Eventually, it Catches Up with You

temporaryhappinesslongtermpainRecently I received an email from a man whose wife left him suddenly one day, just shy of their ten year anniversary. She came home and said she didn’t love him anymore and he needed to move out. He was stunned and begged her to go to couples counseling. She agreed, but two weeks into it she said it was pointless and over and so he moved out, and is now seeing his children one night a week for dinner, and every other Saturday. The kids are young, one is four and the other is two. It seems mom has a new boyfriend who’s spending time with them already. So you can imagine our friend is having a tough time.

To be fair, I’m only getting one side of the story. It’s highly unlikely this happened one morning. Mom didn’t just wake up and think, “I don’t love him anymore.” There’s more to the story. Nonetheless, the ending was hard and fast, with little or no time for understanding or closure. She may not be feeling the pain of her actions just yet, but these things have a way of biting you in the ass later. The kids are in shock, particularly their four year old who is suddenly wetting the bed.

He wrote to me asking how he’s supposed to accept this. His vows meant something to him and he wanted to fight for his family and fight for his marriage. One night he went over to his old house uninvited and begged her to just talk to him, to help him understand what had happened. She called the police, so now he can only contact her about issues pertaining to the kids. It seems incredibly cruel and unfair, but again, this is only one side of the story. Whatever the other side may be and wherever the truth lies, this man is in agony. His heart is broken, his trust is shattered, and he’s tortured by thoughts of this new man spending time with his not-yet ex-wife and their children. He misses his kids and he didn’t see it coming. Maybe he missed the signs. Maybe she had a million conversations with him and he didn’t take her seriously. Maybe he took her for granted and maybe she just got involved with someone else and didn’t look back or forward. I don’t know, but I do know he’s suffering the effects of trauma and shock and that he needs some help.

Life is like this sometimes. We’re going along, we think we know what’s happening and suddenly, the rug gets pulled out from underneath us. Betrayal is one of the toughest experiences we’re asked to withstand, whether it’s betrayal of our trust, our friendship, our marriage vows, or the worst betrayal a person can suffer — the betrayal of the self. Those times when we override our intuition, or sacrifice our deepest truth, or numb out and stick our heads in the sand. Being human is sometimes a messy, painful affair. Sometimes it’s so incredible it takes your breath away. But when life hands you a set of unforeseeable circumstances, you really have to have some compassion for yourself and ask for help if you need it. There’s nothing worse than being in shock and feeling alone. Like you want to reach out in the dark, but there’s no one there to take your hand. The feeling that no one would care if you disappeared. There are always people who care. The world is full of loving folks who would happily hug our friend, or invite him over for dinner, or meet him for a hike or a tea. We’ve all been this guy at some time or another, to varying degrees. We’ve all had our everything fall apart. All you can do in times like those is sit down in the debris of what used to be your life and pick up the old photos and a letter you wrote four years ago and the sweater that still smells like what was, and just allow your heart to break. Allow yourself to be enraged and confused and shattered. There’s no magic bullet, it’s just a process and it takes time.

Also recognize you’re not alone. “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in,” Leonard Cohen. “The wound is the place where the light enters you,” Rumi. I could go on and on. There wouldn’t be so much written about it if it weren’t universal. This is it, this is sometimes what’s required as we move through this experience of being alive. We will all suffer at some time or another, and some people will suffer more than others. These experiences can soften you and open you if you let them or they can harden you and close you if you let them. The choice is yours. Sometimes when it all falls apart, something newer and stronger and more real emerges. Some secret strong place in yourself that you didn’t even know existed stands up in the middle of the storm and starts to co-create the new story. But don’t tough it out alone. When you’re sitting in a pile of broken glass that used to be your life, by all means, ask for help.

Sending you so much love,

Ally Hamilton

If the posts are helpful, you can find my books here and my yoga classes and courses here.

If This Isn’t Nice, I Don’t Know What Is!

We probably wouldn’t have survived as a species if we weren’t somewhat “wired for worry”, and though most of us no longer have to be concerned about sabertooth tigers eating us for lunch,  the mind still tends to get “snagged” on the negative. Someone says something or does something that makes us feel slighted, misunderstood or angry, and we go for a mental spin right into the abyss. Or we sit down to catch up with friends and end up focusing on what isn’t going well, and not on all the amazing things that are.

