Here we are, in that time of year where we stop to reflect. I have not done much stopping over the past few years. The studio is booked solid well into 2019 and my day job takes up much of my mental energy – leaving little time for reflection. At times I confuse that with being at a standstill. Like I somehow missed a ride somewhere and ended up here, waiting.
We lost our 14-year-old beloved dog this week. So full of spirit and joy! She held such presence in our lives. She was very old, we weren’t fooled into thinking we’d never lose her, but the loss left my breath feeling it couldn’t quite remember how to go in and out. My heart hurts. Where do I put that love reserved for her? This is the first time I’ve been without a dog in 27 years. The house is painfully quiet.
I had a memory come up earlier this week – I was just a girl, out with my dad running errands – pretending I was his business partner. Immediately following that memory, I remembered another time I had to take my artist hat off and jump into the business world. I found myself oddly inspired and engaged in that world – and somehow had missed that point until now.
What came to light for me was this:
We are everything that we are. We are artists, we are neighbors, pet owners, friends, coworkers, business people, daughters, sons, sisters, brothers and at the end of the day we are both temporary and infinite. At some point in my life I put a boundary around my artist self and determined anything that deviated from that was a wrong turn – a temporary circumstance. I refused to lean in.
I am without restrictions now. I can do whatever I want. I can go wherever I want, at any time. Surprisingly I find my wanderlust on hold, my desire for change non-existent, and my gratitude soaring for everything I have and experience, because of those perceived wrong turns into temporary discomfort.
Life is clear about what our next steps are. I’m not so sure there are any missed rides. Some may feel like wrong turns, because they are uncomfortable. Perhaps they are uncomfortable because of the boundaries we put around them. Let’s remember those boundaries and stories are of our making. It's those we should resist.
As we move into a new year, and I cleanse out the dust bunnies of years past, I’m going to let my life tell its own story. It doesn’t need an inner critic to throw shade at it or put boundaries in place. The only boundaries are birth and death, and arguably those blend into our larger existence. Every moment is a window into the next. It is pure artistry - and yes, sometimes it hurts.
There is loss, there is life, there is love. There is loss, there is life, there is love. And so on.
I wish you a loving and trusting holiday. May you find time to reflect. Breathe new life into everything you are. When the breath goes in and out naturally – you’ve got all the miracles you need. Take big breaths, even when it hurts. Resisting it is where we miss the ride.