Do you need a prod? A little darkness to get you going?

photo credit — @impatrickt

I am ecstatic to say farewell to 2017! I promise not to forget the darkness with the many cracks of light throughout. Darkness is humbling and like a lead blanket can feel like it will never lift. I will remember that the darkness of night in despair is not the ultimate reality. Morning arrives and light brings freshness and possibility.

Many challenges of intensity have brewed for the last two years dialed up to an 11 many times. I was at the top of the roller coaster teetering for months at a time. I’m not here to rehash those memories. We all have intensity, tragedy and are no strangers to suffering.

Sparks of light from 2017:

>> Friendship and family — A simple phone call, visit, conversations, meals -nom nom homemade soup

>> Hugs — From anyone who would give them for more than 20 seconds, love that oxytocin!

>> Acupuncture — Even when I couldn’t do anything for myself, my Acupuncturist gave me extra time to sleep and herbs to lift my mood

>> Yoga and walking my dog — Yoga helped me breath and Lucy allowed me to cry

>> Teachers — my coaches Zoe and Miriam and wise ear of my Rabbi, as well as my teachers at the Open Your Heart in Paradise retreat, Ram Dass, Krishna Das, Jack Kornfield, Trudy Goodman, Nina Rao and of course Neem Karoli Baba

>> Podcasts — my favorites have kept my mind in gratitude, nimble and active on everything but my inner gloom; WTF with Marc Maron, On Being with Krista Tippet, Elizabeth Gilbert, It’s All Happening, Beautiful Writers Podcast and the HBR IdeaCast

Keeping it real from 2017:

>> Alcohol — When the edge was too much and I needed to go down the steep hill

>> Medicinal weed — to sleep when anxiety wouldn’t allow it

And 2018 you amazing light you. It’s a special number for 18 in Jewish tradition means l’chaim — LIFE! I’m expecting good things from you and I can take whatever it is you throw at me.

Packing in my bag for 2018:

>> Infinite love — it is readily available within each heart but to remember it daily

>> Intuition — we have everything we need and know all the answers from within

>> Giving generously — in all ways from spending time with elders to helping a person on the street to my family and friends

>> BREATHE — notice and live NOW

Mary Oliver the beautiful poet gives me so much hope —

I know, you never intended to be in this world.
But you’re in it all the same.

So why not get started immediately.

I mean, belonging to it.
There is so much to admire, to weep over.

And to write music or poems about.

Bless the feet that take you to and fro.
Bless the eyes and the listening ears.
Bless the tongue, the marvel of taste.
Bless touching.

You could live a hundred years, it’s happened.
Or not.
I am speaking from the fortunate platform
of many years,
none of which, I think, I ever wasted.
Do you need a prod?
Do you need a little darkness to get you going?
Let me be as urgent as a knife, then,
and remind you of Keats,
so single of purpose and thinking, for a while,
he had a lifetime.

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