I think part of it is cultural, too. We’re constantly receiving messages that happiness lies in external stuff, that it’s a destination somewhere out ahead of us and if we just keep plugging away and trying harder and making ourselves “right” eventually we’ll be happy. The thing is, it’s not a destination. There’s no house that’s gorgeous enough, there’s no weight you could be, there’s no hairstyle or other person or car or job or amount of money in your bank account that will bring you to that place we call Happy. You can try if you want to, we have millions of people stuck on that track, but it doesn’t work. It doesn’t feel good, either. It’s the track of, “You’re not good enough, you don’t measure up.” How could that track ever lead to Happiness? The destination if you keep moving forward in that direction is Depressionville, Despair.

It doesn’t work, because happiness is something that happens inside yourself when you stop and realize how much you do have, when you make the choice to stay rooted in that awareness of what is going well, even if life isn’t easy right this minute. It happens when you’re living in alignment with what’s true for you, when you’re living with your heart wide open. It happens when you uncover your gifts and give them away freely. It happens when you lend an ear, or your hand or your shoulder or whatever else you’ve got to someone else. It happens when you’re patient with yourself and your own process, when you have compassion for yourself and other people, through connection, and a feeling that your life has meaning and purpose. You can’t buy that stuff at a store.

Of course, even if you do tap into that, you’ll still have pain in your life, and you have to lean into that, too. Heartbreaks. Confusion, doubt, fear, shame, guilt. Part of happiness is opening to all of it. Learning and growing and saying, “Yes, this too.” (There are some things that will never fall into the category of “Yes”, though. There are some things that will break your heart wide open and then the only question is if it hardens you or softens you. I recommend softening if at all possible). Life is going to keep coming, but when you’re living from your heart and you remember who you are, you have such a solid foundation to receive the everything that life brings. You also know how to give yourself permission to stay in your pajamas all day if that’s what you need to do. It doesn’t all have to be pretty and perfect every minute; in fact, part of being at peace is knowing that it won’t be.

That’s one of the main reasons it’s so important to figure out what you need in order to quiet your mind. Yoga, seated meditation, hiking, something. Because the habit-pattern of the mind is to head into the past or the future. We usually head into the past with longing or sadness. When we think about the future, it’s often with anxiety or fear. Peace is available in the present moment, but if your mind is screaming at you, it’s not easy to tap into it. Your breath is always happening in the now. That’s a powerful entry point to This Moment. Stress comes from being in one place, and wanting to be somewhere else. Wherever you are, you are home. You can breathe in and breathe out, right now, and bring yourself into the present. You live in your body. You live with your internal dialogue. So your inner world is peaceful and loving, or it’s violent and painful. If that voice is full of, “Not good enough!”, stop feeding it because it’s a liar. You are the only you, out of the roughly 7 billion people we have on this planet. That’s pretty amazing. I don’t believe you’re here to be a size 2 or to have huge biceps or to amass as much money as you can. You’re here to shine. When you notice a tree blowing in the wind, when you see the sunlight reflecting off the million different greens, and you feel the breeze on your skin, I hope you take it in. Because those are gifts, just like you are.

Sending you love,

Ally Hamilton

If the posts are helpful you can find my books here and my yoga classes and courses here.

Where are You Rooted?

Yesterday my six year old son asked me if I knew about the “walking palm trees of the rain-forest.” He told me that these trees were able to “move their roots” if they saw a spot that looked better to them. I told him that was incredibly cool, and that I did not know about these trees. Of course, I had to go Google it, because palm trees walking around the rain-forest seems like something I’d have heard about somewhere along the way. So it turns out the Socratea exorrhiza, or, “Walking Palm” is native to tropical Central and South America, and it has stilt roots that allow it to grow in swampy areas of forest. Some people think their roots exist as an adaptation to flooding, and others believe the roots allow the palm to “walk away” if another tree falls on the seedling and knocks it over. If this happens, the palm produces new vertical stilt roots and rights itself, the original roots rotting away.

I think life asks us to do this very thing again and again; to start over, to respond to the ever-changing nature of things, to move our roots when we need to and right ourselves. But a lot of the time we resist. We cling to the dying roots that don’t sustain us or nurture us anymore, that cannot support our growth any longer. Sometimes we do this out of desperation. We love someone, or many “someones” and can’t bear the thought of hurting them. Or we’re afraid of all that is required to pick up and move toward the unknown. In relationships, it’s incredibly painful. The roots grow down directly from our hearts. But if you aren’t growing, you’re dying, and if you’re dying you can’t nurture anyone else because all your energy is going toward your withering and quiet destruction. Without living, healthy roots, you just won’t have the strength to rise up and reach the light and so life becomes very dark indeed.

