Happy Flashes are quick positive memories from the past that bring forth encouragement for the present and the future.
Here is a favorite Happy Flash of mine: I’m in an old traditional house on Maple Road in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, that has been transformed into a local interior design store. The exterior is painted a deep teal with white shutters. Inside, there are racks of wallpaper and fabric books, bolts of remnant fabrics of all sorts of designs including, plaids, checks, florals, and more, propped against the walls. The centerpiece of the main room is a large table that could seat 20 for dinner, if used that way. Customers are encouraged to spread out wallpaper books and fabric samples on this table to visualize design possibilities. The floors are hardwood and creaky in places, and there is a slight hint of an old home smell.
This place is where one could design thousands of bedrooms or entire estates, in their mind; a place where stimulation overload could happen, a place where husbands resist going. I’m looking through wallpaper books and I find a wallpaper made just for me by Schumacher; a cherub angel print set against a pale grey/blue background with a butter colored swirl damask pattern. When I inquire, I learn that the book had been discontinued but the sales associate promises to try and track some down.
My Happy Flashes typically happen when I’m doing something mundane like putting away the dishes, walking the dogs, or tidying up my closet. They are always accompanied by a positive physical sensation, like a warm wave or tingle that rushes over my heart giving me the urge to grab hold of it like a dandelion seed drifting by.
Happy Flashes serve a purpose. They come from the subconscious mind, which has a brilliant way of bringing us back to a place of joy so that we can bring more of that joy into the present. I believe that the purpose of my particular interior design store Happy Flash is to encourage me to do something creative and to allow myself to be stimulated to design.
Now that I have given a name to a positive memory accompanied by a physical sensation, pay attention to when you think you are having a Happy Flash, especially to the ones that repeat themselves. You can ask, “What is this about?” “Why is this memory popping up now?”
Our mind and thoughts can seem random, but through my many years of meditation I have learned that there is order within the mind, and that memories with a positive physical sensation serve to get our attention. For me, the message always has to do with bringing more joy into my life. It also has to do with being in the present moment. During that particular experience I was taking everything in: my surroundings, the elderly customer wearing a blue sweater, the creaky wood floors, the large rectangular table; I was completely there in mind, body, and spirit.
You might think that by going back to a positive memory it might take you out of the present moment, the truth is that recognizing you are having a positive flash back from the past is very much about being present in that moment. In other words, you are in the moment by recognizing a flashback.
By the way, the store was able to track down five rolls of the special wallpaper, just enough to decorate the walls of my foyer powder room.
So the next time you are throwing a load of laundry into the dryer and you suddenly find yourself strolling through a field of yellow flowers that you once visited, this is a surely a Happy Flash telling you to get out into nature! I hope that many Happy Flashes come your way, and that you recognize the power of your own subconscious mind and its ability to bring forth good in your life.