“Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous new year by believing. Believe in yourself. And believe that there is a loving Source – a sower of Dreams – just waiting to be asked to help you make your dreams come true.” (Sarah Ban Breathnach)
Happy New Year! Today is the first day of 2016 and I am thrilled to be with you here at my writing desk!
I have just finished writing my first extended session of journal writing – a robust and rousing round of purposeful prayers, giggling grats, awesome affirmations, and virtuous visualizations! :-) These mutterings and musings are written by hand in great, effusive strokes with one of my most precious gift pens first thing in the morning and then again, very briefly, at other times during the day when I need to pause, refresh, reset.
Although I may be astoundingly alliterative and passionately playful in my writing, this very early morning writing time is calm, quiet, serious, devout.
While not religious in the traditional sense, I am deeply reflective and spiritual. I begin each day by writing, reading, and reflecting upon my own beliefs and those I encounter all around me. I routinely and sleepily but then much more excitedly (as the caffeine kicks in!) ponder my own thoughts, feelings and experiences as well as the personal and professional offerings of so many others that come flooding in as memories from conversation, observation, books, articles, and email.
As someone who loves to think, feel, read, write, create, and connect, I have an innate yearning to try the thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and understandings of others’ on for suitability and size. Although I will not be able to literally walk in another’s shoes during the day, I can do my utmost to empathize, connect, and care.
Later, at night or early the next morning in my writing chair, I can take up my pen to filter and fuse what I think I know about the universals of human life as the wisest and most wonder-filled have expressed them throughout the centuries along with more emergent and often fleeting empirical knowledge of the day. This has become a personal passion and professional imperative that dovetails with my loftiest hopes and dreams for myself and others. This, of course, is why I have said for many decades that while I may not have the answers, I am certainly well-versed in Life’s most pressing questions.
Despite the uncertainty and questions of life we all live each day, it is during this early morning writing time that I know best what it feels like to understand and be understood which I believe is one of the most fundamental human needs of all. As a family member, friend, colleague, teacher, librarian and therapist, I have savoured the thoughts, feelings and experiences of others so generously shared with me in spoken and written word. Whether detailed or fragmentary, deliberate or circumstantial, concrete or abstract, I relish the short, often overheard snippets of life-in-progress just as much as the more thoughtfully crafted personal stories that are the fabric of our everyday lives.
Each and every utterance may play a part in the weaving of individual and collective wisdom, wonder, and wellness. And that, of course, is the focus of my life’s work as a writer, educator, and therapist as well as my stumbling, bumbling, grumbling existence as a human bean.
As my most treasured black pen flies across the faint, blue-lined pages early each morning, I take great, bounding, mirth-filled leaps of faith. I give thanks for hopes, dreams, and visualizations that have yet to occur while knowing, as Einstein said, that “the imagination is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” I dare to believe in myself and my most idealistic and audacious dreams while welcoming and supporting others who wish to do the same. To be aware of and challenge one’s own limiting beliefs and gradually replace them with the most loving and leaping, faith-filled kind can be difficult, but to grow, adapt, and thrive, it is essential. This, of course, is my New Year’s wish for one and all. This year and every year. Today and every day. Now, and forever. As I include in the signature section of each email: “Believing is seeing.”
Or, in the enthusiastic, rhyming-chiming words of my beloved frizzy-fuzzy, green-nosed educational mascot, Kwil:
Just BE who YOU are
And DO what YOU do
Then all of life’s treasures
Will come to you
In fact, they’re INSIDE you!
With luv n’ laffs,