I know so many people who keep feeding those dying roots, though. It’s all swampy and murky and nothing new can grow there, but still, they try to shore the thing up, to feed it whatever they can. Sometimes it’s old stories that have become rooted. They’re poisoning the tree, the branches are hanging low, the leaves have mostly fallen off, but the roots of blame, anguish, fear or sadness, of bitterness, shame or guilt keep the person rooted in the Forest of What Was. I spent a good decade in that forest, so I can tell you the main thing that grows there are weeds. The kind that climb up your trunk and strangle your branches and steal all the light and all the nutrients, until you are just this Tree of Blame with sour fruit. “I am this way because this happened, and then that happened, and then this other thing happened, and so now when you say you love me I don’t believe you because everybody leaves and everybody cheats and I’m just going to stay rooted here in the darkness.” Or something like that.

Fear will keep you paralyzed in that forest if you let it, but it’s such a shame because old stories are old. They don’t have to control your present or your future. They may have created some grooves in your trunk, but they don’t have to overtake your ability to produce the sweetest fruit you can imagine; the fruit of, “I Got the F&ck Out!!!” for example. That is some sweet fruit. You may feel stuck and powerless. You may even be rooted to those feelings; there may be some pay-off for you in staying stuck. Attachment to sympathy or attention, a reason not to do the brave and difficult thing so you can stick with what you know even if it doesn’t feel good, or an excuse to numb out are some possibilities. But I have to let you know, the pay-off of digging deep, to the very bottom of your soul, gathering up your courage and your stilt roots, and moving your a$$ to the Forest of Life is Freaking Amazing has a much greater pay-off. If a tree can do it, I have zero doubt you can do it, too.

Sending you a lot of love,

Ally Hamilton

If the posts are helpful you can find my books here and my yoga classes and courses here.

Don’t Give Up.

A few weeks ago, someone messaged me on the fan page and said he was going to end his life. I can’t really explain the panic I felt, especially because his message was a few hours old by the time I saw it. He shared some details of his life over the last few years and why he’d come to the conclusion that it just wasn’t worth it. He’d suffered some devastating losses, enough that it was understandable he felt hopeless and defeated. I wrote back immediately and gave him the Suicide Prevention Hotline number (800-273-8255), my number, and also contact information for three therapists I know and trust. I begged him to write back and let me know he’d received my message and also told him there have been times in my life when I’ve felt like giving up, too. Not for many, many years, but I certainly entertained those thoughts at one time in my life. When things feel so dark you really can’t think of a reason to lift your head off your pillow, the thought, “What’s the point of it all?” is natural and understandable.

Yesterday, someone wrote in a thread, “Why can’t we talk about the miraculous sometimes, too?” and then she wrote back and rescinded her question, saying that it “all leads back to joy.” But it’s a legitimate question and there are days when I just write from my heart and send out a hit of love. Or I hope I do. I write about the shadow emotions a lot because I feel in the spiritual community there’s so much focus on being positive and spreading the light. I think it’s alienating for many people. There is so much light. There’s a limitless well of love within each of us, but to uncover that well there’s usually some digging required. A lot of people feel alone in that digging, like there must be something wrong with them and sometimes they give up. Numb out. Run, deny, try to push it all down. Or they become bitter and think other people must have it easier. The truth is some people do have it easier. We don’t all go through the same experiences. There are some people who will suffer losses that are so knifing, so brutally painful you have to hope they’re going to be able to put one foot in front of the other, and that’s usually when some well-meaning positive person will come along and smugly assert that, “everything happens for a reason,” and forget that the foundation of a true spiritual practice is compassion. There’s nothing comforting in telling a person who is trying to remember how to breathe in and breathe out that their loss has happened for a reason, or that they should focus on all the good things in their life, or that one day they’ll understand why. Some things will never, ever be okay. Some things will never make sense. There are some lessons that will never elicit gratitude. Growth, yes. If you get through it. Deeper understanding, insight and compassion? Yes. Gratitude? No. Not for some things.

