I was having a chat with my dear friend Kirsten one night last week when I was feeling sad over something. In the 20+ years that we’ve known each other, we’ve had lots of conversations about the meaning of life and our place in the world. She’s a deep thinker, so full of knowledge and always so open to sharing whatever she has learned.

I am very grateful to know her and to call her my friend.

So when she suggested I read Dying to be Me by Anita Moorjani, a book that changed her perspective on life, I jumped at the chance to read it. It tells the story of the author’s near death experience brought on by the end of a life-threatening illness.

The book’s basic message is one of self-love. Moorjani says that we are meant to show up fully as ourselves, or as she says, to “be yourself fearlessly.” She describes how recognizing your magnificence – because in our deepest essence, everyone is brilliantly magnificent – can change your life and make it much more fulfilling.

I started thinking about myself and what I cherished most about me. It struck me as funny how I can see magic in so many people, but rarely am I open enough to seeing it in myself.

I decided I’d write myself a letter celebrating me.

Of course writing a note to myself is one thing.  SHARING it on the blog is quite another and feels incredibly narcissistic, but in the spirit of embracing vulnerability, here is my first Grace Note of this month-long adventure – a love note to myself:

Dear D,

If only you could recognize your own beautiful magnificence. It is in you, around you, of you.

When you decide to be present with people, fully locking into someone eye-to-eye, you can feel the recognition of their soul. These are the sacred moments of life and when you are open to them, you feel transformed. Sometimes it feels like too much, the feeling too powerful, and you avoid being fully in the moment with people. It’s okay to step in and immerse yourself in the wonder of connection.

You see the romance of life, in the luminosity of sunrises and sunsets, in the swoon of the full moon rising in your neighborhood and the soft caress of the ocean on your feet when you go to the beach. The smallest things often seem the most beautiful to you: a white pigeon feather on the ground, the sound of a baby laughing, the color of tree leaves just after they’ve been born. It’s one of the most beautiful things about you. The world is full of exquisiteness and you are so present to it when you are open.

Embrace your mother nature. It would—perhaps will—make you an awesome mommy. Only the heavens know if this is meant to be, though not giving birth doesn’t mean you cannot put your nurturing spirit to good use.

You offer support to so many people in your life. To family, to friends, to co-workers. To the sweet cashier in the cafeteria who spreads her infectious joy all day long—the day when you were paying for breakfast and she began to cry, you offered a kind heart and a soft touch on the arm so she would know that she was not alone. That is your gift, to witness people’s pain and to let them know that it’s all okay. If only you could do that for yourself.

But your empathetic nature can be hard on you sometimes, especially on the streets of your beloved city where so many people are in need. Be careful of taking on other people’s pain. You can lend an ear, but you don’t have to try on their troubles as if you were shopping for a winter coat.

You’re so used to being on your own that sometimes you think love isn’t for you, that it will continue to elude you as it has so often in the past. But you must keep the faith. Love is everything. The signs are everywhere…even on the streets of New York City.

Double Heart

It’s okay to believe in the magic of life. Trust in love and believe your innate magnificence will bring it to you.

xx, Me

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