It’s been 2 weeks since my book, Recovering My True Self, became available. It’s an understatement to say what an exciting time these past two weeks have been! Recovering My True Self recounts the transformational journey I took culminating with the donation of my kidney to my husband.
The third chapter of the book is titled ‘Spring Awakening’. The chapter is centered around the theme of the short dark winter days (at least the ones we experience in the Northeast) being an opportunity for inward reflection. The quiet inward journey then transforms to an outward spring renewal, which coincides with the blooming flowers, mating birds and the other bustling aspects of nature.
The origin of this theme came during the winter of 2014 after hearing these insightful words about winter spoken from one of my favorite yoga teachers. It was amazing how in the spring of 2015, and every spring thereafter, opportunities revealed themselves for me to deeply experience this premise. In the spring of 2015 I took a five day intensive self development course in New York City called ‘The Basic Training’. In Spring of 2016 I attended a similar seminar titled ‘Abundance and Prosperity’. In spring of 2017, an amazing opportunity arose to go on a yoga retreat in Africa. By the time spring 2018 came, I was wondering what the universe had in store for me. To my surprise it wasn’t a course or exotic adventure, but a grand transformative opportunity, the donation of my kidney to my husband! It felt like pure synchronicity that the journey inward of the past few years had prepared me for the transplant which would result in my profound spiritual transformation and birth of my book.
As fate would have it, the release of my book on May 1 certainly felt like 2021’s grand personal spring awakening. And, as I look around me the whole world seems to be experiencing something similar. The dark pandemic winter forced a collective turning inward. It is said, ‘the only constant is change’, and as the time kept ticking and the seasons changed, spring came as a reprieve, as made evident by the vibrant yellow blooming forsythias and daffodils. A few weeks later, the cherry blossoms were right behind. I have heard many references and can’t stop thinking about the Renaissance that followed the bubonic plague. In the case then of the plague and now during the COVID pandemic, there has no doubt been personal and collective death. Yet in the case of the subsequent Renaissance, it feels as if we are the cusp of this generation’s revival and rebirth.
I wanted these thoughts to be contained in Recovering My True Self. However my dear friend, and editor, stated with firm conviction it was time for the book to end. Once again he was right. My book couldn't contain this year’s spring awakening. Thankfully it has a home here where it can be said, that this year, more than ever a spring awakening feels evident.
We are understandably eager to get back out there. With the beautiful spring weather and lifting of restrictions we are booking travel plans and signing the kids up for summer activities. There is so much to do. And with that, I would like to offer the wise words of Kim John Payne. His ‘Simplicity Parenting’ Podcast recently titled, ‘Be More, Do Less’ resonated with me. When I am caught gasping at the white boxes in the May calendar that are more full than the previous 6 months combined I think of Payne’s words. I pause and breath. I remember as much as there is to do, I want to sit down right then and there with my kids and hug them and just be. When I re-enter that space of being, I connect with my true goal of this spring’s awakening, forgiveness.
In A Course In Miracles it is said that forgiveness is the key to happiness. I have certainly experienced this truth. It is also said in the Course, ‘to give and receive are one in truth’. If you put those together, when we give forgiveness we receive forgiveness. Perhaps it is not instantly evident in the external. But the subtle energy will reveal itself and allow us to receive forgiveness from ourselves, which is way better than any external evidence.
I used to think that if I forgive someone (not necessarily going up to the person and blurting out an apology, but rather an internal gesture of forgiveness) that would leave me vulnerable. What if they didn’t reciprocate? It would then appear that I’m the punching bag. I see it differently now. I recently heard in a Forginvess Forum a reference to the 93% rule. Even if another is 97% wrong, and let’s go further to say 99.9% wrong, what is the .1-3% that we can own. I know in my own life, the part I can often own is the grudge I held against the person who wronged me, leading me to withhold my forgiveness (again even just an internal gesture of forgiveness). The irony is, we too often exhaust ourselves deciphering who was right and wrong, we run out of energy to do the more important work of resolving the conflict and forgiving.
Owning my 3%, and offering my internal gesture of forgiveness, gives me peace, power and happiness. This helps me to handle my external situations with clarity and grace. I can’t control other people's ability to forgive, only my own. Regardless of how the other party decides to conduct themself, I feel empowered being in control of receiving my own forgiveness as I gave it to another. I gain the inner quiet power that I prefer over any day over the authoritarian bully power. Quiet power walks away, says no, draws a boundary and ultimately does so within a space of love.
Let’s make this a true spring awakening by forgiving the guy who cut us off during this morning’s commute. Then, let it extend to those in our lives for not being our ego’s perception of whom we think they should be. Let it go further to forgiving our brothers and sisters across the aisle, and yes even our political leaders. As Martin Luther King Jr said we don’t have to like our enemies, but we have to love them. When we forgive, we receive forgiveness for condemning them in the first place. At the end of the day, it’s really all the same condemnation.
Forgiveness is freedom on so many levels, this spring let’s forgive and let’s give birth to a new chapter in history and in humanity. Let us envision our modern version of 2021 post COVID’s version of the Renaissance and pray may come to fruition.