This is my third year doing Reverb. It’s a great way to reflect on the year that’s coming to a close, to contemplate what I’ve learned and experienced, and to begin to consider where I’d like to focus my time, energy, and effort in the new year. This year, I’ll be responding to prompts from Project Reverb and Reverb14, hosted by my soul sister Kat McNally.
Project Reverb Prompt: Where did you start 2014?
To respond to this prompt, I got out my journal, read the entry from 1-1-14, found myself literally where I started the year. I wrote that I felt sure a big shift was happening in my life. We were getting a new puppy and I was starting yoga teacher training, so for sure a change was coming. Sam was sick and we still didn’t know why.
I had spent the day before decluttering my office, a big project I’d committed to complete over the winter break, to start the new year with an environment that represented more accurately the practice I was doing there, to claim the space. “I couldn’t get rid of some things — letters from Chris [my brother] and mom, the sweater Grandma knit, the collection of nicknacks I’d always imagined in our mountain cabin that now could go in our beach house [the dreamed of second home], love notes from Eric, dog collars and puppy teeth, Little D [Dexter’s favorite toy], old picture prints and negatives, so many books.” Some things I still couldn’t let go of, but other things were easy to let go, “a box of my writing from graduate school, some even older writing, all bad, me trying but not knowing my own voice, spending more time selecting font for the titles.”
I had gone to my favorite yoga teacher Sarada’s New Years Eve class the night before. “We wrote on a piece of paper what we wanted to let go of and what we wanted to invite, and they would burn it later in a ceremonial fire. “I wrote I wanted to let go of anxiety, fear of suffering … I invited love and joy, ease.”
Reverb14 Prompt: What can you say right now with certainty?
I contemplated this prompt for a long time, because part of me wants to answer that there is nothing I know for sure. And yet, the more I thought about it, I could admit there were somethings I was certain about.
- I want to be here, want to keep trying.
- I am a writer — this is my path, who I am, who I always have been.
- Starting is easier than I thought. I imagined all these obstacles, but all you really have to do is take one tiny step.
- Transformation is harder than I thought. It takes a lot of time and effort, especially when you are working with habits and ways of being that are old, sticky and deep.
- Becoming myself and being my own best friend is my most important work.
- I am not in control. I assume I am responsible, that whatever is happening is my fault and I need to fix it, but that’s not always true.
- Impermanence is real, change is constant. Learning to be okay with that brutal truth is crucial.
- Numbing out doesn’t work.
- Only I can save myself, but thankfully there’s lots of help and support available to me.
- The more you practice being open, the more your heart breaks.
- I generate my own suffering.
- There’s a path that offers a way out of that suffering.
- I can trust myself.
- I am embodied boundlessness.
- Living against cultural norms and expectation is difficult and at times painful.
- You can’t save others, you can only love them.
- I love to read almost more than I love to write.
- You never stop missing someone you loved and lost. Never ever ever.
- Laughter really is the best medicine.
- I am allowed to rest, to feel what I feel.
- I don’t need to apologize for or be afraid of who I am.