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“It’s not happiness that makes us grateful but gratefulness that makes us happy.” – Br. David Steindl Rast

The One Thing We Must Learn + Happy New Year!

Warmest wishes for a wonderful new year. A new moon, a new year, a new beginning…. I love that die-hard gardeners, in the midst of deep dark winter at this time of year, start poring over seed catalogs and images of colorful, beautiful life… planning and ordering seeds for the next season’s garden.

I love doing that metaphorically as well. As so many astrologically inclined people have said – this potent combination of a new moon on New Year’s day presents such a fertile soil for planting the seeds of our life-intentions. Nurturing what we want to grow, weed out what isn’t helpful.

I’ve loved taking time in the past week with my journal and favorite purple pen to reflect on 2013 and dream into 2014. One of the simple supports I like to use comes from the lovely Andrea Scher (http://www.superherolife.com/). Here’s a link to her “Complete Your Year” worksheet (http://www.superherolife.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/complete-your-year1.pdf).

We’ll be exploring this kind of review and intention setting during our Begin Again retreat in Costa Rica starting this weekend. Yippee!

The poet David Whyte is in my consciousness this morning and I’d like to share a gorgeous piece of his writing with you. A favorite poem, which I invite you to read out loud to yourself. No, really. I mean it. :)

“When your eyes are tired the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone, no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark where the night has eyes to recognize its own.

There you can be sure you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your womb tonight.

The night will give you a horizon further than you can see.

You must learn one thing.

The world was made to be free in.

Give up all other worlds except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet confinement of your aloneness to learn that anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you.”

– David Whyte

Can I just repeat this again?

(Because I need to hear it again, and again and again….)

“You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.
Give up all other worlds except the one to which you belong.
Sometimes it takes darkness, and the sweet confinement of your aloneness to learn that anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you.”

Sometimes what used to bring me alive no longer does. Sometimes it’s the way I’m relating to an aspect of my life makes it life-sucking rather than life-giving. (Like doing dishes!)

Sometimes it’s soooo helpful to simply pause, unplug, step out of “normal life” to really inquire into this clearly.

Am I moving toward freedom?
What brings me most alive?
What wants to change?
What do I want to let go of?
What do I want to embrace more fully?

That’s one of many things I’m so looking forward to during our Begin Again retreat.

Even if you can’t take a week or a day off to reflect, a chunk of a few undistracted hours with yourself can be such a gift. I know it was for me this past week.

I don’t know if this is true, but a teacher once shared with me that on the first mission to the moon, the spacecraft was off-course most of the time. It was an art of continual course-correction.

Isn’t life like that?

A little more to the left, woops! too far.
A little more to the right. Woops!

:)

And even so, they made it to the moon.

May this new year unfold many blessings for us and for the world.

Who knows how many of us will be blessed to still be here, alive next year?

I want to grow my presence, my gratitude, my kindness, my courage, my generosity.

I want to embrace each moment of living as if it’s my one chance to see and taste and know and embrace the gift of life and being in this world.

Because it is.

I wish this for you too.

Happy New Year,

Erin

And why not include a few more photos just for fun?

Here’s me and Mesa and one of his dragons taking a selfie on New Year’s Eve day.

And here’s my sweetheart – we ended up having a totally spontaneous New Year’s Eve with visits from a few wonderful friends, watching this incredible film (http://www.cultureunplugged.com/documentary/watch-online/play/7972/Dancing-in-the-Flames), sipping wine, and something we’ve never done together before – painting. It was so much fun.

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