Would I lie to you?
If you've been to Luray Caverns in Virginia (pictured above from my family's trip in 2016), you know the surprising visual twist contained in this image. While this looks like a vast underground cavern covered in stalactites (mineral deposits hanging from the ceiling) and stalagmites (rising from the ground), that's not quite true.
The bottom half of the photo is a pool of water reflecting the top half. If you look closely at the middle of the photo you can see a horizontal line -- that's the surface of the water. The pool is actually quite shallow.
It's difficult for the mind to process. Even in person, tour guides have to tell people standing there what they're looking at because our minds stubbornly insist on the wrong interpretation.
This image reminds me that our perception of any given situation can vary -- basically true, slightly distorted, wildly inaccurate... I have found it helpful to remember, especially when anxieties about unknowns or worse-case-scenarios start to creep in, that we rarely perceive the full truth at first glance. Our minds play tricks on us, our senses take short-cuts, and we have innate biases that impact how we perceive and process information.
In case it's of use to you in this moment, I thought I'd share my own gentle reminder to stay open-minded, curious, skeptical, and most importantly, open-hearted. The heart is our most powerful truth-o-meter when we take the time to tune in.
Balance the heart for truth-detection
Tuning into the energy of your heart can quickly generate calm during moments of stress or anxiety. When you need an accurate sense of a situation, try these simple and effective postures to balance the heart chakra and energy meridians, and then ask your question:
+ Cross your arms over your chest and tuck opposite hands into your armpits. Keep arms soft and shoulders relaxed while breathing slowly and deeply for about 30 seconds. Notice the quiet, centering, balancing effects.
+ Place both hands over your heart chakra (the center of your chest as in the photo), one on top of the other. Relax your shoulders, jaw, and tongue. Take four or five deep breaths into the area while sensing the gentle expansion. Swap hands and repeat.
If you're feeling curious, try the same thing with your hands over your solar plexus (between the belly button and the bottom of the rib cage) and compare how it makes you feel. And let me know what you discover!