Being a bridge and letting go of what isn’t mine. — the tortoise shell can go now.

I have a tender friendship and working relationship with an American artist and spiritual coach. I’m her editor — I sit with her words and feel the meaning, then scramble paragraphs around and rewrite until there is a flow that feels divine. This kind of partnering — her words and mine — brings me much joy. I’ve reworked several of articles for publishing, redid her book jacket and amazon listing, and am soon to edit her copy in the foreword of another writer’s book.

I love the art of editing.

This year, I’m welcoming opportunities to edit. More articles, yes, and this year I also see editing books.

I see early early mornings behind a glowing screen with a mug of rooibos tea beside me. I see my heart opening, my mind focusing, and my fingers doing the work of building bridges of understanding. I’ve known, for 7 years now, that being a bridge is part of my dharma — to help people connect better. Connect to their spirit, to lifeforce energy, to nature, to each other, and to their selves. I love this work.

I’ve also made a resolution to listen more, and to be seen without showing off (along with a few other intentions perhaps I’ll share later). To help people connect, I (we) have to listen with openness and vulnerability. To not project a belief or assumption of where someone stands or who they are, far before they’ve told me their story, just to speed into my turn to talk. That’s not listening. I resolve to open my heart and allow the truths of others to come in, while being seen in my true self.

If I can listen, then I can be the bridge of sharing truths so that others can understand better. So that others can see into worlds they do not yet know. (When I travel, it’s always been my great wish to share the scenes and stories before me with bodies who, for whatever reason, aren’t there.)

The author, Kellie J Wright, shares her journey of profound personal change in Internal Journeys: A Spiritual Transformation.

Last night, in the moonlit early morning of New Year’s Day, I opened her book randomly to a chapter called Have. She asks the reader if we possess things that aren’t ours. Beliefs, desires, objects that were handed off to us or that we took on — knowingly or unknowingly — and carry around as our own.

To become the fullest most natural and vibrant versions of our selves, we have to let go of what’s not ours. We have to make space for what is meant for us. And only what’s meant for us. For our now. For our endless stream of nows.

This is the last chapter of her book.

I chuckled reading it, and resonating with words I deeply believe. I carry judgments and bad habits picked up along my life that conflict with my core — light, freedom, joy.

I’ve worn a weighted tortoise shell of ideas I do not want and of a past story told with too much contempt and regret. I am ready, I feel, to let it go. I am making space for what should be, what could be, without it.

I shook my hands and wiped them clean, brushed the skin of my arms and legs down toward the earth, and then washed my hands and feet with water — all while declaring to god and life and the emptying house around me that I release what isn’t mine. Take it take it!

The only way to know what’s under that shell, is to peel it off. I am safe in the loving hands of life — there is no need to burden myself with armor if I’m always in this now.

Let’s see what comes.

Will my skin shine under the sun as I walk upon a warming earth each morning? I’ll know when to seek shade, or protection, for my being by listening to the knowing within. It’s always now. I don’t want to carry what appears to protect against (and prevent) the majesty of reality. Nope. Unburdened and light is my way.

What is yours?

Reach out if you’re listening. I am here.