As I set up my calendar for the month, I select a quote I’ve found that speaks to me. I write it in my planner and leave space below it to capture phrases I hear or read that speak to me and relate to the quote. I found this practice centers me throughout the month, and helps me be more present in my conversations, meetings, and readings. For June 2023 my quote was “all for the love of you.”
I began this month with an introspective vibe for this quote. All up in my head as we introverts can be. I am grateful that I ended the month with an interpersonal perspective of these words. Here are quotes, lyics, and phrases that that caught my attention during the month:
- Our fear is only darkness, which is the perfect test, contrast, and venue for our light
- If not now, when?
- Non-thinking reptilian brain
- The mind chases while the heart grounds
- A feisty blessing
- Act on the knowledge you have until you have better knowledge
- Don’t ignore the warning signs
- Be ready to own your choices
- Fuck comfort
- Walk long enough and we all trade places
- Ambition verses intention
- You create what you allow
- Meet what is, rather than what could be
- What’s possible through me?
- Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public
- You’re ridiculously in charge
- Relax into who I’ve always been
- You don’t grow a plant by dipping it into dirt once a year, it needs to stay and grow roots
- Prioritize the uniqueness that makes you you, and the invisible magnet that draws in other like-minded souls to dance in your orbit
- The power of God powerfully moves between us unseen, only visible in the brief moments we are lighted – in those enlivened moments we know as love
There is research that shows what you think about helps you move to it—or attract it to you; perhaps it’s a bit of both. Well, this month, I felt the love.
My month kicked off with Day Breakers which I’d waited to do since learning about it during the COVID lockdown. I met a friend at the Kennedy Center’s outdoor park next to the Potomac River. There, we joined more than 200 others, each wearing one color head to toe. I blue, she pink. Together we all looked like specs of a rainbow that has been scattered after a storm, reuniting to take full form again. We enjoyed one hour of yoga and then two hours dancing to a DJ. The yoga had me a bit worried as I hadn’t done any in 15 years. The practice was a graceful one – accepting what your body can do now rather than an aggressive stance of “do better.” At one point we came off our mats onto the grass to do a challenging pose balanced on one leg. The each person directed to put an arm around another’s shoulder. There we were, ring upon ring of people – in various colors – connected together. Steady as a collective verse wobbly alone.
The next weekend had me on the hill of my alma matter, Mary Baldwin College, for my 30th reunion. At first, the thought of my 30th reunion made me feel old, but I since realized that each decade, year, and moment of growing deserved a celebration … 30 years of a life well lived deserved gratitude for a place that transformed me. Three days with three besties sharing and laughing reminded me:
- To cling to folks who get you
- That our imaginations are not big enough for our potential
- Silliness is good for the soul
- Everyone is an artist in their own way
The weekend caused me to reflect on who I was when I was there – bold, bright eyed, and bushy tailed … who I am now, and who I want to continue to evolve into. The weekend brought me back to my core where I re-connected with spunk, creativity, confidence, wonder, forgiveness, and joy. Not that these had gone away, and more of a reminder that they are always with me and how easy it is to tap into them. Life had lodged them a bit deeper and now they were polished and prominent.
As I savored the celebration of my journey as an adult, I moved to the next weekend to celebrate the journey to come for my nephew as he graduated from high school. The energy in the room palpable. Hope and anticipation swirled in the air from the graduates and loved ones alike. Many conversations centered on “What are you doing next?” A question, I am learning with age and experience, that is dangerous and detrimental. It robs the person of the now, of the magic of being, of the possibilities they can’t imagine, and of the tiny voice in their soul that has ideas different than the norm. Perhaps at these milestone moments, the question could be “How would you like to be now?,” “What do you want to make sure the world has more of?,” or “What do you hope is in your life?” And, in case you’re wondering how we celebrated my nephew going off into his “next”… a family meal, axe throwing, and ice cream! They seemed to set the tone for life’s pending adventures.
The last weekend of the month ended at lunch with friends of 20+ years. The conversation different from chats over chips and salsas of days gone by. Work responsibilities, memory care units, and health issues – tempered with memories and long-standing jokes. Our waiter (whom we’ve followed to three restaurants) shared news about his colon cancer and successful surgery. Hugs by all.
I closed out my month with a thank you note. On Father’s Day, I received a truly empathic text from a long-time friend. She articulated things I had not and could not. I felt understood in a way that took me by surprise. Her words not only comforted but buoyed me. She didn’t try to fix anything or offer false platitudes. She acknowledged me. She saw me. She loved me. Several weeks later, I mailed her an “LGBTQILOVEU” card to close out Pride month. I expressed gratitude for her as best I could in hopes that she felt my acceptance as I had felt hers.
The month reminded me of all the ways love appears. The love of you as a person. The love of you as family. The love of you as friend. The love of you within community.
All for the love of you.