Written by Rachel Snyder
Your address, your bed, your body, your bookshelf. Take a walk, take a hike, take a step away from stagnating jobs, relationships and life patterns. Change perspective. Move closer to people who meet you with authenticity and nourish your wildest dreams. You don’t have to move mountains, shifting a single pebble can work wonders.
Touch the part of your own body that you love. Embrace in the bakery, in the parking lot, in the doorways all over town. Kiss people on the cheek. Stroke your cat more, pet your dog more. Savor the sensation of a silky scarf, of a well-sanded piece of wood, of the triad of textures in an Almond Joy. Moss, bark, rocks and the water work, too. The more you do it, the less you bump up against the “ouch” in touch.
Sit in silence and see how much there is to hear. Listen to people. What are they really saying? Listen to the very last notes of every song. Listen to your own inner voice – the one you hear only when the dim of every day is diminished. Hear the rustle of a leaf, the call of a bullfrog, the pop and crackle of your wood stove. Listen with your toes, listen with your heart and always listen to that which is never spoken.
Feel the pain, feel the joy, until you feel you’ll surely evaporate. Stop holding back from laughing with your belly, loving from the deepest places of your heart, swooning with the sensuality of life itself. When another’s disregard or arrogance enrages you, feel the anger rise up and roar! If you’re not truly feeling, you’re not truly alive – you’re just going through the motions.
Stop second-guessing yourself. You know what you know, you know? That inner tickling is your highest truth. It will serve you well; the backfire comes when you deny or discount it. Take in information, from all sides, yet trust, in the end, that you – and you alone – know what’s best for you. If all day you pine to paint,then that is what you must do. If you ache to walk beside the ocean, find a way to get there. Without complete trust, you are left only to rust.
Gather together with women and men you love. Sip tea together, walk in the woods together, talk and talk and talk, read aloud to each other, do absolutely nothing together. Revel in how your hair and your skin and your bodies and your stories are so different – and so utterly alike. Cook and eat together, stand beside the washing machine and cry and hug and wail together. And most assuredly, laugh together until your sides ache.
For once, stop giving, giving, giving to everyone but yourself. Accept a compliment with grace. Voice what you need – be it a hug, a moment of talk, food for your table, a loan of money – and know that it will be provided. Loosen your white-knuckled, stressed-out grasp on life, and then let the palms of your hands fill to overflowing. Know that you deserve all you receive, and remember to show your gratitude for the sheer magnificence of a life lived well.