“If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.” ~Ajahn Chah
In many ways knowing that I would be moving my entire life and career for over two months has given me the opportunity to truly appreciate what has led me to where I am and why I am choosing to move forward. In other ways, it has been like ripping a band-aid off excruciatingly slow. After all, I’ve known I’ve wanted to live in Bend for years, so these past few days, as I’ve gone through each closet, cupboard and shelf, selecting items to be sold in this weekend’s yard sale, I’ve chosen to look at this move as something entirely different from past relocations. Rather than taking my past with me, I am leaving as much of my past behind so as to start what truly is a new stage as fresh as possible.
After taking a moment to count up all of the different towns, cities, apartments, houses and states I’ve lived in since I left for college, the total number reached its zenith at eight. Now for some that may not be that many and for others it may seem exorbitant, but much like Goldilocks, that is precisely how many locations it has taken me before I finally got it just right; however, your number will be entirely unique to your journey.
As I was going through my book shelves, and down-sizing my collection to two thirds of its original size, I came upon a book that I won’t be parting with and for good reason. Sarah ban Breathnach’s Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy. I can remember quite vividly her conversation with Oprah in the late nineties when the book was published. Their conversation made me perk up as I listened intently as a teenager.
There were many quotes I highlighted and life suggestions made that I pondered over and tried to incorporate into my life. If you haven’t picked up the book before, each day of the year, Breathnach’s offers an entry that is usually 1-2 pages in length, ideal for a daily moment of pause and reflection. Below are just a few of the lines that captured my attention years ago:
- Whatever we are waiting for – peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of Simple Abundance – it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.
- Simplicity gains importance in our lives as we begin to make peace with ourselves.
- The greatest secret to living a happy and fulfilled life is the realization that everything is created in our minds before it manifests itself in the outer world. We must believe it before we can see it. You have to know what you’re digging for, before X can mark the spot.
- Turn away from the world this year and begin to listen. Listen to the whispers of your heart. Look within. Your silent companion has lit lanterns of love to illuminate the path to Wholeness. At long last, the journey you were destined to take has begun.
- If it’s not authentically you, live without it.
And while there are quotes that cause the reader to stop and reread for full effect, at this point in my life, the quote below gave me great pause. The past few months have been filled with extraordinary highs of which I cannot be grateful enough and frustrating lows that even I didn’t expect, but perhaps the penultimate moments leading up to my leap validates what Breathnach’s quote below is trying to illuminate. And if that is the case, the idea that I am stepping into a new stage in my life, couldn’t be more accurate.
Perhaps that is why I have been shocked by the myriad of emotions I have felt. Perhaps that is why when each of us chooses to finally muster up the courage to do something we never thought we’d get the chance to do or attempt something no one ever expected we would say yes to, that we feel trepidatious is a sign not to signal us to stop, but rather a sign that we are stepping into a realm that is more in alignment with who we truly are, and while we will never be able to return, it truly is a moment to celebrate. We’ve made it. We’ve made it to yet another level of our progress of reaching our full potential.
“I have come to realize that feeling afraid is Spirit’s signal to ask for grace and power. So take a deep breath, seek your quiet center and push on. One of the hardest lessons we ever have to master is accepting that all fear comes from within however major are the real life’s circumstances assaulting us. The closer we get to giving our dream to the world, the fiercer the struggle becomes to bring it forth. Why should this be so? Because we will be inexorably changed, and life can never return to the way it once was. Of course we’re scared; we wouldn’t be sane if we weren’t . . . Trust that the same Power that gifted you with your dream knows how to help you make it come true.” -Sarah ban Breathnach
Whatever journey you are on at the moment, whether it is reshaping your attitude, your social circle, your career path or perhaps you too are uprooting yourself physically as I am, allow the uncertainly and the exhilaration of what you might be to be your fuel.
I will leave you with one last quote from the book I highly recommend:
“Realize the past no longer holds you captive. It can only continue to hurt you if you hold on to it. Let the past go. A simply abundant world awaits.” ― Sarah Ban Breathnach
~THOUGHTS FROM THE EDITOR POSTS FROM THE ARCHIVE:
~My Ultimate Everyday Luxury: Christy Linens
13 thoughts on “Thoughts from the Editor: A New You Awaits”
I hope Marie Kondo’s book also provided inspiration 🙂 all the best for your new journey in life and I can’t wait to see how your new life in Bend unfolds. It looks like such a gorgeous place 🙂
“Realize the past no longer holds you captive. It can only continue to hurt you if you hold on to it. Let the past go. A simply abundant world awaits.”
I will keep this in mind today. Living in the present requires constant practice. Thank you for the reminder, Shannon. Enjoy this weekend’s yard sale!
Hi Shannon, as always, always, always – thank you so much for taking the time to write your blog and share of your truth. It is a sheer delight to read your work and
gain insight and inspiration. I only wish you all the best!! I can hear your excitement and awe as I read your words. Life really is a journey – thank you
for taking us on yours and in doing so being a constant source of encouragement.
Again, wishing you many blessings in your new endeavors!! Warmly, Jessica.
Thank you for sharing this today! I recently had a baby, so I’m negotiating the relationship changes that brings- with my baby, my partner, my parents, and my inlaws. This post is exactly what I needed to read!
Good luck on your move!
Many thanks for this insightful post! I loved it. This spoke to me on a personal level as I’m facing new changes in my life right now.
What a beautiful and inspiring literary post Shannon! I often think of you as you are going through this transition/moving stage,if good thoughts count for anything it will go well.
Rose, Your thoughts of goodwill mean the world. Thank you very much.
This post is exactly what I needed to read at this time. Thank you so much.
I bought this book when I suffered burnout and a major depressive episode in my mid 30s (the mid 1990s). Prior to this I owned and managed my own successful PR consultancy. As a result of my collapse I had to close my business and my life as I had previously known it was over. This book was a huge comfort and companion at a time of huge anxiety and hopelessness. I read a section every night before bed. I still have it and return to it when I need her wisdom.
I needed medicatiion and many years of therapy and a complete life change before I made a good but not complete recovery. It wasn’t just about this book. But it helped.
For anyone else facing a dark night of the soul I can also recommend keeping a gratitude diary. Write down five things you’re grateful for that day, before you turn the light out at bedtime. They need to be different every day and they can be as major or as trivial as you can manage. It really does re-train the brain.
Shannon – wishing you every happiness in your new home!
Jill, Thank you for your courage in sharing your story and positive experience. xoxo
I love your perspective in the last paragraph : “let the uncertainty and exhilaration be your fuel”
As I embark upon finishing my dissertation and pushing my career in the direction that I know it is intended, I will need to let the uncertainty and anticipation be my fuel. I was born to teach and write so I’m going to trust myself…. Thank you for this post.
Heather, trust yourself. You know the way more than you may realize at this moment. The realization will eventually arrive when you arrive at the goal you’ve had your sights set on. 🙂
They are above the clouds…INCREDIBLE! May we all find peace in our hearts. Happy nesting in your new nest.