ImageEveryone we encounter can teach us something of value. If we hold this Truth close to our heart, we can be open to the lessons that manifest in front of us on a daily basis. When I practice this, I find the world opens up to me in new ways. Sometimes the lesson is challenging and frustrating. Sometimes, I feel like I need to take a bath and a shot of tequila afterwards. But if I remind myself of this personal, Noble Truth, I find myself a little further along the path of compassion.

When my son was young, perhaps six or seven, he figured out that he had opinions that differed from mine. This was an interesting time for both of us because he was not quite sure how to “get his way” and I was not quite sure how to deal with his new demands in a peaceful and “zen” like manner. Sometimes arguments and disagreements would escalate. However, my inherently peaceful child developed a solution rather quickly. He would come up to me, take my hand in his and say
in a calm voice, “Can we please start over?” From here, we were able to both find our center, reach a compromise and solve the conflict. Out of a perceived frustrating and difficult situation, a few simple words spoken with compassion reconnected us to each other. We no longer were fighting to be “right,” we simply released the garbage emotions and reconnected. Egos be damned.

Thank the Divine for the “Do Over.”

When we start over, we are able to start where we are no matter what has gone before us. We do not have to cling to past hurts, indiscretions, misunderstandings, perceived inadequacies or any other mind trap we choose to fall into at the moment. We are fresh and new and filled with the same potential we always were. We are just reminded of it. We can start over at the New Year, on our birthday, in the morning of a bright and beautiful new day or we can start over right where are standing. Right here, right now.

If we can let go of the baggage, the need to be right, the negative language in our minds and the critic, we can move forward.

I took a digital sabbatical from writing here to regroup. I felt disconnected from the vision I originally had for what I share here. I needed to just write – write short stories, write poetry, write my novel, doodle, dance, scream, sleep, cook, daydream, home school, meditate, paint, practice yoga, wander, create – all without technology.

But when it was time to come back, I was paralyzed at the next step. I did not know where to start or what to say. I had reached an impasse with my Spirit. So of course my ego pipes in and says, “Don’t bother, let it go. What the hell are you going to do? Who wants to read your mumbo jumbo anyway? etc.”

When will it learn to shut up?

It won’t. Ever.

We have to learn to stop listening to it and turn our attention to that tiny voice deep inside of us that whispers, “You can do it.” It sings to us in dreams and tells us to paint New Mexican sunsets or sculpt flowers from clay or write love songs, write a story, knit a sweater, make peace with the neighbor, learn the guitar, help others, dance in the moonlight, bake bread or just breathe in the sunshine. It is the part of us that inspires us to not just do good, but be great and do wonderful things. It is the part of us that inspires us and consequently, inspires others.

So I ignored the negative babbling in my head  – the string of critical thoughts that had a Judas Priest soundtrack set to it. I turned it down so I could hear that lovely whisper.

That sweet, whisper with a fairy-like voice sighed above the din of Rob Halford and said gently, “Can we please start over?”

Of course we can. Because when we come from a place of Spirit, we can do anything.

So I sit now, reaching out to all of you, fresh and new and filled with the same inspiration and potential that was always there – ready to start over with something a little different, but still Just South of Zen.

Thank you to every one of you who reached out through e-mail and messages with words of encouragement and to check in with me. I appreciate it more than you will ever know.

I love where we have been together. But I am excited about this next step, this new beginning right here right now. Zen but just a little south.