I turned 28 a few weeks ago. Thinking of how I wanted to celebrate the start of another year on this planet, in this existence...I decided I wanted to fast. The idea had beckoned to me before and I remember dancing with it in my head from time to time before. This time, it really stuck. I thought, what does it mean to celebrate something like another year of existence? I thought about how I wanted to celebrate. The idea of drinking or holding a party just didn't seem to fit. Those are a few ways to celebrate, but I wanted something a little more intimate and more connected to where I was now in life. Sitting, fasting and mediating called to me because I imagined that it could a time of deep listening and giving to myself. Giving time, presence and compassion through deeply listening.
I had this Monday off for Columbus Day and decided that day would be the day. It was an amazing day, truly. I tried to stay as intentional and present in my thoughts and actions while listening to how I was responding, moment to moment. I wasn't always in that state but the intense dedication to maintaining that state had some of the most profound and peaceful effects I'd experienced in a while. The thing about meditation I find is that the more you do it the deeper it gets. The more you dedicate to the idea of learning from and listening to what comes of stillness and presence, I realize how powerful the mind is, how quickly it can and does evolve, adapt. The mind, the human spirit, the heart - these remarkable parts about our existence, are all continually evolving and adapting in powerful ways but what mediation does is tune us into that process. I feel like becoming aware of how I change, adapt and how my desires and thoughts affect me now, I can author myself and grow myself in ways I really want.
I had a few intentions and few reflections I wrote out in the first few hours of the 24 hour fast. (I fasted from sundown Sunday to sundown Monday). Focusing on earnest and healthy reflections while listening for the intentions best-suited to help form me into a healthy, whole person seemed like a great way to start a year. I spoke the reflections and intentions out, giving them voice that night, again in the morning, once in the afternoon and again as I was ending the fasting period Monday evening. I used to keep things in my head when I was praying/meditating/communing with wisdom. But saying them out loud affects me in a physical way. I feel it as a warmth, a strength in my spine, a resounding positivity. The intention that most resonated was "I set this intention, to open myself and the back of my heart, to the connection of love that exists between and within, everything. To let go of fear. To embrace vulnerability." Saying that, thinking that, holding that I could feel it affect me. It's my intention of the year, I realized.
I've had a full year of beautiful opportunities to heal -- very, very challenging and sometimes quite painful opportunities, but just beautiful. How it all fits together, how it all contributes to becoming whole. Looking into this next year, I see a sense of peace I am just, unbelievably grateful to see. I have been looking for this, tirelessly, getting pieces here there, between plummets of emotional turmoil and now, looking ahead...I just want to joyfully laugh.
I was at a new patient appointment for a doctor I'd never seen before yesterday. After I'd give her my full medical history, mental health included, she asked me if I felt suicidal now. I smiled and said, "No, no I really don't." She said, "I didn't think so, you seem like you are in a really good place I just had to ask." Thinking about it after we spoke until today, I felt that resounding positivity. It's been years since I've said yes to that question. I thought of the reflection I most connected with on Monday, to "reflect on the many beautiful, surprising and perfect twists and turns my life has taken to bring me, here. Staying open to what's to come."
I am so grateful and so damn proud. I've had so much support and am so honored by the amount of love I have around me to help me to get this point; the point where I can say by saying no that no, I am not suicidal. I love my life, cherish my existence and I don't want to give up either. That feels pretty phenomenal and I savor the gratitude I am experiencing thinking about the so much of what has been to lead me here.
We are all on such journeys. We have so many perspectives to choose from as to how to look at this existence. Thinking about this, I feel like happiness is not a choice but a choice in perspective can make all the difference. Getting yourself to see that happier, healthier perspective can be work, but the fruits of that labor are always so sweet.
Hoping that you, as you read this, take the time to reflect and intend in ways that support your highest good and encourage you to give yourself your deepest love.