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Things are hard, and I can do hard things. #AdviceForMyself #WritingDownTheBones #MonkeyMind

The past couple of years have been so full. Full of school, full of conflicting multiple priorities, full of learning to manage my own wellbeing and show up with fewer apologies. I am returning to this low-profile blog as an exercise in bravery and pushing back against the narrative I hear through my inner critic: How dare you? Who do you think you are? Why would anyone want to hear what you have to say? Monkey mind is on full blast.

Lately I've been attending a weekly live webinar with the esteemed and venerable writer/teacher Natalie Goldberg. The weekly practice of sitting, writing, reading aloud, listening, and witnessing is so incredibly nourishing, validating, encouraging. 2000 acolytes gather weekly, in wide anonymity, then we are digitally separated into small groups and (here's the amazing thing) we get to hear how it is for others, and offer a piece of ourselves. Silent, no feedback, no commentary, just holding the vessel and being held in kind.

When I was a child and a younger adult writing felt...non-negotiable. That my observations of the neighbourhoods of my life were imperative to get on paper. The act of documenting - ink on paper and scribbling away in the corner of some cafe or dive bar - it held possibility just as itself. I truly imagined that my future descendants would be enthralled by my musings about the minutiae and the endless navel gazing of my tumultuous relationships, tumbleweed existence, near-misses of all sorts. Maybe they will.

And then? Somehow, during the past decade, journalling and writing practice became optional. The irony is that this decade has been one of multiple transformations and identity shifts. That water has already passed under those bridges, it has long joined the big ocean of how it all is. So while I may mourn that I didn't capture those moments in the moment, I also offer myself forgiveness and compassion: there was a lot of just getting through.

So here we are. I'm emerging into this spring with a sack full of hope, a lot of support from allies seen and unseen, and renewed bravery to step into my practice and actually live the vision I've been cultivating for much of the past 10 years. I'm thankful that I am alive to do so. And thank you for being here, too.