It’s my belief a spiritual practice ought to be there for you whether you’re moving through beautiful, joyful, miraculous times in your life, or you’re going through blinding pain that makes you want to give up. I don’t worry about those of you feeling gratitude. I love you, but I’m not worried. I do want to reach out to those people in darkness and say you’re not alone and offer a hand. A blog post. A yoga class, a hug. An email. Whatever I’ve got. Because I really think that’s what we’re here to do. We’re here to love each other, support each other, and share and grow together and I think that is pretty miraculous. When I look at my life today, it’s hard to imagine I ever wondered what “the point of it all” was, because it’s very clear to me now. The point of it is to love your heart out. To connect. There’s an insane amount of joy in all that. I’ve been emailing with the man who was feeling desperate a few weeks ago. He’s talking to someone and getting support in many areas. Sometimes we need help. It’s not easy, this business of being human. But it is pretty amazing.

Sending you a ton of love,

Ally Hamilton

If the posts are helpful you can find my books here and my yoga classes and courses here.

What’s Up, Monkey?

Sometimes life can be brutally painful. We lose someone we love beyond our ability to put it in words, way too soon. Loss like that is violent and shocking, even if it happens slowly. Or we have our hearts broken in a relationship, sometimes over and over again by the same person. If betrayal is in the mix, it’s even more painful. Or we lose a job we really loved or wanted. Or we simply can’t seem to get any traction going in any direction in life, with relationships or work, or even with how to be in this world. Maybe there’s an abusive background. A family of origin with addiction issues. A history of broken promises, emotional or physical violence. You get the picture.

Whatever you’re coming out of, you have a choice. You have the choice to ask for help if you need it. Healing is often confrontational and painful and lonely and confusing, and having someone there to hold your hand or offer an ear or a shoulder can really make all the difference. Someone who will kindly hold up a mirror for you, and make sure you’re examining your inner landscape clearly and thoroughly, because you can’t let go of those things that are blocking your ability to give and receive love without understanding them first and without allowing yourself to mourn and to grieve for what was, or what could have been. Your understanding is your path to liberation, your willingness to open to all of those emotions we’re taught to push down is the key. You actually want to pry the lid off and invite them all to come flooding in so you can swim in that stuff for awhile, and scream your heart out if you need to, and shed your tears, and exhaust yourself until there’s no denial and no fighting of reality left in you. There’s just facing it, as it is, and as it was, so you can open to how it could be. Your awareness and acceptance and compassion for yourself clear the path toward a new way of being.

Starting over is also lonely work. The old way doesn’t work, and the new way hasn’t become clear yet. Some of your closest family members and oldest friends may not like your new adventure. They may feel threatened and angry, like you’re rejecting them in an effort to take care of yourself, which really has to come first if you plan on being happy in this life. Socrates has a beautiful quote, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

Even if you’ve been hurt and disappointed, neglected or abused, abandoned or ignored, you have the choice to live in fear, hardened and bitter and full of rage and blame, or to do the brave thing. To let go of the old handlebar you’ve been hanging off for far too long. The one that burns your hands with its heat and its pain and its why and its unfairness, and to reach out for love. To make yourself vulnerable in that space between the one and the other. To use all the strength and hope and courage you’ve got to propel yourself forward and reach out with your open hand and your open heart for that bar in front of you that’s full of promise and something new. Something different. To open to the possibility that you might do all that and slip right off the bar and land on your face and have to get back up again and start over. But that if you keep reaching and you keep trying, eventually the way will become clear. And then my dear monkey, the bars become rather fun.

Wishing you the courage to let go and reach out, and sending love, as always,

Ally Hamilton

If the posts are helpful, you can find my books here and my yoga classes and courses here.

It’s the Story, Not the Ending

Do you know any octogenarians? One of my closest friends is 80, he’s been a private client for eleven years. If you spoke with him you would not feel like he’s in the midst of his “ending” and he’d tell you off if you suggested such a thing. Most days when I leave he says, “Don’t let the bastards get you down,” mostly because he knows I’m going to shake my head and laugh and also because, much to his chagrin, he knows I don’t believe in bastards. I just think some people are having a really tough time with life. He can’t stand the expressions, “No worries,” or “It’s all good,” either. He’s funny and brilliant and one of the most alive people I know. He used to sing totally off-color Irish lullabies to my kids when they were babies. As they’ve gotten older, he sings the songs with the real words not the “sailor” versions. But anyway, I used to think like that. That at eighty, I’d have it all figured out. My story would be long done by then, I’d just be living it out. Now I realize there is no ending, happy or otherwise, not until your final exhale. Until then, it’s all the story. Parts of the story are going to be stunningly painful. Other parts are going to be so amazing they’ll expand your heart and you’ll feel like it’s going to burst right out of your body and there’ll be every shade of everything else in between. The real question isn’t whether you’re going to find that happy ending. The actual question is whether you’re going to be happy as you move through the unfolding story of your life, day to day.

