Today I celebrated the anniversary of my 37th year here on Earth. I started the day walking my dog in the mist and the light rain, surrounded by the mountains and autumn colors of this beautiful village that I live in. As we walked I offered thanks for all that has already come into my life and all that is yet to come.
There’s something about a birthday that awakens the reflective side of our nature. Surrounded by people all day, I didn’t have the chance for much self-contemplation; but as the day draws to a close and I’m surrounded by the quietness of the night, I find myself turning inward again. As I do so the desire to self-express arises; and so it becomes, simultaneously, a turning outward, as I create this space to share what is in my heart.
Being born in 1977, I was born in the year of the snake. The snake, with its ritual sloughing of its skin, has long been a symbol of rebirth and transformation. This year I have felt an affinity with the snake. It has been, more than ever before, a year of profound transformations, both internal and external, in my life. A year of shedding old skins and negotiating and embracing the new.
Put like that it sounds so easy!
And yet it has been a year that has taken me to the darkest places within; as well as a year that has awakened in me a deep and lasting joy as I have discovered a deeper sense of connection and communion with myself; with nature; with the Universe and all that is.
Looking back I am deeply grateful for all of these experiences; the ones that my mind wants to label ‘bad’ as well as the ones it terms ‘good.’ I see now that each and every one of them has been a necessary stepping stone on the journey of deeper self-knowing and greater self-acceptance; that each and every one of them has helped me to integrate another aspect of myself and come more fully into the wholeness of who I am.
They have all contributed to bringing me to this place; a place in which I am living more authentically and more courageously than I have before; valuing myself more; thinking, speaking and acting from a more heart-centered space; and opening myself up to embrace the intrinsically spiritual nature of life.
Somewhere in the course of this year, I have started to understand what Ram Dass means when he says that we are all souls walking each other home; and to see that everything in my life is taking place with the Universe’s perfect design and timing for my greatest and highest good and my soul’s greatest and highest evolution.
For someone who, only a little more than a year ago, would have said that she didn’t even believe in souls, (or was at least undecided as to if they exist or not), that is a pretty bold statement. And yet I feel its truth resonate in my heart.
It was precisely being taken to the darkest places that allowed me to open up and allow this truth in. And so the darkness leads us to the light; in my case, the reconnection with my soul.
It is this reconnection with this purest essence of all that I am that has been the greatest gift of this year of change and transformation. A reuniting with the beauty and truth, the stillness, the Divine essence that lies at the heart of me; and also lies within the heart of you.
I center myself now and feel into this space within; it’s a place that holds the strength and the stillness of the mountains I see around me every day, contains the sunlight that sparkles on the top of the river, and the gossamer wings of the dragonflies that hover over it. It’s a strong, still, powerful, immutable place within that sings the song of my soul and the song of the whole Universe. That sings them in such beautiful harmony that they merge and become one. A still heart; at peace with itself and all that is.
I am so grateful for this heart of mine. As I connect within my breathing slows; and I feel a deep and beautiful peace spread out from my heart and through my energy field. This beauty and peace, this love, is who I am at the core of my being; it is who we all are at the core of our beings. This is the Divine essence of me. And it is also the Divine essence that lives within you.
It’s my wish for my 37th year to live more and more from this heart-centered space; to emanate my Divinity – this great reservoir of love, peace, beauty, joy, wisdom and compassion – in everything I do, so that these qualities permeate every cell of my being and radiate from me out into the world.
It is my desire to continue to slough away the old and to embrace deep and profound transformation in my life so that I can embody this vision more fully; actualize the purest and truest essence of myself and share this gift with the world. It’s my hope that others will read this and be inspired to do the same.
Even as I write these words I know that the very human being that I am will fall short of my desires time and time again. I hope that I have enough love and compassion towards myself to simply pick myself up, recenter in my heart, and start all over again.
Every moment is a new moment, a new start; a fresh chance to come back into our heart space, activate the qualities of our Divinity, and embody the person we want to be. The seeds of transformation have been sown in my heart; it is up to me, now, to nourish them and help them grow into an outward expression of all the beauty that lies within.