Notes to self. Or, if you are a willing reader, unsolicited advice.
Remember to be grateful for what is already good. There will always be things that feel stressful, or like they won’t ever work, or that keep you up at night. (What ifs are not pleasant bedfellows.) Don’t give your attention, and the energy doing so requires, to things that don’t deserve it, or to things that don’t exist. If you must pay attention to something you would rather not, or that is hard because of life’s circumstances, or that is draining because of all the things that can cause something to take instead of give, reserve some of your energy: pay attention to it if you must, but don’t give all your reserves away. Save (and then give) at least some of your energy to that which returns it in kind. To that which lights you up with aliveness. To that which leaves you bursting with radiance. To that which adds peace to any tumult that comes with existing on an evolving planet. Find delight. Revel in pleasure. Cherish your body, and give it what it needs. Honor your mind, and nourish it with curiosity and enough rest to be curious for another day. Feel your spirit join with that which is greater than yourself, and remember the oneness that makes the world pulse with love. Feel all the nuances of joy, even the parts that make you wonder if you’ve gone completely mad. Let the perplexing beauty of a human experience fill your being with luminosity and reverence. Slip into fresh bed sheets on a cool summer’s evening. Turn just picked strawberries over in your hand on a hot day, lifting them to your face to inhale their sweetness. Let rushing water caress your bare ankles as you walk upstream. Mary Oliver wrote, “May I stay forever in the stream.” Take her lead. Stay forever in the stream, and may it be a stream of gratitude for what is already good. May that stream forever return the energy you need to continue on for another day.