You can scroll the shelf using ← and → keys
You can scroll the shelf using ← and → keys
Acknowledging the rushing time and space of a year is impossible; there’s so much that’s happened and so little that’s changed all at once. But here I am, again, wanting with all my heart to write some words to do this journey justice.
So, with all my heart, T H A N K Y O U to everyone more than you will ever know, for loving me. For loving me through the challenges and setbacks, the moments of sadness and of intense grief, and most of all, through my joyful moments and successes where my light was aligned with all I was doing. That you could bear my complaining and my struggles as I fought to find solutions showed me your infinite patience; that you could celebrate with me meant that you really loved me + wanted the best for me. Every single time I think I have nothing left and I want to quit because it would be safer, I find arms wide and hearts open, compassion flowing freely. And those of you who could do the pure, unrefined compassion, did the compassion of the red vino liquid kind. Both were gratefully received. 😉
And this year? I have been so lucky. I have been SO lucky with my health, my love of music, my work, my friends, my family. The freedom to speak. The glorious haphazard openness of creating. I haven’t achieved half of what I have set out to achieve, but I feel richer threefold. Everything has resonance, meaning, and value. I have had MORE challenges, felt the ache grief even MORE acutely, but the deep joy I feel each day is unmistakable. I’ve not always known this steadiness of self and joy; it’s been hard-won. And this year feels more rewarding for it.
Thank you for more meaningful relationships, more tender and truthful moments, more raucous laughter, playful moments, more REALNESS. More sharing, more love, more support. My inner circle is smaller, but warmer and surer. My outer circles give me so much light and joy.
Thank you for the opportunity to affect change, and to realise how much power my words and actions have in the classroom. This year has be come so much more REAL in the classroom as well, where my actions have been reflected back to me, and my example has been taken onboard to the most humbling degree. I am so proud, and so lit up with grace, by what I have accomplished here. Let me keep striving to learn.
A particular project of mine in 2017 has been to listen hard to the voice that lines up with my integrity and moral compass in times of intense stress + discord…and SPEAK. This is not shooting off at the mouth, this is considered, loving, compassionate, strong communication. These are words I have combed through with heart and love, before offering them articulately, often with hammering heart and quiet resolve. I’ve stood my ground and carved out my boundaries, simply, quietly, graciously, courageously – outrageously colourfully – and refused to just go along with things. And my heart feels like it has doubled in size. I feel more “me” than ever, and I also feel like it’s just the tip of the iceberg as to what is possible. That I have a responsibility to speak, for myself and for the people I love.
But here’s the paradox:
In becoming more fearless, I have become infinitely more tender and joyful, and find myself more often exquisitely balanced between joy and anguish. Painful things rush through me with an intensity that takes my breath away, and joy makes me reverberate with warmth, and my eyes fill with tears. So freely, so easily!
My brand of courage doesn’t exist without the infinite and absolute expanse of love around me, from the inner circle of people who really matter. The light reflected all around me from everyone I know is a joy, but the strength I draw from that inner circle of love gives me the courage to stand my ground, open my heart, and lean into everything that scares me. Who knew that was possible? Standing in a shit-storm or a hurricane?
Now I do.
I have been so moved this year by simple acts of love and kindness, been so much more open, and cried so much more. I’ve been unafraid of solitude, and can find the grace to lean in, rather than run away. I can put words to my thoughts, rather than hoping for the best. I am telling my story. It is extraordinary when it all lines up. I’ve laughed at the ridiculous, I’ve laughed when the tears of anguish are still wet on my face, I’ve laughed at nothing at all! This freedom of living and my spirit is unheard of.
Thank you so much, to all of you, for leaving that whisper of magic and infinite hope etched into the fabric of my life, my days, my minutes. This is what makes me being me possible. Grounded in something that smells very much like unrelenting feistiness + a moral compass that is so fucking moral that even I can’t pull it off due north, well, I think I’m ready to walk into 2018 with you all.
Who knows what this next chapter will hold? A whole new canvas for creation, and I feel a shiver of excitement and anticipation that I cannot wait to manifest.
I wish the same courage, foundation, magic, love, gritty determination, intensity of feeling, and pure humanness for you all in 2018.
Much love. X
“Confess your hidden faults
Approach what you find repulsive
Help those you think you cannot help
Anything you are attached to, let it go
Go to the places that scare you.”
(Advice to Pema Chödrön from her teacher, the Tibetan yogini Machik Labdrön)