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On Beginning Again (Happy Spring)

Every day—every moment of every day—is an opportunity to take a deeper breath, to make a different choice, to break a harmful pattern and embrace a lighter load. Every day—every moment of every day—is a chance not to “get it right,” but to do it well (as well as we can, in that particular moment in time).

For me, doing it well means doing it with awareness, with kindness, and with love. For me, doing it well also sometimes means not doing it at all, not “doing” anything, but allowing that particular moment in time to move through me, to wash over me, to wrap me up in the present and to remind me that now now now is all we ever have.

Every day—every moment of every day—is a gift too often taken for granted. Life is not a given. The next breath is not a given. Nothing about a beating heart is guaranteed.

Every day—every moment of every day—is so full of miracle, I can barely stand it. That I am here, right now, alive and healthy and loving and loved, is almost too much for my body to hold.

Last night, during a passionate discussion with my husband that included topics like books and publishing deals and babies and families and work and the impossible task of balancing it all, I mindlessly spoke the most untrue words I have ever spoken. In a heated moment of fear and the all-too-familiar feeling of scarcity, I shouted, “I am not a lucky person! Lucky things don’t just happen to me! I have to work really hard at everything, all the time!”

As soon as these falsities had burst out of my body, they turned around and stabbed me, like poisoned arrows, and I felt the toxicity of them spreading from my center to my extremities. I wanted to spit them out. Cut myself open and bloodlet the bitterness out of my body.

I am such a lucky person. I am healthy and I am loved. Those two things alone make me one of the luckiest people alive.

I know this. And, yet, I so easily get caught up in notions of insufficiency, of lack. Every time I accomplish something, I wish I had accomplished it just a little bit better. Every time I attain a goal, I wish I had attained it just a little bit more.

This all stems, I know, from an unrealistic and extremely detrimental desire to achieve near-perfection, in every facet of my life. And this stems from an ingrained belief that I am not enough; that no matter what I do or how I do it, it will never be quite right.

Some lessons are learned quickly. Others take a lifetime. My own struggle with self-worth is one of those lifetime lessons, one of those karmic knots I believe I came here to untangle and free myself of. Little by little. Moment by moment.

Every day—every moment of every day—is a potential opening into another kind of reality. An occasion to make (unmake, remake) our own adventure. A chance to untangle the knots, learn the lessons, heal the heart, just a little bit more.

But this season of spring always feels more potent, more rich with the possibility of healing and renewal. As the ground warms and thaws and the days lengthen and brighten, we—children of the sun—are filled up with a sort of light that illuminates our deepest dreams and our truest reasons for being here.

As the trees and flowers come alive again, we are reminded, at a cellular level, of the connection between them and us, of the connection between us and everything, of our own potential to come alive again. We know, in the most ancient part of ourselves, that if green living things can muster the strength to push up against adversity and pierce through the darkness, we can too.

It suddenly doesn’t matter if the choices we made this morning, and yesterday, and every day, all year, weren’t the ones we should have made. Today is a new day and we are already forgiven.

I can hear it, so clearly, this year. The call to reawaken. The call to shift. To root. To grow. To push against the winter-dampened soil and emerge hopeful, baptized by the melting snow and early spring rains, cleansed and clear-headed, clear-hearted, rising.

People spend their whole lives ignoring the potency in every new moment of every day. People spend decades making the same choices, again and again, unable or unwilling to dive into discomfort in order to shift the entire trajectory of their lives.

I don’t want to be these people.

I want to hold on to the truth of me as I step away from the lies I have been told about myself and the lies I have repeatedly told to myself.

I want to continue to live life well—with awareness, with kindness, and with love—and trust and know and in-my-bones-believe that this is enough.

I want to continue to write. I want to rest in the joy that comes not from publishing something, or having something I publish be well-received, but from the act of writing itself. From the yes I hear every time I carve out a space in my day for feeding my heart a few good words.

I want to return to the medicine. The medicine that changed my life and saved my spirit. I forgot, for awhile, how much I love the medicine. How much I depend on the medicine. How much better I feel, how much calmer I breathe, how much gentler I walk-eat-sleep-dream when I am attuned to the medicine. I forgot, for awhile. But I am remembering, now. It is such a wonderful thing, to remember yourself.

I want to see my husband. To see my boys. To see my parents. To see my brothers. To see my family. To see my friends. To see them for the living angels and teachers and imperfect blessings that they are. I want to fall in love—every moment of every day—with the beauty of my people.

I want to dig my fingers deep into the garden and feel the life force throbbing in the cool dampness of dirt. I want to plant seeds and water them and talk to them and see them grow into friends capable of sustaining my entire family for an entire season.

I want to never, ever utter the words, “I am not a lucky person” again. Those words, steeped in fear and an absence of awareness, come from a place I do not wish to dwell in anymore, ever. They are signs, pointing to self-healing work that still needs to be done (I see that, I embrace that), but they do not carry the energy that I wish to carry in this world.

So I do the easiest-hardest thing: I let them go. I set myself free, both of the words themselves and of the guilt I feel for having spoken them, for having even thought them. I choose the person I want to be, the energy I want to carry, the chapter I want to write, the footprints I want to leave in the soil of this place.

Every day—every moment of every day—is a chance to choose the footprints we want to make, in the soil of this place.

Happy spring. The newness is upon us. She is singing us awake. We are already forgiven. This is the miracle of all miracles. We are already forgiven.

May we believe this, fiercely believe this.

And may we begin. Again.

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