This was the plan anyway.
I even pulled up the writing I did from last year at the end of January. It is a good one - Balance, Boundaries And Bone Broth - and my thought was to start with those things in this last year's post and then integrate in with where I am now. Put it all in alignment. Make it all make sense.
But then, ah, I got stuck on my pup. As I went through the photos on my phone, to find the best one to top this writing with that would inspire readership, I came across the one of my beautiful and smart and always perfect Doberman when she was small.
How friggin' cute is she!!!
And I just couldn't resist. I had to share this picture with you. And then I thought hey, why not put a now pic alongside the then pic.
I was still, at this point while I was posting the puppy then and now, thinking that I had kinda abandoned the introspective and more mindful piece and had truly moved on to some serious puppy prose but then I saw it. For, in keeping with my original thought theme of reflecting back and integrating in, the image of my before and after puppy so captures not just my perfect pup as we all know she is, but also so perfectly captures my original theme: the before and after of things. The scanning and reflecting and seeing where the changes lie.
The funny thing about photographs that capture the changing of things is that this is not really as accurate as we want to believe. While the outward manifestation of change certainly shows over time and is capture in stillness as the photos we keep, the true movement and moments of change are internal. We can't see them but we feel them and often times they do not line up with the physical changes that we see when we look at our form.
Things don't always match up.
Often the outward change we see so clearly do not mirror the internal beings we are. Think of our grandparents, the old and wise woman we maybe aspire to become someday, the elder of the tribe and the teachers from our youth, and how they say - time and time again - that they still feel like their twenty year old self even while their body is old and perhaps ready for sleep.
I feel this. My sixteen year old me is this me still in so many ways. And though certainly I have grown in maturity and wisdom and mindful intention, the essence of me is the same as I was then.
Like my perfect pup. She looks totally different in her before and after shots. But her spirit, her essence, her drive and her focus and her soulful connection to me is the same. She, in so many ways, is that pup even while she is this dog. And though she has grown and matured and is so fully herself now, the self that she is was there all the time.
She, like our younger selves that are ourselves still, is the same in her spirit even as her body as grown big and strong.
But then other times the change that happens is the exact reverse of this.
Especially now I feel this. Not just within me but within us all. Just as the shifting that is happening in the universe is hard to see but we feel it in our bones and our heart, the changes that are happening within us come fast and sure and don't show up on our faces even while they sit solidly in our souls.
And so we look in the mirror and see ourselves looking just as we did yesterday as our eyes shine back at us from a new place. We are collectively coming alive in new ways. We are connecting in as we create community. Women's circles and New Moon dancing. Men's collaborative and mindful meditation. Common causes and constant conversation. We are shifting and changing and adapting to the world fast and true. And so what doesn't match up is the reverse. Because we look the same. But we are totally different now.
I love the balance of this.
That sometimes it is the soul's turn to shift and the stability is in the constant of our bodies as the familiar place we live in. And other times, the change is physical and the constant that we hold as the place that we land is our internal knowing that we are still ourselves.