I grew up on the same fairy-tales you did and I’ve seen the same romantic comedies. For a good long while, I bought into all that. I thought if I was somehow perfect and I did everything the way I was supposed to, straight A’s, thin enough, pretty enough, someone would come along and “save me” and I’d live happily ever after. Or something like that. And then this way older man came along, and that wasn’t a happy ending. And the Mirror Guy showed up and that wasn’t happy, either. I’d graduated from a great school and starved myself through twelve years of ballet and there I was with my diploma and my thinness and these relationships that broke my heart and there didn’t seem to be potential for that happy ending on the horizon. I started to get an inkling that it isn’t on the horizon, it isn’t going to happen one day in the future when things calm down or you meet someone or you make X amount of dollars, but I didn’t know that then, not for sure. I’d see families walking down the street and wonder, “How did they do that?” You know, because I was about twenty when I thought this way and had no actual idea of what it would take to make a relationship work. Or a life. I think lots of people reach adulthood without a clue. Without knowing themselves.

It wasn’t until I found yoga and seated meditation that I started to understand happiness was an inner journey and a process of discovery. A willingness to open to reality as it is and to do the work to heal what needs to be healed. To let go of the grip and the false notion of control. If I do everything “right” then I’ll be happy. If I’m a good person things will go my way. The “right” we’re sold is a big fat lie. The real right is what’s right for you. What’s true for you, and no prince or princess is going to show up and tell you. There isn’t going to be this magical kiss on the lips that makes your life fall into place. There isn’t going to be a big enough house or fast enough car. There isn’t going to be a job that solves it, although it goes a long way when you find something to do with your time and your energy that’s fulfilling to you. There’s just you. Looking at yourself in the mirror at the end of the day as you brush your teeth. You either look at yourself with kindness or contempt. The fairy-tales should really be about that. The fire-breathing dragons are inside us and they have nasty little voices that say, “Not good enough.” Those are the ones you face, and you slay them. You take what is real and true for you and you split them down the middle with it. Eventually they leave you alone, or you’re just too full of love to house them anymore or they’re mostly sleeping, but when they wake up once in awhile you don’t have to waste a lot of energy slaying them again, you just give them a look and they cower and go back to sleep because they don’t own you anymore. Something like that. The most essential part of your story is going to happen inside yourself and then there will be external factors and the way you respond to them. Those external factors play a significant role in your story as well, because it’s not a level playing field and sometimes the most devastating things happen to the most incredibly loving people.

I see so many people still searching for that brass ring or that “right” person to complete them. I have an inbox stuffed with emails from people trying to figure out what’s wrong with them, what they’re doing or not doing that’s causing the unhappy result they’re getting with their lives. Why they aren’t getting the breaks even though they’re doing everything “right”. This happens with people on the spiritual path, too. I’m doing my yoga. It’s been ten years. When am I going to be happy? Well, how are you doing your yoga? Are you breathing and focusing and practicing with compassion for yourself? Are you feeding a loving, kind voice? Are you listening deeply and responding honestly? Are you curious about your experience or attached to the outcome? Are you tuning in or zoning out? Because showing up on your mat consistently is great, but it’s not the whole story. Some people show up six days a week, but beat the crap out of themselves or get attached to the poses, or feel good on days when they’re full of energy and feeling open, and bad on days when it’s a struggle.

Happiness is not a destination, it’s a process. It’s an ever-unfolding choice you make. It’s equanimity in the face of life’s ups and downs. A knowingness that this is how it is now, not how it’s always going to be because everything is always in a state of flux. Sometimes you allow yourself to just be heartbroken, to suffer and grieve or to be enraged, and shake your fists at the sky, or dig your hands into the dirt of why. You embrace it all, and as much as possible, you open to the wonder of it all. There’s beauty in everything, even the most devastating losses. The fact that you’ve ever loved so much to grieve so deeply has some beauty in it. Loneliness has some beauty in it; the fact that your tender heart longs to be seen and understood is beautiful. It’s real. Love requires your bravery and your vulnerability and that’s gorgeous. The pain opens us. Generally the deepest growth springs out of the sharpest pain, and wisdom is gained through suffering. Is it human to sometimes wish for less pain, less growth, less suffering and less wisdom? Of course, but we don’t get to choose what happens, we only get to choose how we respond. The more you’re able to surrender to what is and honor the truth in your heart, the more you’ll be able to relax into the unknown of the thing and there’s a lot of peace in that. Wishing you a truthful, inspiring, exciting story, and sending you a lot of love.

