Today is the day I choose to spend more time in self-love than in self-deprecation, more time in self-acceptance than in self-criticism, more time in joy than in depression, more time in gratitude than in complaining, more time in celebration than in grief. Happiness is a choice I must make. I choose happiness today.
Before he dropped the bomb I had a regular, consistent gratitude practce. I recorded five things every night for which I was grateful. I had been doing this for years, faithfully, and had already filled multiple books with my nightly gratitudes. After he dropped the bomb, I expanded my practice. When my mind was telling me my life was over and that I’d never be happy again, I recorded twenty things every night for which I was grateful. I began to count the smallest things as important… the way the sun rose, the way my child’s voice sounds, the taste of soup, the temperature of the wind. I realized that those “little” things are enormous in their beauty and their presence. I realized I could be more grateful. I started to realize that happiness is a choice I make every day. I’m into my healing process. I can thank him for dropping the bomb and blowing my old life to bits so that I could create a new life. I’m still working on forgiveness, but that is another poem.
Today I was a student*, and I felt so grateful that for once I didn’t have to prepare the lesson. I love it when my only job is to be open to new learning. I think I’ll be a student forever.
*Today was Day 1 of Nikki Myers weekend-long Y12SR training. I am so grateful to spend the next two days with other yoga teachers who are interested in learning about sustainable recovery from addiction, and who want to apply this learning to bring value to countless beings walking the path of recovery.
It doesn’t matter how much the winter kills you, and how dead you are by the end of it, how pale, how lifeless, how skeletal, how deeply and quietly you lie beneath the frozen surface of the earth— when spring comes, there is this perennial, irresistible force in you, that wakes up, comes alive, and sighs with the joy and the delight of living and blossoming, of rekindling the vital movement of air in lungs and blood in veins and power in voice. Come alive, come alive, come alive again. Spring is here, and it’s time to come out of hiding. Friends, it’s time to live again, so wake up, breathe, and join me in the garden. Let’s tend to one another’s blossoming and celebrate what we grow in the light of our love and joy.
Now it’s the conversation between the anxious one— the one who tries so hard to be good and doesn’t quite believe she’ll ever be good enough, and the relaxed one— the one who realizes it’s all good, and wants the anxious one to just relax, breathe, let it go, let life be. The relaxed one says to the anxious one: Sweetheart, you’re doing fine. Just breathe. Get still. Close your eyes. This life is beautiful. Can you feel it? I love you. Can you feel it? I admire you, respect you, cherish you. Can you believe it? And the anxious one replies, Well…if I could feel and believe all of that, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, now would we? The relaxed one laughs and gives the anxious one a hug, and hugs and hugs and hugs until the anxious one forgets what she was anxious about. Sometimes the most important part of a conversation has nothing to do with words.