Clearing Breaths

They say 2020 was when the “big hit” happened that caused everything to stir, to shift, to move. Man, did we all feel it—in epic proportions, for sure. 2021 came and was the year of transformation, where we had to clear the path, pick through the rubble and rebuild, rediscover and reset.

While 2020 left me feeling like I’ve been hit by a freight train several times over, 2021 was when I felt I was being pulled in ten million directions. This transformation business is something else entirely. It was the year of standing my ground and saying yes, “Yes, I’m going to rebuild and recover.” It was also the year that I got hit with major anxiety that made me feel oftentimes like I couldn’t function anymore. It was the year that my inner knowing started coming out of her fabulous shell and saying she could not hide any longer. It was the year I worked on my tension and trauma releasing exercises (TRE) certification, and was also the year I sought professional help to process my own trauma. I felt like I was living triple lives at some point (don’t we all?), and I guess that’s part of inner work—it’s hard, but it’s exactly where I should be at the moment.

Days before the end of 2021, I found myself agitated, a lot activated (talk about excess energy) and anxious. I couldn’t pinpoint why because I felt good and I felt strong, but you cannot predict anxiety and her path. What I could do was to listen to my body and allow it to tell me what she needed. A dear and beautiful friend held a space for me and prompted me to journal my thoughts and feelings. I turned to a prayer-journal practice she taught me some months ago where I sit with the Divine/higher self and ask the question: what is it I’m supposed to do/know/understand/feel (list goes on) right now? Then allow the Divine to answer through a two-way written prayer.

This is what came out of my two-way prayer as I end this beautiful, enriching, testy year that has really pushed me to the core. I am sharing this for anyone who may need to hear it as we venture into a new adventure as a new year dawns.

Dear God, what is it that I should do today?

Live, my darling child. Feel everything. Move through your flow, appreciate the notes and the pauses in between. You did a lot of work this past year. The big shift hit you like a tsunami and you allowed yourself to transform, evolve, grow. And that was no easy task. It was painful, it was nerve wracking, it was hallowing and draining and overwhelming and, truly, all that jazz. But you did it. You danced in the rain and you chose YOU. Choosing yourself is not a one-off affair. Choosing yourself – your true, most beautiful self – is going to be a work in progress.

So while you live, rest. Rest for all the hustle you did the past 30 and so years. Rest for all the times you didn’t. Rest for the times you chose something else over what you really wanted. Rest for your past, rest for your present, and rest for your future—most importantly. Something beautiful is coming, my dear child. I know you know it in your heart that sings. You also need to prepare for those moments and the coming energy.

Smile. Smile at your triumph. Smile at the crinkles beside your eyes and call them laugh lines. Smile at your silliness, smile at your goodness. Smile at your maturity, your growth and your creativity. Smile at the way your mind swings like a pendulum. Smile at your heart and how warm and free and forgiving it is. Smile at your “happy body” – the one that jiggles when you laugh. Smile at your hands—they’ve done so much. Smile after you sigh at peace and contentment, knowing you are beautiful, you are here and you are whole.

Write. Write your narrative. Write your prayers. Write your song, your dreams, your soul. You were born to discover and writing is your channel. Write the discoveries, the ideas. Write the names of wonder, the names behind the love that you feel so fiercely. Write the names behind the tears and the anguish. Write the worries and the fears and the allow the pages to soak them up. Write the words you believe in. Write the words you don’t. Just keep writing, darling. It’s your narrative. You can do whatever the hell you want.

Listen. Listen to your voice, sweetheart. Oh, she is so proud you’ve finally taken notice of her. Her spunk and attitude are glowing with pride. Your true self never went away. She knew you had to do something(s) important so she stepped aside for a little while. But you bet she held you up when you couldn’t anymore. That extra strength you got when things were falling apart? That was her, the real, true, most beautiful you. It’s time for you to keep shedding and undressing all those layers you’ve put on. Let her come out and play in freedom, love and light. Embrace her tenacity. Embrace that wicked smile and that big fluffy heart. She’s quite rebellious, but also has some insecurities and that’s okay. She’s happy. You are happy. So listen. Listen to the wild. Listen to the truth. Listen to your inner knowing. And do not ever stop.

Love. Love fiercely and fully. Love with wisdom, courage, compassion, kindness and lightness. Love with a smile. Love with a big, warm embrace. Love with gusto. Love with peace. Love like the sun when it fills you up with light. Love like the wind when it embraces you fully, with comfort and assurance. Love like the earth, nourishing and strong. Love with flow. Love with grace. Love unconditionally. And that includes YOU. Love yourself.

Breathe. Breathe in life, breathe out love. Breathe in beauty and light. Breathe calmly, steadily, with peace and profound joy in simply living. Breathe, relax, love and allow yourself to be loved. Just breathe, pause and be. Just be.

Begin again. Begin anew.

Get back on your mat and feel your body settle into the security of the earth.

Pick up a book and learn. Better yet, write the book you’ve always wanted to.

Say what’s on your mind and treat it with kindness.

Carve out your path and live it. Love it.

And smile that wicked smile as you do it.

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