This is the time of the year for being thankful, mindful of our blessings. I look around and see that my life is filled with good things. Of course the best things in life aren’t things. I have a beautiful son who is caring, intelligent, engaging and funny. I have a wonderful family that loves me unconditionally, supports me through the challenges and celebrates the victories with me. I am blessed with friends that truly see me, hold space for me, and offer a shoulder, advice or a proverbial kick in the ass, whichever I need most. To each and every one of you, thank you.
A friend told me something both simple and profound recently; it stopped me in my tracks. He said, “Choose your path and walk it, no need to drag others down it kicking and screaming”. Such a simple way to look at life, letting the natural ebb and flow take its instinctive course. I make the best choices for myself in each moment. The choices are mine, for me, not for others. I own them, good or bad, whatever the outcome. Some won’t agree with my choices, others may never understand them. Some friends or people I care about may choose to step out of my life, decide not to walk my path with me. That is their choice. I respect their right to choose. I’m grateful for what they brought to my life for the time we walked together. As Pema Chodron wrote, “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” If you choose to walk my path with me, hold my hand and smile with me.
I see that life is about cycles. They look like concentric circles to me. As I grow, I move away from center, out onto another circle with new experiences. Whereas before I may have groused over seemingly repeating lessons, now I have a different perspective. I’m never in the exact same place. Part of the life equation is always different—location, circumstances, timing. Each experience is unique and each lesson is new. I choose to open to the lesson and the outcome, whatever they are.
I’ve spent a lot of time fighting—fighting for what I want, fighting against what I don’t want, fighting what I can’t control. Fighting expends a lot of energy but doesn’t move me forward. The simplistic fact is that I’m never fighting against who or what I think I am. My true adversary is always myself. It’s easier to fight than to embrace gentleness and acceptance. The softness that accompanies gentleness and acceptance is not comfortable; I instinctively bristle. The beautiful part of self-growth is recognizing my triggers and knowing that the tough stuff is where I grow. My instinct may be to bristle and fight but the deeper part of me is focused on breathing through the reaction and staying present with the true issue under the discomfort.
Communication is important in all relationships. A surprise to me was learning that communication is key in my relationship with myself. I need to be brave enough to ask for what I want and need. Before that can happen, I need to get clear on exactly what I do want and need. Getting clear for me involves looking inside, getting quiet and letting the chatter fade so the important things can distill out. I’m grateful for running, hiking, meditating, Teo and tea for the brain space to figure me out. I want and need friendship, love, caring and connection. Those are the gifts I, in turn, offer to my friends; I will always hold space for you. Happy Holidays!
Eccentric; Echo; Emotion; Excitement; Ecstasy; Ever; Efficient; Eloquent; Exertion; Euphemism; Empty; Errant; Every; Emerald; Emulate; Excuse; Experience; Effusive; Ebullient; Energy; Ew; Exert; Exhort; Exhibit; Excavate; Evacuate; Eviscerate; Evil; Evoke; Evolution; Evolve; Eulogy; Egg; Eclectic; Evocative; Eagle; Error; Elbow; Ecstatic; Element; Extra; Erect; Elementary; Egregious; Expend; Expand.