I’ve been craving connection: deep, spiritual, meaningful, mindful, authentic connections in my life. Recently the universe has brought some women into my life that fit this bill. From a variety of avenues, my path has crossed theirs at the exact perfect time. So what could seem more fitting to my soul and intentions than to bring these women together for a night of connection and exchange of energies? Of course, this just so happened to coincide with the Super Moon and on the eve of the Chinese New Year. I love the serendipitous way the universe conspires to create perfect moments…
Unfortunately one of these sweet souls was unable to come, so thus, there were three. We gathered at my girlfriend’s house and when I arrived, I was promptly given the task of making my homemade delicious salad dressings. (My girlfriend really knows my strengths!) Soon after my other friend arrived, I introduced these two women to each other who only remained strangers for a brief moment. Quickly the conversation flowed as easily as the wine, and we ate, talked and spoke of where we were on our various paths regarding motherhood, relationships, spirituality and the future. This is the kind of night I really needed! I was so grateful that it was manifesting just as I had hoped and intended.
Feeling like we were in the midst of something significant, I decided to read them the meaning of the upcoming Year of the Wood Horse, and what the Chinese believe this pending year is to be about. The wood’s growth element combined with the horse’s strong and energetic stamina promises to bring about a year of propulsion demanding us to live through our intuition. Upon finishing this powerful article, we decided to create ritual around this moment and write down intentions for us to simultaneously let go of from the previous year and ground ourselves in this New Year. Candles were lit and once completing our intentions on cut pieces of lined binder paper, we spontaneously read them out loud and then proceeded to burn them. We made our deepest hopes, dreams, intentions and wishes known to the universe and then allowed them to burn into the ethers and into our souls. It was a beautiful ritualistic moment.
We decided to seal the moment with getting a tattoo. No, we did not rush out to the corner store and brand ourselves forever. Our hostess had a few extra “be happy” temporary tattoos that she had bought for her daughter that she so graciously shared with us. She already had the beautifully marked “be happy” on the inside of her wrist (I noticed it as soon as I arrived at her house) and said it had already been on for quite a while. So we were now ritualistically soaking our wrists with damp paper towels to mark these words onto our bodies and into our beings, branding this a turning point in our inner awakening and inner connectedness. I sat very patiently pressing my paper towel onto arm, careful that if I didn’t do it just right, my tattoo would not come out perfect.
I digress to acknowledge the words that were written on the paper that I burned: “I intend that for this year I honor that my life may not be unfolding how I may have thought it would be, but it is actually unfolding the exact way it is supposed to be and that my practice is to honor my inner truth as my Inner Being.” This is what I continue to breathe into and practice on a moment-to-moment basis. So here I am branding myself with the words “be happy” and when I peel back the paper, it is revealed that the adherence of my tattoo to my arm is imperfect. The beautiful loops of the “b” and the “h” were not quite formed, leaving the words to look inconsistent, imperfect and not at all like I had hoped. We laughed that it looked more like “e appy” and that continued to be the joke of the night.
As I settled back into my body and out of my judgmental mind, I realized that my attachment to the perfect temporary tattoo was parallel to just how attached I was to the perfect “be happy” life. So what if my “b” and “h” were misshapen and not quite formed? In fact that is quite how I’m feeling…that parts of what I thought I needed to “be happy” are misshapen and not quite formed, but yet are still beautiful. As I deepen my spiritual and mindfulness practice I am constantly reminded to let go of attachments to the way I thought life should be and learn to accept with faith and trust that it is all unfolding exactly as it should. Isn’t that what I just had meditated on? Clearly I am still having a hard time learning my lesson on this life’s challenge. My “e appy” tattoo is actually exactly what I needed it to be to remind me that perfection is overrated and it actually doesn’t ensure happiness.
Rather, what does ensure happiness is the connection with others who see the imperfection and get it, and who love you and honor what is, even if you are missing a few things. I am craving connection…and as I get more grounded in myself and my practice, and live from my authentic and spiritual place, the universe is going to bless me with others who will serve as my soul sisters, my guides, my teachers and my soul mates. And when that happens, the less attached I will be to the perfect formation of being happy and acknowledge that I already am being happy, just as I am.