Life from the Seat of a Tricycle

By Suzanne Wiggins

One early spring morning while walking in the park, I spotted a little girl riding a tricycle towards me on the sidewalk. She was pedaling frenziedly, curls blowing in the speed-induced breeze. As she approached, she looked up at me with the sweetest smile and what I can only describe as a look of pure joy on her face. I chuckled aloud and in that instant I knew exactly what I was searching for. I wanted to recapture the joy of a child.

What is that, you ask? It’s waking up excited to face the day knowing incredible adventure awaits. It’s feeling lighthearted because you have no worry and harbor no ill will towards others. Challenges are met with inquisitiveness and humor versus frustration and negativity. It’s trading expectation of how others should behave and how situations should unfold for an eager anticipation of what will be revealed. In simplest terms, joy is letting go of control and allowing life to surprise us. It’s similar to no longer caring to search out all your presents in the weeks leading up to Christmas, after realizing how much more fun and glorious it is to wait and savor the surprise hidden beneath the beautiful wrapping.

I’m not saying that I expect to live in a constant state of childish joy. But when you capture that feeling even briefly, you want to find it again as often as possible. And how is this achieved? Well most importantly, you must believe that joy is possible. Too often we dismiss those desires that burn in our hearts, choosing instead to deny that our lives can change in great and miraculous ways…simply by believing it is possible. I encounter people on a daily basis who tell me that they are too old to follow their dreams, or their unhappy relationship cannot be fixed, or they’ll never find love, find work they’re passionate about, enough money to travel, or the discipline to lose weight. Why the hell not?! Unfortunately, they no longer believe.

Honestly, I do understand why and how they got to that point. I use to be a non-believer myself. I didn’t believe I deserved my heart’s desire. I would tell myself that I was ok and that it didn’t matter that I wanted so much more. I willingly sat idle waiting for someone special to arrive and validate my worth and confirm my secret suspicion that I was pretty great and deserved praise and love. Eventually that person did arrive, and amazingly, it turned out to be me.

We don’t come into this world feeling unworthy or undeserving. We are told this with words, facial expressions, and angry disapproval. We’re conditioned, usually by the very people who are supposed to have our best interest at heart. But what’s important is that we figure out that love isn’t perfect. And just because someone we love told us a story doesn’t necessarily make it true. Joy is in the letting go. The giant cleansing exhale of all the thoughts and memories that keep us stuck, in order to make room for a deep inhale of beauty, love, positivity and strength. The things which fan the flames of our belief. A belief that we can create anything we desire, big or small.

I still see that little girl on the tricycle so clearly in my mind’s eye. How easy it would have been to walk past and not have taken notice of something so mundane and insignificant. But I’m so very grateful that I was awake and paying attention that day. For the biggest life lessons are often taught in the smallest moments and sometimes the smallest people. Don’t believe me. Believe yourself.

*****

This morning the Universe said, “People who love are happy.”

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Shazaam! And just like that…

By Suzanne Wiggins

I have loathed tea my entire life. Iced tea, hot tea, sweet tea, you name it. I’ve been a coffee snob since fifth grade when my mother encouraged me to start drinking it to curb my appetite and lose weight. That, however, is another story for another time.

Over the past year I have been trying to like green tea for its many health benefits. Friends and co-workers have shared their favorite brands and made numerous recommendations for how I may develop a taste for something I’ve abhorred my entire life. Nothing really worked and every morning my hand would narrowly pass the box of Yogi Green Tea on its way to a Paul Newman k-cup I would brew into the most delicious cup of coffee.

About three weeks ago, I decided to re-read one of my favorite books on creating habits. The author is an avid tea enthusiast, but that wasn’t always the case. Many of the friends he found most inspiring and credible were also tea drinkers so he hesitantly decided to see what the fuss was about. He is now a die hard tea drinking convert. In his book, he suggests developing the habit of drinking tea for a long list of reasons and notes that, unlike me, you can’t give it an occasional try. With any habit, you have to develop it over time with consistent action. So after yet another health conscious friend recently made the suggestion that I drink green tea daily, I decided to give it another go, and Shazaam! Just like that, I began to drink several cups of green tea a day and actually enjoy it.

For two weeks I’ve frequently found myself lost in thoughts of amazement regarding how sudden and easy it was for me to overcome a lifelong aversion. That was until I made the discovery. I thought my new found enjoyment of tea was a happy coincidence, but now I know the truth. The Universe is communicating with me via tea bags. Yes, as hard as it is to believe, the Universe is sending me messages. Being a novice tea drinker, it took a couple of weeks to notice that at the end of every tea bag there is a message printed on the paper tab. It is similar to a fortune cookie, however, the difference with my tea is that each message I receive is entirely relevant to questions or thoughts I’ve had earlier in the day while writing in my journal.

For example, over the past three days the Universe has told me, “Live by your inner knowledge and strength, Let things come to you, and You don’t need love. You are love.” Holy crap, I feel like I’m watching BRAVE when the witch tells Merida, ” Fate be changed. Look inside. Mend the bond torn by pride.” Maybe it’s a Scottish thing.

So what questions have you been asking yourself lately? What should I do? Where do I start? What now? Why now? Why me? Regardless of the question, I strongly encourage you to keep your eyes open for the answer. Like my tea bags, it may appear anywhere, but you have to be aware or you just may miss it. Another of my favorite books at the moment relays a Hindu story about a woman who wants to meet Krishna. She goes to the forest, kneels in the soft grass, closes her eyes, and prays and meditates on making Krishna appear. Lo and behold, Krishna comes walking towards the woman and taps her on the shoulder. Without opening her eyes, the woman tells the stranger to go away because she is busy meditating on a very important goal.

Who knows what wisdom and guidance I missed the first two weeks of drinking tea? Two or three bags a day over 14 days really adds up. Perhaps if I had paid attention, I could be on the verge of a few more life altering changes right now. I’m grateful however, that I’ve started to listen.

I can’t remember who, but someone very wise and inspiring said, “Things happen FOR us, not TO us.” My decision to create a habit of drinking tea has turned out to have a benefit far more valuable than good health or a higher metabolism. Unlike the woman looking for Krishna, I intend to keep my eyes wide open and look for answers in the most unexpected places. And I hope for someone, my blog turns out to be a place where the Universe speaks to them. Until then, I will continue to drink green tea and see what the Universe has to say.