Forty seven years on this planet and I’ve learned a few things.
Birthdays are important! All of them, not just the big ones. Poo-poo to all the people that say it’s just another day. Not only is this day MY day, but it’s the day where my new year begins.
I am extremely lucky. I’m spending my birthday in New York. I’ve been hired to cook for a family on the Upper West Side and am staying with a dear friend in Jackson Heights. It’s a dream come true and I credit my birthday for making it happen.
My birthday week is the week where I look back on the last year and I think about the next year. It’s a week of reflection, assessment and intention. It’s a week/month of deep connection as I celebrate, meditate and practice. Usually I teach on my birthday.
Last night I meditated on a rooftop in Queens, looking out towards Manhattan. It was inspiring, beautiful and deeply satisfying.
Everyone always wants to know why I work on my birthday. Even this morning as texts and FB messages came in people are wondering why I’m at Starbucks writing the newsletter.
Why? Because, I am so lucky, so honored, so grateful and so humbled by this work. Besides my kids, it is the best part of my life. It should hold an honored place on my birthday, because it is something I NEVER want to stop doing.
Birthdays are important because they help set the tone for the coming year.
Last year I did a lot of work on self-care and self-love. With guidance from business coach, Jenn Lee
, a former yoga teacher, I embraced ease. I learned to simplify and take the softer, gentler way. I didn’t always excel at the practice, but I did get pretty good at Self-care Fridays. I started getting regular body care. I really got good at letting go of thinking I need to make things happen (okay, I was almost there), and learned to really focus on being in the flow of the universe. I learned to let each moment be exactly what it was, without feeling the need to manage it, control it or wish hit were somehow different.
All of the sudden, a few months ago. some things really started falling in place. The Universe aligned. It was like the sky opened and sunlight enveloped me. Now, everything has shifted. My life is different than it was a few months ago and again, I found myself focusing on new stuff.
So, it’s perfect that this is my new year. Last night was my last meditation at 46 and this morning I woke with a whole new year ahead of me. I did some mindful movement and thought about this year’s focus.
What am I focusing on? I wasn’t really sure. Even after last night’s meditation looking over at Manhattan from the rooftop, I wasn’t completely sure. Then a client and friend emailed me this morning asking about her gallbladder pain and I started writing her about Manipura, the power chakra. It clicked.
This next year is about letting go of should, a word full of shame, and focusing on want. I’ve been doing the prep work for strengthening the power chakra for a few years now. First, I had to do some really hard Root Chakra work.
Now, I’m here. I’m ready for the balance and swirl of energy around, What does Melissa want? What works for me? If I should be writing the newsletter, but two weeks have gone by and I still haven’t done it, it probably says something about what I want and what works for me.
What works for me, regardless of what you, she or Aunt Mary thinks about it is the most important thing this year. Cause something I’ve learned over the last 47 years is that I’m crazily, happily, absolutely unique. I think differently than most people, I do things differently than most people. For years and years I tried to do it the same way. It just doesn’t work for me.
A few years ago I had an event for Breathe Holistic Life Center, my business in Lawrence, KS. A lovely friend commented, “Only Melissa would think of something like this!” And she meant it as a compliment. It was so different than how I’d heard that phrase before…scorn from my parents, exasperation from partners, derision from children, that I couldn’t fully embrace it. I was wary and mistrustful.
I finally get it. Thinking about things differently than everyone else is a HUGE strength. It’s what makes me a good healer. It’s what makes my yoga classes different than any one you’ve ever gone to before. It’s what makes me special. I wish I could sit my 13 year old self down and have a heart to heart. .
Forty-seven is also about connection. Over the last few months I’ve participated in some fantastic connection. There have been late, late nights talking about everything with old friends over bottles of wine. Yes, bottleS. There’s been meeting people I knew slightly 25 years ago and finding how much I really, really like and value them. Also, over the last month or so I’ve met some completely new and fantastic people who have made me feel more like me, more focused and grounded.
I attended my 25th college reunion and couldn’t believe how fantastic it felt to be around like-minded people who remembered and loved the brand-new me.
I really, really think that the connection is that thing that has moved me into the flow. It’s helped things align. It’s definitely helped me turn in more, get more creative and have A LOT of fun.
I started this post in a Starbuck’s, at 7 this morning, in Jackson Heights, waiting for the arepa restaurant to open. I’m finishing now, at 3:30 in a Starbuck’s in Tribeca, waiting to have a birthday drink with an old friend, before I have dinner with another old friend. After, we will meet someone I knew a long time ago for some birthday fun. I could write more, but I’m itching to get out there and be in the flow of people and energy that is unique to New York.
We’ll see where this takes me!
pictures of my trip coming soon.