Emoticon Lessons :-o

Agreements for Life

I’m always surprised by quantum flirts, seeing as how I never know when one will materialize. But lately, whenever one does arise, I’ve been doing my best to allow its meaning to unfold. It’s a delightful process – for me, that is. It may not be so delightful for those I’m with because it can be puzzling when it’s not “their” quantum flirt.

Take this morning, for example. There I am, chatting via Instant Messenger with my friend Denny at work. Except, what I’m really doing is sending her a bunch of my emoticons. Those quirky little pictures really do support the old adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Even a tiny picture like an emoticon.

I send her one, two, three (OK, more like 10), but I stumble over the last one. I stumble because as I look at it while adding it to the laundry list of fun things, it sharply morphs into a quantum flirt. I’m a little stunned because I’ve had this emoticon for a long time and it’s never jumped out like that before.

It’s an image of a Stick Person standing at the edge of a cliff, looking down. Behind him appears another Stick Person who, when he reaches the cliff-watcher, simply kicks him in the back and sends him tumbling over the edge. The new Stick Person takes his place, standing at the edge, looking down. Sure enough, a Stick Person comes up behind him and the whole scenario repeats and repeats and repeats.

It’s funny in a dark sort of way. It laces that certain aspect of life in the workplace with humor.

Today, however, I’m seeing a whole different process unfold before my eyes. Suddenly those Stick People remind me of how we constantly reinvent ourselves.

Maybe it’s because I have several friends emerging, like butterflies, from the cocoons of previous lives and circumstances to find new meaning and new ways of being.

Maybe it’s because we’ve just completed the six building blocks for our Authentically You Circle, and I’ve been watching participants blossom and grow and claim their purpose in life.

Maybe it’s because I just participated in a wonderful weekend retreat with Toltec nagual don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, where I was lucky to absorb the most affirming, wonderful teachings.

Whatever the reasons for my opened eyes, I’m seeing that Stick Person as a new iteration of himself – and his kicking the earlier version off the cliff as an action of metamorphosis. Out with the old, a shedding of skin, a laying down of activities that no longer hold meaning or have heart.

Poor Denny. She must be wondering why my posts have just stopped, but I’m caught up in allowing my flirt to stretch my awareness. What I take away is something I already know intellectually: like water rushing down a creek bed, life is not static. Except the realization is more like this: LIFE. IS. NOT. STATIC. That’s right. My awareness is visceral, and I’m fully aware with an unerring sense of certainty that the present moment is never ours to keep.

So a new iteration of the Stick Person arrives to boot the older version over the cliff. It’s no longer funny. It’s no longer a statement about the vagaries of the work place. It’s natural, it’s normal, it’s desirable.

I realize that this Quantum Flirt is at the heart of what I learned this weekend as don Miguel’s soft, accented voice stilled the 300+ participants.

Our personal dreams, he said, are constantly shifting and changing, although we try to stop them from changing because we become attached to them. We try to hold on to the past, keep it around forever, and maybe even live there.

Think of it like a movie in our minds with a rewind button, which we freely use. Is it real? Of course not; it’s just a movie about what once was. Don Miguel points out that the moment after something happens, it’s gone. Whatever was true long ago is no longer true today, whatever happened in the past is not happening now. Although it IS true that it happened, it’s also true that it’s NOT happening now. It stands to reason that, if it’s gone, it’s no longer real. What’s left is our dream of what once was.

What is real, he says, is the present moment. If we resist the transformation that naturally occurs from moment to moment and try to live in the past, we aren’t really living there. We live in the present but we’re focused on the past dream that’s no longer real.

For me, my Stick People emoticon brings tremendous affirmation of don Miguel Ruiz’s words.

And that? That’s a quantum flirt to love.


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