Birthdays are great times to look back on what you’ve learned in the year that just passed. I did that too this birthday and marveled at my own journey in growth.

One of my greatest lessons, which has been coming to me steadily over the last few years and which I think, really sunk in this past year is:  I am responsible for my own happiness and while I must be be considerate, kind and empathetic to others, I must take care of myself first. 

The Journey

Mary Oliver is one of my favorite poets and her poem ‘The Journey’ sums up exactly what I feel at this point in my life.

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice –
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save.
~ Mary Oliver ~

So I continue my journey with gratitude for everything that has happened in the past, and look forward to the road ahead……….

May you be inspired – everyday!