What do you feed?

There is a story, often attributed to the Cherokee or the Lenape peoples, about two wolves. To paraphrase, it asks of the listener what are the things, the emotions (positive or negative) we feed in our life. What do we allow to take root in our heart? What do we grow?

I realized that I have allowed harmful negativity to take root in my heart. It is there whispering in my ear in every encounter, every word said or unsaid. It blocks out everything else.

If I want to truly unpack and heal from my career crisis while reimagining (my new favorite word) my career, it is recognizing when I’m feeding the negativity.

Each morning, before I start my day, I pray. As I’ve spoken about in this post, my prayers are more like conversations with God. Nine times out of ten, these are not silent. These are spoken aloud. It is a great start to the morning and I feel off the entire day if I’m remiss in my practice.

However, one morning, as I prayed, I realized I left very little time at the end of my day to reconnect. I’m so focused on unwinding or attending to much needed chores around the house that I don’t hit pause to reflect on the day.

Over the past few days, I’ve taken the time, whenever it occurs to me (this is still new after all) to talk with God. It has occurred while I’m cooking, in the shower before bed, or even while I’m scooping out my cat’s litter box.

In my conversations with God, I make myself highlight the good things, the positive things about the day first. It forces me to wade through the negativity to find the little nuggets of sunshine.

Figuring out how to edit digitized film.

A conversation with a coworker I seldom see or get a chance to talk to.

Finally completing that folder list for a box of records.

The feel of the cool breeze from the window as I worked.

Or that 10 minutes I carved out to fit in a mid-morning walk.

With each verbalization, I feel my heart getting lighter. My mood improving. The negativity abating. My prayers are not always sunshine and roses. Some days are even flat out bad but by developing this practice, I am challenging myself to still see the good no matter how small or fleeting.

It is taking a moment to honor it. To nurture that part of myself that desperately needs it.

So I ask you, as you wade through the crises of your own life, what are you feeding?