apologize! And then say something sweet to make up for it. You may think this is a silly exercise, after all, who else can hear? But we live in stories of our own making about ourselves, and challenging these stories that we often mislabel as “fact” is a powerful way to make positive shifts in our lives.

3.  Practice fun! I can be so darn serious sometimes, getting bogged down in my own overly-serious expectations of myself that I forget to do something fun for myself. I took a photography course recently simply for the fun of it. I enjoyed taking photos so much that when I showed some to a friend, she hired me on the spot to take photos of her husband for Christmas. That was a delightful surprise, but had I not given myself permission to have fun, that wonderful experience wouldn’t have happened. And I’ll let you in on a little secret: whether you think something is fun happens in what you say to yourself. So your question is, “What can I do that is fun?” and “How can I make what I’m doing more fun?”

Our hearts often heal in little bits and pieces. In gratitude, self-caring and fun lie our seeing of God. No sunglasses necessary!



We’ve all heard about how important it is to find things to be grateful for, right? It’s easy to be grateful for kindnesses shown to us from others; finding a parking place close to the door in a full parking lot; a spontaneous hug from your child. But what about being grateful for harder things: a flat tire when you’re in a hurry, or a critical co-worker? Why on earth should we be grateful for that???

Here’s why.

Shifting your story about something can make you more peaceful.

When something happens that we don’t like, it’s because we are making up a story about it and pretending that story is true. What we look for (“My boss is SUCH a jerk!”) we will find. We gather evidence to support our stories, and ignore evidence that contradicts our conclusions. But the evidence we ignore is still there and perfectly valid—if we only take the effort to notice it.

Shifting your perspective from anxiety to more peace will involve reframing your story. Instead of greeting your critical co-worker prepared for battle, what if you asked yourself, “What is the gift this person is offering me?”

I was once on a development committee and loved the brainstorming process. It was very positive and I loved hearing about what was possible. However, I dreaded it when one particular woman spoke up in our meetings, because she always pointed out what wouldn’t work. “She is SO negative,” I would think, and I avoided her as much as I could.

One evening after our meeting, she cornered me in the parking lot. “I see how you look at me when I point out pitfalls. But what I’m really doing is helping address possible problems before they arise.” Her comment instantly shifted my story about her, and I saw the gift in what I had previously seen as negativity. We went on to form a friendship, and I enjoyed the meetings a whole lot more.

So the gift in the flat tire when you’re in a hurry could be a gentle reminder to slow down or not overcommit. The gift inside one of life’s losses could be to point out how much you still have. The choice is up to you as to how you look at it.

No matter how you get there, finding something to be grateful for can make you a happier person. And that is a gift worth opening!



It’s three weeks after the Great Louisiana Flood of 2016, and I feel a little like a UFO abductee who reports that they have missing time—they can’t recall what happened to them between the time the UFO picked them up and put them back. I can relate. I think I’m a #LAflood abductee. There are about 16 days in August that are a blur of floodiness, starting when we rescued Mom by boat on August 13 and then finally got her settled and I was able to return to my normal(ish) daily routine on August 26.

Conversations around Baton Rouge now include asking friends if they got water. That’s shorthand for “Did your house flood and if so, how are you doing, now?” We share stories from the frontline of rescuing family members, saying goodbye to treasured items that are now ruined, and celebrate when we learn that” …the water came up to the back fence but not in the house thank God.”

Now that things have calmed down a bit, we’re seeing some mindblowing stats. Twenty of Louisiana’s 64 parishes (that’s “counties” to y’all who are not in Louisiana) have flooded to the point of being declared an official disaster area. That’s one third of the state. 140,000 homes flooded. Even the Louisiana Governor had to evacuate because the Governor’s mansion got water in the basement. I didn’t know we even had basements down here.

I liked this line I read from a story in the Huffington Post:

“No stories of looting, no stories of riots, no devolving of society to the lowest forms of humanity…instead a tragedy that has brought out the best in friends, family, and neighbors; people who help others before they help themselves…who see the assistance of others as an assistance of self.”

I saw that demonstrated over and over, in gestures big and small.

We go to businesses that have torn up floors and exposed studs where the sheetrock has been cut away. We wait patiently in line because we know what they went through. We’re all in the same club—a free membership that none of us signed up for. But here we all are. Looking out for one another and showing kindnesses to floodshocked strangers. My newsfeed has gone from photos of drowned houses, to photos of rebuilding and I am happy to see the resilience of my community.

I spoke recently with a friend who helped me gain some perspective on the events of recent weeks. When things calmed down a bit, it was easy to second-guess myself and wonder whether or not we could have salvaged more of my Mom’s things. His wise perspective was that even if we could have saved more items, I would still have felt that I could have done more. There is regret built into the process of a disaster. I listened thoughtfully and cried a bunch, and felt better afterwards. The losses were still sad, but I felt lighter.

An antidote to loss is gratitude, and a sense of wonder at what new good things can come out of this monumental change. I discovered that water has its own artistic ability, and what I thought at first were ruined photos had instead become flood art. Change in life is inevitable, and like water in a flood, it helps us as humans to flow with it instead of resisting.

#laflood #louisianaflood #gratitude



Day 3 (or is it Day 21?) of cleaning out Mom’s house after the flood. It seems as if we’ve been doing this for a while now. The majority of the pile that was in the house is now outside of the house, and the pile of stuff that is salvageable is the smallest of all.

Mom is a lesson in acceptance and resilience. She gets up, has coffee and toast, puts on her rubber boots and is ready to tackle it another day.

There were still so many of my childhood things at Mom’s house. Report cards and drawings from elementary school, and toys that I cherished as a child. There was odd comfort in knowing that I could go back and look at them if I wanted, letting good memories triggered by them to flow. My parents were two of the keepers of my history. I find now that I am saying peaceful good-byes to these items, knowing that their season was vital then, and has passed now. I was ready to let them go, and what’s in their place is profound gratitude for the love that put them there in the first place.