“The soul should always stand ajar.” Emily Dickinson
It’s the second week of January and I’m finding the space and time to reflect on 2016 and think about this New Year. I was blessed in 2016 and found ways to celebrate with tribe, family and alone during the holidays.
I took time and stepped back, slowed down and felt the pulse; heartbeat of the earth. I viewed its majesty with runs on trails in the forest and from the saddle. I looked up, out and upon majestic open roads, valleys and vistas and fell in love (again) with the magic of trees, quiet spaces and cold winter mornings with the never-end of the wind on my face. I experienced the caress of water gliding across skin, lap after lap and envisioned the ocean, rivers, lakes and the first open water swim of the year. I shared time, space, food and laughter with family. I engaged with my tribe of makers, writers, artists, creators and felt connection. I sat and drank coffee in solitude, journaled and walked the streets of the place I call home. I absorbed its energy, love and its call to come home. It was magical.
As I worked through the process of choosing a word for the year, something I’ve done the last several years, I spent time reflecting on my word for 2016. Trust. As many of you have read (thank you) it was a deep dive and amazing journey in embracing and practicing trust – with self, others and the Universe – this last year. Bloody brutal at times if I’m honest. It was the perfect launch pad for 2017.
In the process of exploring a word I came to realize that I don’t have a specific word for 2017. What I have is a calling of expression; a way of being that has welled up from my soul to explore this life. It’s a calling to take a deep dive, a leap of faith to engage with tribe, family even more and expand into my community and the world more fully. To keep trusting the Universe and myself as life unfolds. To make this a foundational practice for life.
It’s a practice that I believe will require a commitment beyond a physical year of time. It may take several years, possibly a lifetime, to explore and engage from this perspective. I hope that in this exploration I’m able to move towards a deeper-rooted sense of personal strength, wisdom, growth, compassion and empathy for self, others, community and this earth. That I begin to come from a state of being that is from peaceful strength, calm, joy, curiosity, love and grace in all that I do.
I’ve realized this last year that when I come from a place of authenticity and trust that I come from my deepest, truest self in any given moment. With these thoughts in mind my expression for 2017 is a daily practice to explore this life of doing, being and seeing.
“It’s when we embrace our dark and light that we learn to love ourselves. When we love our self, we can love others. Fully. Completely. ” Anonymous
I believe that to love (self and others) requires mindfulness, acts of self-compassion and a willingness to be vulnerable. That we come to loving others when we learn to love ourselves. That when we embrace the light and the dark of who we are we’re able to fully love.
It’s taken me time absorb this. To learn to love myself. Practice stillness, self-love and mindfulness. To learn that this path leads to an amazing life.
I’m learning to be in the moment. Celebrate the now. That in stillness is an abundance of action. Opening. Being. Love. That no matter what comes my way family, tribe, Universe and God have me. It’s not an easy lesson. It’s been brutally hard frankly. A theme (really) these last months. It’s not meant to be easy. I continue to do what I can, to not discount myself, to let go and fall up.
This journey has had me go inward to dark places. It’s in these dark places that cracks have opened up to grace and bathe me in light.
I’ve cried enough tears to fill an ocean. I’ve re-learned to laugh. Seen the power and joy in the beauty of a sunrise / sunset from the saddle. Celebrated the music of a child’s laugh. Run in the redwoods. Swum side-by-side in the lakes of Oregon with my twin sister, watched a storm come across the open range with my brother. Beheld dolphins gliding through the ocean at dawn. Climbed to a peak in Yosemite to view the breathtaking wonder of this amazing gift we call Earth. Embraced the birdsong singing me awake and felt the moon glow gentle me into sleep
I am reminded daily this life is amazing, filled with grace and love.
In all this I’ve come to honor that my hardest journey the last year (s) has been coming to terms with the knowledge that two people I loved with my heart, soul are no longer present in my life. I’ve done the work and said my Goodbye (s). Both fill me with memories that have dark and light to them, but it’s the light that fills my soul, always. I have owned they are simply – of my heart. Both gifted me with lessons of love that brought me to love of self and the strength to love unconditionally. There is another such love left in me. It is enough.
I’ve worked through trauma, pain and fears that have built over the years. Come through to the other side. I have few too no regrets. I’ve given so many things in my life my all. Some of them didn’t work out. Others did. Amazingly so. This is the balance of light and dark. Of the Universe opening me up for new. Love. Life. Mindfulness. That it takes Courage to live a loving, mindful life.
There is a balance.
This life, tribe, family and friends have shown me who has shown up, consistently the last 20+ years and the last 18 months. Thank you.
It’s with gratitude that I wake up each day realizing that each small act, thought sent my way is one of mindfulness. Love Value. Being seen. Reminding me that I’m part of something more.
We can and do come through to the other side.
I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. Thank you. Know that each of you is a reminder for me to show up to be a better, more rounded me. For you, for me. That when I show up for all, that it’s from love and my heart, always.
I’m blessed to be on this path to an amazing life, adventure with all of you.