This might be cheating a bit, but since I have not posted in over a month, and it would be hard to completely 'catch up' on things in detail, I've decided to distill the last month's teachings into 7 powerful life lessons from my most recent adventures. Since returning from Mexico my beloved Uncle Brendan passed away, Spring has Sprung FULLY in Vermont and I enjoyed leading an amazing Ocean Goddess Retreat on Cape Cod with a powerful group of women.
Life has been filled with beautiful gems on the journey. This image was taken on the weekend of my uncle's funeral and is my favorite jetty that I have hopped along since I was a child. I have laughed, cried, dreamed, sat, journaled, watched, prayed and waited on this jetty and even jumped from it into the cold salty water or swam toward it from 'down the beach'. Each step of life is amazing if we choose to see it that way and can sometimes feel like this jetty- a path leading into the unknown and a one that also feels remarkably familiar. You can joyfully run along it but you also have to watch your footing; each rock along the way has it's own unique contours and lines. Every step of our own unique dharmic path is a precious gift and I am grateful for the lessons and teachings that are freely offered along the way. Here are a few that I'll share with you from this latest chapter...
1) BE EXCESSIVELY GENTLE WITH YOURSELF: Really, we are all on a journey and will evolve, expand and self-actualize at our own pace and in our own time. There is no need to rush. Self-realization takes time, patience and persistence (and gentleness!).
2) KNOW THAT EVEN THE PEOPLE WHO YOU MIGHT NOT THINK LOVE YOU MAY REALLY REALLY LOVE YOU: My Uncle Brendan was not an excessively expressive man, but I know he loved us all and after his passing I realized that he REALLY loved us, a lot. And, I realized that I loved him and until he was gone probably did not appreciate him or show my love to him enough. Don't wait until someone you love is gone to show your love and regard yourself positively enough to know that YES, really, even if they are not expressing it, they love you right back! (disclaimer: I know that this is not always the case)
3) NEVER NOT BROKEN: The Goddess Akhilandeshwari (the one who rides on the back of the crocodile and is 'never not broken') reminds us that when life falls apart- when you lose your job, or someone you love passes away, or you feel groundless and don't know where to turn, or you're wallowing in a puddle of shame from something you didn't really mean to say or do, that in those moments we have this great opportunity to let ourselves break apart and to put ourselves back together however we choose. It's in those moments when we are lying in a puddle on the kitchen floor that we can ride on the crocodile (fear), into the middle of the river, break down and then come back together in a new way. And, maybe even have some fun doing it, yee-haw!!
4) OPEN TO GRACE: In those moments when it feels like all we can do is worry and we lie awake in the middle of the night obsessing about what could happen, or could go wrong or how it's definitely NOT going to work out in our favor...can we stop, take a deep breath and open to what IS possible, what IS working, what IS good and what amazing, exciting things might (and probably will) happen if we TRUST.
The mind will try to dominate and be commander-in-chief, but the heart and soul might have other things to share with us, if we can quiet the chatter in the mind and LISTEN to the heart.
5) FREEDOM & FEAR: When you do something from your heart, and step into uncharted territory in your life and out of your safety zone, you will feel both freedom and fear. Know that this feeling of freedom and fear is a direct result of truly following your heart and that this is NORMAL. When we are doing things that are in our comfortable safe zone, we feel, well, comfortable and safe. When we enter a new territory: emotionally, physically or mentally- it will challenge us and stretch us in ways that might bring up some of our deepest fears and vulnerabilities. Go back to #1- Be excessively gentle with yourself in these moments. Thank you JP Sears for the inspiration for life lesson #5. (I would HIGHLY recommend checking out JP's website and YouTube Chanel.
6) BE WILLING TO BE VULNERABLE: We won't receive the support we need or crave if we don't open up. Show someone you trust what is on the inside. Believe that your dear friends and community are here to support you. What is one difficult thing that is in your heart or on your mind that you are carrying as a burden that you could share with someone you trust? I know that when other's share their deepest feelings and truths with me it is an honor and a relief. We are all in this together and believe it or not, our stories heal. Give it a try, right now- I dare you! You are held.
7) ON LINE DATING: Hmmmm...this is a tough one. My words of wisdom here would be: Keep it light, let it flow, and be gentle with everyone because we are after all, squishy tender human beings looking for love. And, go back to #'s 5 & 6- be willing to be vulnerable and step outside of your comfort zone. Well, okay, I will admit that dating of ANY kind is basically way out of my comfort zone. I think it is for many of us and we'd rather just NOT DO IT! But as the sticker on my Aunt's fridge on Cape Cod has read since I was a child (with an image of said Aunt peering over a huge cliff in Ireland)- 'Feel the fear and do it anyway!' I always wanted to respect my Aunt by living up to that darn sticker. Crap.
BONUS TIP: Always keep a sense of humor. This way, when your cat vomits at the foot of your bed on the pristine bedspread you just took all the way to the laundromat to be cleaned b/c it does not fit in your washing machine, or when you get a ticket b/c you 'forgot' that your car's inspection sticker had expired 6 months ago, or you realize that you REALLY are a horrible gardner and cannot even grow a weed to save you life, always, always remember to laugh at yourself.
Happy Spring Everyone and Thank you for SHARING with me any valuable life lessons that you have gleaned lately- I would love to hear! Click on Comments (below) to share!