Last night I started reading a book by Pema Chodrun and she mentioned that when you touch a sea anemone, it closes up. And it occurred to me that this is exactly the opposite of how I want to live my life. Yes, it may be painful and yes opening up - and remaining open to new experiences and people- is scary. Allowing yourself and your soul to be touched by another is a terrifying experience, and yet, exactly the life I want to lead.

When I get hurt my instinct is to run, to close myself off, to shut down. It's funny because usually I'm such an extrovert and I love meeting people and engaging with them. I like feeling that I am connecting with someone and it's that connection that keeps me motivated and gets me moving, thinking, feeling. It's my connection with others that let's me connect to what I truly love about myself- my energy and my compassion and my empathy. It's my connection with others that brings out the best in me and makes me happy to be me.

If I close myself off because of fear of getting hurt or when I do actually get hurt, it's like a dark cloud is cast over me, a dark fog envelops me, a dark mask covers my face and my mouth. When I close up as a sea anemone does, I am the least like myself, the least connected with my being, the least open to the magic of others.

So I resolve today to try to keep myself open, no matter how much it scares me or how much it may hurt or how difficult it may be. Because to keep myself open is to keep awake and alive to the possibility of connection and love and gratitude and greatness that friends and loved ones have to offer. To keep myself open is to accept what this world and this life has to offer; to embrace it all and accept it all and be thankful for it all- the good and the ugly and the magnificent and the terrible. To keep myself open is to keep me grounded with me, in me, for me, and if nothing else, that is all worth it.

This is the life.
- a