To sleep. For a year.
To remember the sound of the birds chirping outside my window right now and the way the barest hint of a breeze felt like velvet.
To be grateful for all of it, even what feels prickly.
To harness the energy I shared with a woman named Tanya and a woman named Jill last night, moments that reminded me why I do what I do. Those moments - they are all that matter, they are what I will remember when I am old and tired and soaring over the landscape of my memories. By then that terrain might be uneven, with sinkholes and gaps and unfamiliar buildings, but those moments - they will stand tall like beacons in the night.
To trust that we are all doing our best, and that we all want to be acknowledged for this.
That all the joy and confidence that burst through people's hearts this week at Squam Art Workshops continues to expand, evolve and sink deeper into their bones. The world needs this light; it is what makes the earth sparkle like stars from the heavens.
To keep my heart open and soft.
To follow the path of my negative triggers to their source - to face the things that unsettle me the most at their root - and do whatever needs to be done to come through that journey with an open, compassionate heart, especially towards myself. I get so angry at myself for not "getting over" and "working through" things as quickly as I think I should, forgetting that my path to healing will very likely be a journey that never ends.
To remember what is true and real and beautiful in this world - the joy of sharing a meal with my friends, the way my skin tingles after a day in the sun, the comfort of a soft pillow at the end of a day of hard work.
To always be gracious and kind.
To know my limits; to recognize the difference between those I need to honor and those I need to move beyond.
To accept a gift when it is offered to me.
To celebrate the extraordinary garden of light, love, color and creativity that came into bloom this week, a week that I got to spend with old friends, new friends and three happy dogs.
To remember that I will always have friends with whom I can pick up where we left off as if not a day has gone by no matter how much time has passed since our last visit.
To go home and begin the work of my next book.
To look into my husband's eyes. To see the goodness in his heart, and acknowledge it every day.
To be quiet when I need to be.
To accept when those I am close to are hurting, struggling, and frustrated without feeling the need to immediately fix it. To simply sit with them and hold a space for their tears, their anger, their rawness.
To hold those moments when someone has done that for me close to my heart, and remember that it is OK to be taken care of now and then.
That everyone I shared a moment, a hug, many days and bits of time with over the past ten days feels safe, content and peaceful at this exact moment.
That I could take all the glitter and sparkle of this ten-day, four-airplane, two-car rental, 6500+ mile journey, bottle it up, and drink a spoonful of it everyday. That it may always be my elixir when my heart feels heavy, my body feels tired and my mind feels blank.
That my friends could see what I see when I look at them, that they could know the gratitude I feel for their presence in my life, how proud I am of them, how magnificent I think they are. That they always know how deeply loved they are, by me and so many others.
To always remember that it isn't about getting on Oprah or selling a certain number of books, about blog statistics or balance sheets. It is about putting forth truthful, inspiring work and holding up a lantern for those on the path to a meaningful life.
To be still, breathe deeply, and hold my own heart with gentle hands.