Last night I remembered the Cracker Jack prizes from my childhood. Every box of Cracker Jack contained a prize or small treasure and finding the treasure held more delight than actually eating the caramel-covered popcorn. Boxes of children’s cereal also contained special gifts, but you had to dig to the bottom of the box to retrieve them.
This has me thinking about the small treasures we find in ordinary experiences such as eating a snack or breakfast. Sure, I know that marketing executives and creatives came up with the prizes to lure children to buy their products. And yet, I won’t deny the magic and fun behind finding even small treasures. We can grow jaded and cynical on our life paths or we could explore our inner child and look for gems hidden beneath our experiences, especially during troubled times.
For the past month, like many of you, I have endured the stress of life changes. I gave notice to move out of my apartment without any new housing lined up. I had a few leads, which turned out as dead ends and at this moment, I am living on hope. Yet, despite my tight muscles, my grief as I cull my belongings, shred old papers, give away belongings, and clean an apartment that never felt like home, I acknowledge the support in my life. I see that I can either focus on the negative and freak out over my circumstances or I can play the “I wonder if” game.
The I wonder if game goes like this. I wonder what type of house I will move into next. I wonder about the color of the exterior of the house? Where is this house? What’s the neighborhood like? Who are the new people I will meet at my new home? Is there a garden? What type of plants and trees grow in the garden? How many rooms are in this house? Will I live alone or with another person? What’s this person like? I wonder what their favorite food is. And the point is, you can do this with any situation involving a life change as we approach the unknowable future.
Now, some of you are quitting long-time jobs or maybe you were fired from a job recently. Some of you have children going off to college this September or October. Some of you are starting families with your first baby. Some of you are selling or buying a home. Some of you have lost your home because of financial situations. Some of you were handed a medical diagnoses that appears devastating at this time so you grieve the loss of your old life and possibly plan for your death. But despite any of that, you can always find treasures and even humor in your experiences. You might even discover moments of unexpected delight even when facing death.
As you know, in recent times the planet has endured a shake up that even resembles a worldwide earthquake. Don’t assume that everyone is not feeling this shake up on some level. I suspect that the rise in drug and alcohol use or even shopping frenzies have to do with numbing oneself against the inevitable changes happening now. Yet, when we numb ourselves with any addiction or escape mechanism (even overdoing it with spiritual workshops), we miss out on the unexpected delights. If we find ourselves faced with a tunnel, then step into the tunnel and see where it leads. Sure, without a proper light, we can’t see where we’re going, but most of the guidance we require comes from within. Which is why so many of us healers and teachers advocate meditation or at least writing in a journal everyday.
When you write in your journal, rant to get everything off your chest then keep writing as the good stuff that hid behind negative emotions seeps out. This reminds me of the treasure at the bottom of the box of Cracker Jack. Write your way through the darkness until the light appears. Julia Cameron writes about this process in her book, The Artist’s Way under the guise of morning pages. Morning pages give birth to true magic. Try it.
Most of the time, treasures stare us in the face and we miss them. When we occupy ourselves with all the stuff that is not working out, we fail to gaze at the support the Universe offers. And I know there are days when I feel bitter and that God hasn’t heard a word of my prayers, so why bother? And yet, if I wait a day or two or possibly three, the answer comes when I least expect it. Someone e-mails me and offers moving help. Someone offers to take extra stuff off my hands. Someone makes a donation just when it’s required most. And just like you, I have to trust what lies up ahead, even if I can only see a foot in front of me. Just like you, I wander on this path and I wish sometimes I could turn back to safety. Yet, every life involves a quest or adventure of some sort. If we don’t head out on this adventure, we die long before our actual death and like the line in the movie, “Under a Tuscan Sun,” “We become the empty shell person.”
Everyone has Cracker Jack moments. Find yours and then show appreciation for it.
I am an intuitive coach for artists and entrepreneurs. I also give transformation astrology readings for adults/children as well as, offer other metaphysical services. Visit Metaphysics for Everyday Living for details.