Golden Flags & the Meaning of Life at the Supermarket
A few days ago, while driving to a supermarket megastore, I thought, “Maybe I’ll find the meaning to life.” Yes, the sentence surprised me somewhat, but also I’ve been trying to find meaning and lessons in so many parts of my life. If something doesn’t go well, then I break it down. What did I learn? I ask myself that a lot these days. What did I learn from this? The “meaning of life,” question was also that I didn’t want to go to the super mega grocery store… that place is a soul-sucking nightmare half the time, where you wander around for days, filling your cart with a thousand dollar’s worth of poorly-made knick knacks and a mountain of packaged goods. That’s how it feels sometimes, at least. But I had to go: we needed a few things and I needed to consult a jeweler about a ring, and they were they only jeweler around. My mind conjured up magazines with farm-to-table answers, or some pretty books, something that says “eat well!” and “relax.” After realizing this was what I was looking for, I nixed the idea and drove on.
When we got there, my son pulled us toward the toys. No stopping to admire the pretty bird houses in pastel colors with hammered tin. No! TOYS NOW, MOM! When we got to the toy aisle, there were so many to choose from. Finally, we stood in front of the awe-inspiring Hot Wheels display, which took up half an aisle with crazy tracks, monster trucks, jumps, and all sorts of neat racing things. I told him, “What makes your heart sing? Get that.” And that, friends, was an ice-cream-maker-slash-carport, because the dude loves tiny cars and tiny ice creams.
On our way through the rest of the store my heart stopped. It stopped at some discount plates with spring flowers on them. They looked hand-drawn, with black and slips of pink, and they were dainty but also bold, taking up just enough space, especially if you stack them: dinner, salad, bread. They were on sale, too. In fact, price-slashed to sell. I lingered. I longed. And I did not let myself get a $3 plate. Nope. No sir.
Then we waited in the line, aka hell, where everyone was buying a mountain of goods, and the person in front of us used about 50 coupons for their tremendous haul, while I used none and paid $50 over for our meager 1.5 bags’ worth. And then we were out… ish.
Walking through the store to get to the parking lot, I saw another heart-singer: a shirt with phases of the moon interlaced with flowers. Yes, I wanted it. I so, so, so wanted it. Also 50% off. But did I get it?
No… no. I admired it and then put it down and walked on.
By the time we finally got home, I was tired and in a poor mood. So much so that I left my family to walk it out. And on that walk I asked myself… What did I learn? Why was I so upset? What happened?
1) I didn’t want to go to the store. It was a beautiful day and I was so happy to be outside and working in the yard. When my husband said I should go, I should have said not now, but later. It wouldn’t have been an issue, especially if I’d said, “My heart needs to be outside. How can we solve what needs to be done and let this happen?” I could have listened to my heart and found a compromise.
2) At the store, I denied myself twice, telling my son to “Get what makes your heart sing,” and then, in front of him, doing the exact opposite.
And that was it. It dawned on me that that was the meaning to life. The Dalai Lama says that the purpose of life is to be happy. That little plate only cost $3 but the joy it would’ve brought me would have been huge. Same with the shirt. Both were within my reach and both gave me this little sense of delight, and both lights were doused by me. Why did I do that to myself? What was the reason for the denial of my simple happiness, in a most basic way?
It dawned on me, while I was on that walk, that I really did learn a deep lesson in life. Follow that spark, that joy, those “Golden Flags,” as I call them. You know red flags? The little notices that tell you something is wrong? Well, life also gives you plenty of Golden Flags, little signs that say, “this is happiness for you.” You should follow those all the time. Follow your Golden Flags. Follow that bliss.
This is also what I do with my clients when we work together. There are so many parts of our lives that affect us and don’t allow us to enjoy that spark. Childhood traumas that can tell us that we’re terrible people and we don’t deserve to enjoy small, little things. Or we feel like we’re taking care of everyone else and we can give to everyone else, but not to ourselves. When I work with a client, I try to remove this negative energy so that you are more in charge of your life and your destiny, and so that you can choose you.
The next day, I dropped my son off at preschool and got that plate, and two full sets. And let me tell you… I LOVE THEM. And I told myself that I’m worth $3 or, rather, I’m worth feeling lit up with happiness and joy every time I look at a little plate. Because I bought it for my heart.
This concepts extends to every area of our lives. For example, you have a piano and you want to play, even ten minutes a day, but it stands there empty, staring at you, for weeks. You want to meditate every morning but never do. You let yourself wear the same, old clothes and don’t make clothing purchases that nourish you.
As I was writing this article, as happens so many times in our lives, the perfect words came to me from author Amanda Frances, from her book Rich as Fuck: “Every moment of every day, you are teaching yourself how to think of you. Every action you take and purchase you make informs yourself of who you are and where you are going. To me, this is your identity. How you think of yourself and treat yourself ultimately determines how the rest of the world thinks of and treats you.”
Perfect words. Don’t you love synchronicity? I love how this came into our lives right now, as I was writing about this very experience and, possibly, right when we all need to hear it.
So, this is what I want for you. I want you to light up your heart every day, changing the course of your life forever in little ways that all add up into huge shifts (and in big ways, too) so that it’s one that’s filled with your purpose, your creativity, and your soul singing. That’s what I want for all of us.
If you want to explore working together, then contact me and let's do this.