So grateful to be traveling with all of you,

Ally Hamilton

If the posts are helpful you can find my books here and my yoga classes and courses here.

Your Capacity for Change

Endings are hard, especially endings between people. I’ve never had an easy time with them; I must have missed the day when they taught “clean break.” Whether it’s a relationship, a job, or a way of being that needs to come to an end, loss is not easy. Soul-searching is important if you’re thinking about making big changes especially when other people will be affected, but there are certain times it’s just clear that change is coming and needed. A friendship is not what you thought it was, your boss is abusive, your landlord goes through your underwear drawer when you aren’t home — time for a change! Everything living grows, blossoms, peaks, and dies and something else is birthed. Resisting that reality is futile, you may as well head to the ocean and try to hold back the waves. This doesn’t mean all relationships die, it means we must be willing to shift and grow together and also accept that sometimes we’ll grow apart.

Growing up I had a friend I adored, I’ll call her Mary. We met in kindergarten, and were in school together all the way through our junior year of high school, mostly because I would not hear of going to any school where she wouldn’t be. I was at her house so many afternoons and weekends, her mom walked around in her underwear in front of me like I was one of her own. Before the start of third grade, my beloved best friend told me she didn’t want one best friend anymore. Now that we were almost eight she planned on having lots of friends. I went home and got in bed and cried my eyes out for hours. At some point my mom called Mary and asked what had happened and told her I was inconsolable. Mary said I misunderstood, which I wanted to believe but knew was just a thing she was saying to my mom to not be in trouble. I was sick to my stomach the first day of school, but Mary sat next to me and we played at recess, and I went to her house after school like always. It went on that way, but she did start spending time with another girl who wasn’t very nice to me, although we are now in contact and Mary and I aren’t. Life is so funny, and can you believe this stuff starts so early? This one likes me, but this one doesn’t. I love her, but she loves someone else.

When she was in preschool, my daughter announced one night that she didn’t want to go to school when a certain three year old boy was there because he never wanted to play with her. I asked her how she felt when he didn’t want to play and she said it hurt her feelings. I told her I remembered feeling that way when I was little and that grown-ups feel that way sometimes, too. I told her it did hurt, but if he didn’t realize how totally great it was to hang out with her, he was just missing out on all the fun he could be having and that was sad for him. I told her to play with the kids who love to play with her. Problem solved for a three year old, but this sh&t never ends. I have a bursting inbox of emails to prove it.

Depending on your personality, your life experiences and the context, dealing with change and loss can be very challenging. The end of a job you’ve had for years, even if it isn’t inspiring you and hasn’t been for far too long, is still a loss. It’s a loss of your comfort zone, of the familiar. If it’s imposed from the outside, of course it can also involve the loss of security, income, and if you have it wrapped up together with your identity, self-esteem. Even if you quit, if you’re in the driver’s seat, if you’ve decided it’s time to go, it’s still the loss of something old and the beginning of something new. The end of a relationship that isn’t growing anymore is still the loss of what was, what had been. The end of self-destructive patterns that are causing your suffering is still the loss of the familiar coping mechanisms and ways of denying. Now what?

Life is so much about transitions. If everything is in a state of flux, how do you open to the changing reality? Most of what stops us from embracing change is fear. We all want to be able to count on something. This is my house. Out on my lawn is my tree (it’s not your tree). These are my shoes. This is what I do on Mondays. Here’s where I put my mat in my yoga class. This is my partner. I know this person. (Do you know them, or are you assuming you know everything there is to know? Because your partner is changing just like you, growing, opening, thinking about things in different ways, evolving as life brings new situations and events, some wanted, others not.) The only thing you can really count on is that everything is changing all the time and that fighting that truth will cause you to suffer. Open to it all, invite it all in. Let it wash over you. Take action when you need to. Don’t expect to blossom if you’ve planted yourself in soil that has been stripped of all its nutrients, that hasn’t been watered for far too long. Nothing inspiring will grow out of that. Mourn when you need to. Be enraged, lonely or confused. Let your heart break. That way you can also open to all the gifts. All the wonder and joy and surprise and love. All the beauty and growth and expansion of your heart. Accept the endings so you can also embrace the beginnings. Sending you so much love,

Ally Hamilton

If the posts are helpful you can find my books here and my yoga classes and courses here.