First off, this is my final post of the year and officially the 700th post, never once missing a single day.

I’m exhausted from it all honestly. And overwhelmingly grateful.

I’ve learned, hated, loved and cherished this experience more than words will ever communicate.  Will I continue? Who know’s.  I ask myself that same question nearly everyday and always give myself permission to not know.

Tomorrow, I’ll ask again.  

I love all your notes and comments, our impromptu meetings all over the world and the thousands of new people I’ve met, some of you becoming my most noble friends.

What I know for sure, I just keep going. Three steps, one bow.  That’s the only thing that’s ever allowed me to do anything or get anywhere anyway.. keep going, get humble, keep going, get humble.  Three Steps, one bow.  Three steps, One bow.

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As I prepare my head for this coming new year I bump into Jack Kornfield saying “When hearts are open and awake, we bring warmth and blessings to our community and the world.”  A novel thought, but having and open heart and being conscious and awake is radical and takes insane courage.

Nonetheless, it’s what I want to focus on most right now.open mind

People tell me that having an open heart is our natural state. That seems true when I look at a child or an old person, the two ends of life where you don’t yet or don’t still give a shit what other people think.

Closed minds, narrow views, hardened hearts… these seem like learned responses, a safety mechanism many of us eventually default to.

Broadening my headspace and expanding my heart requires me to unlearn patterns and responses to life.   I have to learn to surrender to the mystery over and over again, even when my brain says I might get hurt / disappointed / left behind.

David Deida said “live with an open heart, even when it hurts” and I’ve focused on trying to do exactly that this last year because I’ve seen and felt what’s on the other side and it’s radiantly awesome.

“So I propose a challenge, for me and for you: keep your heart open a little longer than you’re tempted to today. Stay accessible, for even just a few minutes more than you ordinarily would. Keep engaging, even if you’ve shared a lot. Keep listening, even if you heard a lot. Let yourself linger in that vulnerably open place.

Sometimes we learn and gain the most from the moments that are the most uncomfortable.” ~ Lori Deschene

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