Heart-fullness: Mindfully looking for the good

Where do you find hope?  We all have days that feel overwhelming – Perhaps due to the death of someone you love, a bad day at work, or maybe your child was in trouble at school.  On days like that, you may want to quit your job, crawl into bed, and pull the cover over your head.

Where do you go to find relief from these difficult feelings? Call a friend, go for a walk, listen to music, draw, paint, sing, read a book, watch a movie. Each of these can certainly be very effective.

Several years ago, one of my best friends introduced me to hearts. The hearts themselves aren’t new, what was new was the fact that she was, and continues to find them EVERYWHERE. She finds them in clouds, toast, an oil spot in a parking lot, leaves on trees, on the trunk of a tree, a shoe lace on the floor. I would venture to bet she finds about 2-8 every day.

Shortly after she told me about finding the hearts all over, I was having a tough day and I decided to go look in my back yard to see if I could find a heart.  I looked all over and couldn’t find any.  I knew she probably would have found several and I was becoming discouraged.  I then realized I was looking for a perfect shaped heart. When I shifted my focus, and rather than having mission to find them, I became mindful of my surroundings, listening to the birds, a breeze through the trees, the warmth of the sun, I suddenly noticed several.

Mindfulness has been found to be effective as a coping skill to deal with stress and difficult feelings. To find the hearts you have to be mindful. You probably won’t notice them if you are racing to a meeting, eating too fast, or stuck in your head with racing thoughts. When you quiet your mind, you see things around you that you would have otherwise missed.

When you find a heart it can bring a sense of calm. It offers a reminder of the love that surrounds you; the love that, perhaps, you weren’t feeling a moment before.  A great personal example: I was annoyed to see ice cream on the counter that my daughter hadn’t cleaned up, when I realized it was in the shape of a heart. I smiled, thought of how much I love my daughter, and I wiped it up.

Hearts are a lot easier to find now that I have “tuned in.”  I don’t necessarily look for them. They jump out at me.  A heart in the paint of a project, coffee spilled on the counter, in the knot of a piece of wood, a piece of oregano on my food and a piece of trash on the floor.

found Hearts help me feel the love

How you can find hearts & feel the love

Take a moment to calm your mind as best you can and look around.  I would suggest doing it for the first time outside because hearts are so prevalent in nature.  When you find one take a moment and feel the love. Need more inspiration? My friend created Facebook, Twitter, Instagram accounts called The Heart Finders. Take a look at the hearts people have found all over the world.

About the Author

Charlene has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for 20 years, with experience working with adults and elementary age children dealing with challenges related to trauma, grief, ADHD, anxiety, depression, low-self-esteem and interpersonal violence. Using an integrative approach and pulling from a variety of treatment modalities and techniques, her goal is to work collaboratively with clients/parents to help them reach goals they develop together. She focuses on client strengths and building a trusting and supportive relationship between client and therapist.

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