Today I turn 43; This body has made 43 trips around the sun, and it seems significant that I find myself alone to send up rockets of appreciation from my square foot of earth to celebrate the occasion of my birth. I like myself. I like the company I keep in the quiet moments when there is no one else to break the silence, when I have the space to listen to the deep music of what continues without human effort, what remains, what hums when we finally slow down and accept that enough is enough.
Worrying doesn’t help, so don’t do it. A break from the routine is a chance to appreciate the minute daily occurrences that we take for granted. That which appeared insignificant in an unconscious repetition suddenly becomes profoundly meaningful. The mundane becomes sacred in the light of such deep appreciation. We find we yearn for what we had, so many little acts of connection and familiar places we can no longer access because of unforeseen changes and uncertain futures. When we aren’t involved in an unconscious routine the space of uncertainty lets loose a discomfort for the one who needs the calm familiar, the safe, the known. My friends, be not afraid. This is an awakening. How you experience this is entirely up to you. Take a deep breath with me, now, and breathe again. Now is the time to cultivate appreciation. The molecules of gratitude for everything you love coursing through your being bring tidings of light and health to every cell of your body. Drink in what you love, now through smiling deep breaths of YES YES YES to life, YES! Do not let fear pickle your cells in darkness and despair. Let me feel your shining smile through the ethers our friendship now inhabits. Stand in your one little spot of earth and declare that you are an anchor for peace, for gratitude, for love. My friends, be not afraid. This is a sacred time. Let the visions that were trampled under the daily stampede of traffic now float up in a whisper an inch behind your eyelids. Listen to this whisper. It promises the joy you have yearned for in the deepest center of your soul. Now is the time to create, to express; in the space of the unknown you have so much room to choose how this goes. Sweethearts, this…is…a…VACATION! Celebrate! Love! Sing! Dance! Enjoy the beloveds you have the privilege to share space with! Show us your art! Sing us your songs! Let us hear your laugh! Let us see your funny faces! Share with us a video of something beautifully boring! Let us send little resonances along the web that connects us to tickle and delight and uplift what the outer world cannot touch.
It’s beginning to finally look somewhat like Christmas around my house. We have a tree; my kids and I decorated this evening. We listened to Christmas carols and hung up ornaments. I’m going to bed thinking Not bad for a single mom.
I am enough. I am enough? I am enough! What a relief. I don’t need a man to take care of me, I don’t need a man to make me feel loved, I don’t need a man to keep me safe, I don’t need a man to validate my existence. I am enough. I can take care of me. I can love me. I can keep me safe. I exist. No need for validation. I exist. I am enough. Hallelujah! I am enough!
The tide has shifted and I’m ready for change. Somehow more empowered… maybe my practices have coalesced? Or is it the clarity arising from 100% sobriety 100% of the time? Is it that the Universe has aligned? Is it that enough people have prayed for me? I’ve begun to feel that life is worth living again… Is it the blessing of a thunderstorm, cooling the air after the sweltering heat of day,* the look in my children’s eyes as we pick wineberries by the side of the road, the hustle back home as the storm approached? Something is different. There is more hope, more conviction that somewhere, somehow, this will all work out.
*My home’s air-conditioning system has be inoperable since May. If you are from around here, you know how godawfully hot and humid it is in these parts this time of year. If you’re not from around here, trust me when I say that it’s basically inhumane and cruel to not have air conditioning during the summer months…
I was preparing myself to be alone and miserable on the 4th. No one had invited me to anything. I was ready to feel angry at my ex for leaving me and taking all our friends with him, angry because my kids are with him this year, leaving me all alone. But then I had a conversation with myself… How do I want to feel? I want to feel happy, connected. Who could help me feel that way? People who are earthy, who love nature, who celebrate with music and healthy food. Who do I know like this? Hmmmm… And then suddenly I remembered a friend from kirtan and drum circles, a friend with whom I sat in ceremony. I felt vulnerable and pretty pathetic having to ask, but I asked… I asked if he was doing anything for the 4th, and would it be okay for another person to tag along. No pressure, I said, just thought I’d ask. And he answered that he’s going to a gathering at a friend’s house…a potluck, with a cacao ceremony and kirtan…and he invited me to join the goodness! YIPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! I have plans for the 4th. It’s a miracle! (HAPPY DANCE)
Oh sweetheart, it’s going to be fine, it really is. You worry and you worry and you worry worry worry but truly— it’s going to be fine. Hasn’t it always worked out in one way or another? Haven’t there been times where the outcome of some difficult experience was even better that you could’ve ever anticipated? Or is it that you just don’t know how not to worry? Sweetheart, honestly, it’s time for a new habit. Instead of worrying, how about celebrating?