What Are Your Charms?

What Are Your Charms?

Several years ago my husband and I decided we wanted to buy a home in a really nice part of Maui. The house we chose was all glass and wood and had a beautiful ocean view. We set our hearts on buying this house, but there was one problem.: We didn’t have enough money for a house of that magnitude. Consequently, we did what all young people do who want something they can’t afford—we called mom and dad.

Of course, my parents were not terribly impressed with the idea of us buying a house that was so far out of our financial league. Unbeknownst to me, after we hung up the phone, my parents spoke with a swami in India who was a dear friend of our family and they shared with him their concerns about what I wanted to do. That night I had the most amazing dream.
I dreamt that I was sitting in this swami’s office in India, he on one side of his desk and I on the other. The overhead fan rattled in a vain attempt at cooling the humid Indian air. After looking into my eyes—and I suspected into my heart as well—he quietly said, “I want to show you something.” He rose from his chair while I ventured toward him, meeting him halfway.

He gently lifted his coral-colored robes to expose his ankles and waited for me to pay full attention. Beautiful gold and jewel-encrusted charm anklets hung on each leg. Gasping slightly, both in surprise and in delight, I looked up, seeking an explanation.

Somewhat matter-of-factly, as if everyone should have anklets of this splendor, he explained, “Each of these charms represents a magical moment in my life or a special connection I have shared with another human being.” He proceeded to show me the charm that represented my place in his life and the ones for each of my family members, who were also family to him after forty years of heartfelt association. He then simply held up his robes and let me examine the intricacy and beauty of each charm. As if they had somehow captured the emotion, just gazing at each evoked the feelings that were generated by the original event or relationship they symbolized.
He then said, “Now let us see what is on your ankles,” emphasizing “your” in such a way that I sensed that what was to come was not going to hold a candle to what he was showing me.

Curious to see myself, hoping to see similar charms of gold, I lifted my skirt, only to discover a shiny, multicolored plastic band on each ankle, the kind they pass out at resorts on Maui to identify you as a guest. Shocked and disappointed, I looked closer and discovered that printed on the sparkly plastic band was the address of the house I was trying to buy.
I had an instant understanding that if I were to continue on my current path and buy the house, I would not have time for magical moments in nature or intimate encounters with others, because I would be too busy trying to keep my “resort.” With one last glimpse into the holy man’s eyes, I woke from my dream, crying.
Needless to say, we opted not to buy that house but settled instead for one that was more affordable. Since that dream, however, I have had cause to consider just exactly what I choose to have on my “anklets” and I invite you to do the same.

What if we were to live our lives as if we were here to “collect charms”? What kinds of heart connections are you making? What kinds of charms do you have on your anklets so far?

What are your magic moments? Think of the different people in your life. If you were to put a symbol on a charm for each relationship, what would the charms look like? If you were to string all of the charms together, would there be a common theme? Do you like what you see? Do you want to show your anklets, or keep them hidden from others’ view?

If you were to begin your “charmed life” now, what kind of charms or symbols would you like to represent your life?

Magic moments and heart connections stem from experiences of compassion, love, and appreciation. What if you were to live as if each encounter was one deserving of a heart connection? How would you behave differently?

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