Reading words in new ways

“Rise and shine!” is a made-for-TV idiom. Doesn’t it make you think of a blonde mom, lovingly waking up her adorable blonde daughter and both of them smiling at each other over bowls of blonde breakfast cereal? It does me. Both the phrase and the cereal are sweet and devoid of much nutritional substance — a perfect pairing, made for Madison Avenue or a saccharine sitcom, but not for real life. Real life mornings are more resigned than happy, more hurried than loving and not so sweet, right?

rise and shineBut this morning I rethought “Rise and shine.” Not because today was any sweeter or happier or more loving than any other, but because at the moment I stumbled upon this image, I happened to be open to Spirit. Never underestimate what can happen when trolling for Pinterest content!

“If you rise, you will love,” Spirit said. “If you love, you will shine. It is inevitable.” The second I heard that message, I knew it was true.

“Rise” is a powerful word, filled with all sorts of energy, isn’t it?

For some reason it makes me think about the subway commute to my latest job. It isn’t the shortest or easiest one I have had since moving to New York, and the ride home is particularly tiring. Stone-faced worker bees, Happy Hour chatterers, groups of excited high school kids, parents bringing home their sons and daughters and the inevitable tourists, all converge on the A train to get from Columbus Circle to Brooklyn. The downtown cars are crowded, loud and often don’t smell particularly good. Most evenings I find myself burrowing into the Middle Earth of my own brain to endure the ride.

But what if, instead of ducking into my head, I choose to rise. To look up, stand up and send out love to all the other passengers. Send love to the Hobbit inside me, while I am at it. To shine, if you will. What would happen? What could happen? Why not try it and find out?

So that is what I am going to do. I set my intention to rise and shine and write about it all. Are there times when you find yourself burrowing down into yourself? What happens if you stretch up and send out love? I’d love to know!