Sometimes people say things that resonate in our hearts forever.
I’ll never forget one particular night in a tiny apartment in Cuzco five years ago. A small group of yoga students were lounging on the living room floor, enjoying an indoor picnic and grounding from a San Pedro ceremony, when a young shaman to-be opened her bedroom door. Elegantly holding a glass of red wine, she boldly announced:
I just realized I’ll never be comfortable again.
That was it.
Life. Everything. Being present. Facing the truth. The courage to love and to create. Accepting change. Letting go.
She captured it all in that single, subjective statement. At least, that’s how I interpreted it.
Why am I telling you this?
Well, Wednesday was my birthday (w00t!) Don’t worry! I accept late gifts.
I’m tremendously excited that my birthday fell on a new moon this year! I really couldn’t ask for a better opportunity to meditate on clearing out the emotional junk and setting focused intentions for the month (and year!) ahead.
Looking back over this past year, I’m amazed by the growth and transformations I see. A lot of shit went down, blew up in my face, and shattered to pieces.
But just as a destructive wildfire allows for new growth, wiping the slate clean has granted me the opportunity to lay the foundation for my dream life.
I re-focused my energy on the objectives I established for myself when I first moved to Mount Shasta.
I processed a lot of drama. It was uncomfortable. But once all the shit settled, I was able to see a clear path ahead of me, and nothing holding me back from it.
This birthday was different from all others I can remember. Normally, I would turn off my cell phone and retreat into the woods. This time, I felt invigorated by the love and attention. I actually celebrated!
Here is my birthday gratitude list:
~ I’m grateful that I injured my foot last August. Seriously! I needed that time to quietly sit with myself and allow others to take care of me. I knew that I relied on running to keep me sane. When I couldn’t do it for a couple of months, chaos ensued. This led me to finally start digging into my subconscious and heal the festering wounds I found there.
~ Losing my crappy retail job was a blessing in disguise. An impetus to launch my writing career. I’m shocked by how quickly it’s taken off and motivated by the limitless potential I see. This is the first time I’ve ever really loved my work enough to stick with it.
~ I’m grateful for the ability to support myself with work I love, and a schedule that offers flexibility to devote time and energy to my favorite hobbies: running and farming.
~ I’m grateful for beautiful, amazing and inspiring friends and family. Extra grateful for a kind, patient and supportive boyfriend who encourages me to be my best self.
~ I’m actually happy to live out in the middle of nowhere. I have the best view of the mountain and get to enjoy colorful sunrises and sunsets every day.
~ I have a house big enough to devote an entire closet to my shoes!
~ Since there’s absolutely nothing to do around here, creativity bursts forth from every orifice! My boyfriend and I keep ourselves busy with various DIY projects and are beginner homesteaders. We spend Saturday nights playing nerdy fantasy card games, or sometimes just sit in the driveway and watch the swallows dive-bombing mosquitoes with a sunset-red mountain in the background.
~ I’m grateful to see society evolving to reflect a heightened sense of compassion and awareness. The legalization of gay marriage, the downfall of the confederate flag, clinical trials of psychedelic drug therapy for mental illness… makes me believe I might see the day women are treated as equals!
~ I’m grateful for free online classes! Heck yes!
~ At this time last year, I didn’t even have a desk! Now, I’m typing this blog from my very own home office.
~ I’m excited to hand out my very own snazzy business cards.
~ I’m grateful for running. For spending my weekends exploring miles of Nor Cal wilderness and sleeping like a baby.
~ I’m grateful for this mountain: the fresh air, clean water, and all the other whackos drawn into the Shasta vortex (except the creeps- I can do without them).
Reflecting on my past year, the most important lesson I learned is to ease off the accelerator. That it’s not just about charging ahead, but seeing where you want to go. After years of spontaneously hopping around the world, exploring new ideas, people and careers, I can honestly say that fighting the urge to run away once things fell apart was the best thing I’ve done for myself.
Looking forward to this year, my goal is… to make goals! Haha. Specifically, I want to seek mentorship and develop a clear and detailed action plan for myself with milestones. I currently set small goals each month, and then take ten minutes to review myself at month’s end. It’s time to reach out beyond that.
Oof, I am getting old.
My mantra for this year is:
The only way to manifest epic projects is to bow deeply to your daily grind.
Freelance writer. Trail runner. Relentless savage.