My daughter and I made a trip to the library to return her old books and pick up some new ones. While she sat down at the table and looked through a few of her favorites, I ambled over to the picture books, seeking some new and interesting titles.
As I scanned across the second shelf, my eyes fell upon the word PINK in fat, capital letters. The book was called The PINK Refrigerator. I giggled. That’s a funny name for a book – I like it! I’ll bet Meera would like it, too. So I showed it to her and told her the title. “Do you like that one?” I asked. “Sure, Mommy,” she said, and went back to look at her own stack. Little did I know that I was checking it out for myself.
Life calls you to live bigger
Opening up the book, I saw the little mousey character, Dodsworth, who owns a second-hand store. His motto in life was to do as little as possible. He spent most of his day in front of the TV: never made much effort, and never tried anything new. He was alive, but not living – mostly dawdling his life away. You are probably NOT a couch potato if you read this newsletter! But, chances are also good that life, or the Divine, is calling you to live a little bigger, to explore a little more. And that’s just what life had in mind for Dodsworth.
He had a habit of wandering through a local garbage dump, looking for odds and ends to sell in his shop. When Dodsworth came upon a pink refrigerator, he laughed. But there was a note on the door, fastened by a bright, shiny world magnet. He couldn’t get the magnet off, but the words intrigued him: “Paint Pictures.”
Much to his surprise, as he opened the refrigerator door, he discovered a lovely set of paints and a drawing pad. He thought it was a great fortune to find something he could sell in his shop and happily took off with the goods. But at the moment when he could have sold them, something nagged at him. Something inside called on him to paint. And before he knew it, the day passed by, painting scenes from an ocean he’d never actually been to before.
Messages from the Universe
The Universe has its own way of sending each of us messages. Occasionally, we receive “the call” – a message so potent that we can’t ignore it anymore. It shows up again and again in different ways: perhaps we notice an article in a magazine, and then we see the same topic flash by as we flip channels on the TV. We might overhear a conversation at a bookstore that sparks something. A dream can give us clues.
There are more subtle ways that the Divine calls upon us, too. The caw of a crow circling overhead, the gentle caress of a breeze, the smell of lavender from a neighbor’s yard can invoke feelings within us. A feeling that there needs to be something more, or something less; something new; something perhaps a bit risky; or something that wants to come alive within us. When we pay attention to our senses and our intuition, the call becomes clearer within us.
A feeling deep inside
Often, the call from Spirit shows up as a feeling that persists, deep inside us. For several months, I received the message to let go – of what, I wasn’t sure – and to let my life be guided by my inner connection to the Divine. It involved letting go of a number of things, from habits I had to the book I was working on. I did not want to do this. Letting go what I had in mind and opening up to nothing wasn’t my cup of tea. In fact, I much, much, much preferred to be in control and have a plan. That has been most of the adult course of my life. But this year, things shifted. Over and over, the Divine told me, in large and small ways, “Let go. Shift course. Let me guide you now.”
Have you been getting these inner messages lately? It’s a scary step to let go and let something greater carry you. It takes a lot of courage to stop what you have been doing, what you’re comfortable with, and even what you are successful at, and pause. To drop it off, perhaps to be picked up later, perhaps to be released completely. Yet, when the call comes, we must answer. The messages will get louder and louder if we ignore the greater truth and presence that wants to come forth.
Listen to the messages
Dodsworth returned to the Pink Refrigerator the next day. Surprised again, a new message appeared, stuck to the metal door: “Read More.” Inside, a collection of literary classics awaited him. What luck, he thought – these are worth a fortune! He placed them in his front window at the store. Dodsworth wanted to go back to his habit – just spend a couple hours selling what he can, and then plop down in front of the TV set. Yet, something wouldn’t let him sell the books, either. And he spent the rest of that day thoroughly immersed in a tale of high adventure until he fell asleep.
In order to hear the Universe whispering to us, we need to be willing to listen. We need to be willing to do something differently in our lives. And we need to be willing to stop what we’re doing for a bit. Dodsworth had to stop sitting in front of the TV, stop his old habits, and be willing to listen to the message.
If we don’t take the time to stop, we won’t hear the call. When we resist, an inner tension arises. I feel it in my breath, a tightness. My neck gets stiff. My body becomes restless, as if trying to run away from the need to be still. For a while, I may busy myself with activities, things to get done, or exercise. But the inner tension persists, until I make the time to stop, listen, and look: to read the messages that are on my own “pink refrigerator”.
Why do we resist the call to be still and listen, to open ourselves to what longs to speak to and through us? Because it requires us to change. Some of us like change – but only the change that we choose. Usually, we’re not fond of change that comes upon us without our consent, like an unwelcome guest.
I clearly received a message, “drop the book!” I had been working on a manuscript for over a year, and yet I knew, I felt deep inside, that I had to stop. Another book, a different one, wanted to be written. I had resisted this fact for a few months, trying to eek out droplets of the book I was attached to, but to no avail. When I finally accepted and let it go, the tension eased. And the new ideas began to flow.
When you feel that tension inside, the kind that knocks and says, “Open up! Listen to me!” it’s important to make the time to stop and be still. Sit and listen. At first, your body and mind may put up a fight. Don’t let that dissuade you. Just accept it as part of the process. Think of those distracting thoughts, fears, and impatience as the telemarketers of your mind, attempting to get your attention and buy what they sell. Pay them no mind – don’t even answer the phone. Keep sitting still, and listen. Open your heart and be willing to hear what is calling you.
Sooner or later, the distractions, fears, and agitations will calm down a bit. Maybe not completely, but a little bit, just enough to let something else arise. A feeling, perhaps. An image, or a shape, may arise in your mind. You may hear a song, words, perhaps a poem or a statement. Whatever it is, pay attention. It will lead you to a new and expanded sense of yourself. If you allow it to, it will take you to a place that is more powerful than you’ve known before.
Your own Pink Refrigerator
It helps to have a simple method or practice that allows you to access that inner voice, your Divine guidance. Dodsworth was lucky – his Pink Refrigerator made everything clear to him. “Play Music;” “Learn to Cook;” “Plant a Garden.” Each time, the tools he needed to expand his horizons rested inside the refrigerator’s shelves. Until he finally learned to take the initiative and continue exploring on his own.
You probably don’t own a Pink Refrigerator, and even if you did, it probably wouldn’t leave you messages, stuck to it with a shiny Planet Earth magnet. But you can use your imagination and create your own Pink Refrigerator inside.
The Pink Refrigerator is that voice that calls you within your heart. It could be the Divine itself, nudging you and encouraging you. Sit down and be still. Close your eyes, and take several deep, slow breaths. Visualize your own magical Pink Refrigerator – can you picture it? Notice the details of its handle, the paint, the little dents from its wear over the years. What magnet do you have on it? Now, look for a note – what message does it have for you? Trust whatever your imagination offers you.
Imagination opens the door to our connection with something greater than us. And speaking of opening the door – what lies inside your Pink Refrigerator? What has been calling you that you’ve pushed aside and ignored? Are you really living, or just subsisting? The only thing that stops you is yourself. If you set aside the resistance, fear, and distractions just for a few minutes, something magical can happen. Something that may transform your life forever.
Copyright ©2009 by Constance L. Habash