Temperatures in my childhood home town would reach 30 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit). I did not reside in Antarctica. I lived in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The cold front would last about a week before we returned to the balmy, above-zero temperatures.
My dad would walk me a quarter-mile to the bus stop. I wore snowpants, ‘moon boots’, gloves, face mask, hat and gloves. The only piece of skin you would have seen were my eyelids.
I held his hand and closed my eyes. Whether to brace for the cold or simply experience the beautiful sensation of being led by a person whom I trusted…the steps I took, I took without sight.
In my heart, I knew the steps.
Within five minutes, my eye lashes would gather frost as they froze together.
(I am not making this up.)
Today, on a Florida street, I recalled this memory. And, just for a four seconds, I revisited what it feels like to experience walking by heart, not by sight.
My calendar today scared me. Four separate occasions I’d be at the edge of my comfort zone. With little (to no) time to breathe in between.
What my eyes saw, scared me.
So, I closed them.
I let them freeze shut.
I needed to see what my heart saw.
My heart knew the steps.
Our natural inclination is to lead with our eyes. They tell us what to avoid, what to fear, what to embrace. But, they’re not always the best source of information.
Our heart usually knows better.
Anytime you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a few steps (seriously…don’t walk into a wall, but push yourself to take a few steps) with your eyes closed. Your heart gets bigger, and you’ll feel a sense of ‘knowing’ that you miss when you’re eyes try to be the boss.
If you’re a little clumsy or in a place where walking with your eyes closed might cause a call to a mental health professional on your behalf, just sit for a minute with your lids down. Ask your heart to take over.
When you open them again, you’ll know the way.