looking back || week 52

"Integrity is the ability to listen to a place inside oneself that doesn't change, even though the life that carries it may change."
—RABBI JONATHAN OMER-MAN

The wonderful thing about doing a 365 is the ability to go back in time and read what was happening last year, or in my case, the last few years. The day to day journey quickly resurfaces as i go back and reread different post. The pairing of a photo with the obscure hints dropped here and there about what was troubling me or what I was elated about brings back bits and pieces of each day and I feel pain, grief, joy, love, confusion, growth and familiarity. 

“And no one will listen to us until we listen to ourselves.” 
― Marianne Williamson

I have talked before about my struggle at times to define my purpose here, but this last year has morphed into one of those revolving doors, which I am comfortable cycling through, over and over again. I see so clearly now, why and how this works for me. 

I have put into place, piece by piece, a daily practice that feels authentic and honest for me right now. I have knitted together people and things that support this practice; listening to myself and trying not to emulate, but rather gather inspiration from those I admire and respect.  I have walked through all that doubt that had oozed into my life over the past several years, arriving at a place that feels different but normal again. 

“Always seek less turbulent skies. 
Hurt. Fly above it. 
Betrayal. Fly above it. 
Anger. Fly above it. 
You are the one who is flying the plane.” 
― Marianne Williamson

I have weeded out and recycled, nourished and pampered, felt silly and so damn smart. I understand I don't have all the right answers but I do have the tools to find my voice amongst all the muck life dishes up. 

“We walk through so many myths of each other and ourselves; we are so thankful when someone sees us for who we are and accepts us.” 
― Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within

three things i learned this past year :: 
of all the "enlightening" books i read in 2016 (and i read a slew) no one speaks to me like Anne Lamott
meditation does not have to be hard, some soft music from Spotify (there are mediation playlist that are so good) ten minutes of quiet and my breath is all i need
there is no special formula for praying, no special time that God listens best, no rituals that need to be preformed or followed

Oh, my God. What if you wake up some day, and you're 65 or 75, and you never got your novel or memoir written; or you didn't go swimming in warm pools or oceans because your thighs were jiggly or you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It's going to break your heart. Don't let this happen.
~ Anne Lamott

how was your year? 
xooox, 

Age has given me what I was looking for my entire life - it gave me me. It provided the time and experience and failures and triumphs and friends who helped me step into the shape that had been waiting for me all my life...I not only get along with me most of the time now, I am militantly and maternally on my own side. 
~ Anne Lamott