It’s 1.11 today. It’s also the first New Moon portal of the year, where we will be receiving messages, ideas, and intuitive nudges of what to follow and what to release. There is a clearing and purging energy this month, but today is a great day to set intentions, make some commitments, and even take a baby step toward what you want for this year. And if you aren’t sure, now’s a good time to listen and reflect deeply.
Before I launch into my personal story, I want to give you one last reminder to join us for the Work on it Workshop co-working day tomorrow.
Yesterday was Ethan’s twentieth birthday. He’s back at college, busy with classes and callback auditions. I was tender and emotional yesterday in that soupy swirl of joy, gratitude, and loss.
Hallelujah! We navigated the treacherous and choppy waters of the teenage years and made it out. There were moments when I was sure we might drown in the chaos, pain, and conflict of those years. But we stayed afloat somehow, and my heart swells seeing him now- thriving at college with friends, passion, and hope. I don’t take this moment for granted. I celebrate and feel immense gratitude.
Yes, it’s Ethan’s birthday, but it's my birthing day.
Twenty years ago, I gave birth to a precious baby, and I was reborn as a mother. Two decades of deep devotion and care for another human being. For a time, I was his whole world, and he was mine. I was a mama to a baby, a toddler, a child, a teen, and now a full-grown adult. While my identity remains, my role and time together have dramatically shifted. And once again- joy and grief mixed together.
When Ethan was a brand new teenager in the absolute hellish jungle of middle school, we were all in a rough spot. He had been suspended, his mental health was struggling, and I wasn’t sure how to help him. A woman in the neighborhood Friday yoga class, who had a grandson about Ethan’s age, asked how we were doing. Tears pricked my eyes before I could even speak. I didn’t share much, but she hugged me tightly, looked me in the eyes, and told me I was doing a great job as a mother. And while I felt so far from it, her encouragement, her embrace, her kindness, and her belief became a touchstone for me- A life raft to keep my head above water. I kept coming back to it.
Two days before this Christmas, I attended the last neighborhood yoga class with our beloved teacher, Becca Schmidt, who was retiring after 17 years of teaching it. Due to a schedule change, I hadn’t been able to attend that class in years. Becca had created a beautiful sanctuary for me on those Friday mornings, and I knew I needed to be there for the last one.
On the mat already set up next to me was a friendly face. My touchstone. What a glorious reunion hug after a few years. She asked about Ethan, I asked about her grandson. She said- look at him now, remember middle school? And it was then that I got to look her in the eyes and tell her how much her words and kindness had meant to me all those years ago. We both got teary and hugged once again.
I tell you this long-winded story to remind you of two things.
Your kindness, validation, and encouragement of another person, even someone you don’t know, could make a profound difference in their life. Go be that touchstone. The world needs it right now.
If you are stuck in the hellish jungle of the moment- remember that it’s the messy middle of the story, journey, and experience. That in a few years, a few months, even a few weeks from now, things can look remarkably different. Keep showing up.
And look for the touchstones to get you through.