Spring is on the horizon here in the mountains of Asheville, and it has me thinking a lot about how I want to show up in the world— What kind of person do I want to be? How can I bring more peace to this planet? How can I sustain myself without compromising my integrity and what I believe in? Spring is, of course, a time of new life and rebirth! A joyous occasion mostly, where we get to marvel at the beautiful color that starts to creep up from the seemingly dead, grey earth.
I grew up in Miami, the land of eternal summer, so I never got to fully appreciate the seasons and just how perfectly they nudge our spirits growing processes. When spring is near, I giddily feel the shedding of the cold inward journey that is winter. Tank top and sandal wearin’ weather days present themselves, and everyone around town seems to have a permanent smile on their face. But before we lose ourselves in the wild freedom of the hot summer that is soon to follow, spring provides us with an opportunity to grow, just like the little flowers, who have spent all winter long waiting to show us their faces, do.
Growth, when not rooted in some sort of consistent mindfulness practice, can appear as this giant scary monster that is too big to slay. I used to believe that if I transcended my shit too much, I would have to live without all the things I love— like finding humor in silly things, adoring the crap out of my friends and loved ones, and taking pleasure in things like lattes or getting my nails done, because “non attachment”. I used to think that transcending my shit meant to live without joy and excitement in the things I love. But for me, the truth of growth is that it actually helps you to find even more joy in your life, because the attachment that we are divorcing is that of our stuff. When we can brave the discomfort of our lifelong patterns, habits, and belief systems, we can then look at them with soft eyes and ask ourselves, is this how I want to show up? Is this who I want to be?
The other day, an old side of myself crept up that I haven’t hung out with in a long time. She is controlling and passive aggressive, and not very fun to be around. I recognized her quickly though, and was able to ask her to leave before much damage was done. Immediately after, I had to work through deep feelings of guilt and resentment towards myself, feelings I thought I had long ago “fixed”. I am grateful for my partner, Stephen, who was there for me as I looked at this unresolved facet of myself, and asked, yet again, how do I want to show up? One of my cherished and favorite lessons I have learned through him and continue to learn through him, is the sweetness of life when we let go and go with the flow.
When we notice old patterns arise, it’s easy to get discourage and think our hard work is no longer worth it. But how could it not be? When I catch myself overwhelmed by the constant stream of darkness in the news these days, I do my best not to turn away. I do my best to stay present with what is, even if it makes me uncomfortable or afraid or sad. I do my best to continue to spread my own inner light and love and kindness. And I do my best to ask myself everyday— how do I want to show up?
I love you.