September 17th, 2010
In the month of September of my senior year in college, I fell in laughter. And love.
Rollins College, a small liberal arts college in Winter Park, Florida, was the palm-treed-Spanish-moss-topped-architecture-fairytale backdrop for what was, I felt, a perfect love. After many high school and college boyfriends and dates, I knew in my heart, he was “it.”
If I had done then, a checklist of the essential properties of what constitutes a perfect love, all of the top 5 boxes would have been checked: 1) Trust 2) Faith 3) Love 4) Compassion and Passion 5) Laughter.
Yet I didn’t have a checklist then. At 21 years old, with minimal foresight and hindsight practice, I did not connect my “heart knowing” with “head knowing.” Today, many - like Dan Pink - in his bestseller, A Whole New Mind, would call this: right brain/left brain alignment; intuition and cognition; gut instinct vs. linear thinking. I didn’t have the reservoir of life’s experientials upon which to draw, and two weeks before graduation, I trusted that the right thing to do was to get out of my heart and into my head. Hearts were broken.
I went back to Wisconsin, married someone else, bore beautiful children, and 13 years later, took a peek back in time after my divorce to re-examine the wonderful characteristics I had so cherished in my college sweetheart. Pre-Google, I searched for Geoff using the archaic means of 411 to call a city in which I knew he had last lived; no listing was found. (There would be two more times I would search for him, even as recent as December, 2009, yet I was unsuccessful.)
I’ve determined now, that the “checklist” that I created had essentially developed and evolved over a span of 30 years. Decidedly, I believed, (and still do), that the 5 points of trust, faith, love, compassion - passion, and laughter, that I had discovered as key ingredients in a loving relationship, would serve me well in all of my interpersonal relations; they were/are universal tenets.
As is usually the case with Coach Poppy newsletters, it got me to some mindful thinking about how our personal lives intersect - often quite frequently – with our work lives. Many of my coaching clients will sign on to work with me to plan, strategize, and leverage their business acumen to achieve promising results. And many times, we land upon the concerns in their hearts – those priorities that are most important to them - that have nothing to do with the bottom line. It is a blending of head and heart - whole-picture thinking - that brings true desired results.
Today, from a 20/20 vantage point, I believe that “either/or” thinking of head or heart, right brain or left brain, can misguide us. In my three different Psychology classes at Ringling College of Art and Design, we examine not just the brain, but what is inside our heads and hearts - what is behind our beliefs and actions. What combination of cognition, emotion, and behavior drives us? What can we identify as the inspiration in our choices and decisions?
We are not quite sure of the exact impetus for the inspiration for Geoff to find me this past Spring, yet somewhere in the equation there must be sprinkles of trust and faith. This past summer, my college sweetheart joined me with my children and extended family in Wisconsin; it had been 32 years since Geoff had visited me there. When I introduced him to my ex-husband, my ex-husband said the words that inspired the title of this newsletter: “Wow! You’ve come full circle.” Indeed we have. On Sunday of this week, after a 32 year hiatus, Geoff and I became engaged.
We need to be able to cultivate the symmetry, synchronicity, and seamlessness of thinking, feeling and doing. Having trust and faith in the fusion of head and heart needs to be a continuous circle…in all of our relationships, not just with our soulmates.