An unedited gem from my 2011 journal – a letter to the me of May 2001:
Dear Jessica circa 2001,
Start meditating now. Go see Amma, get a hug. Begin to cultivate a spiritual practice, right away.
You’re a new mom with a gorgeous, bald, four month old baby girl. Try to understand that getting laid off last month was one of the best things that could have happened to you. Don’t rush to find a new job – use your unemployment insurance until it runs out.
Write. Write. Write.
You have so many undiscovered talents – if you dig for them, search for them, uncover them, you will not have to wait so long to own them. Better to own what is yours at 33 rather than struggle for the next decade.
Slow down. Sleep when your baby sleeps. Laugh with her. Take your time. Nurture yourself and her. She is going to be a handful, that one, and it is only going to get more and more challenging. Love her. Love yourself.
Stand up for yourself.
Enjoy what you have been given.
Take care of your friends.
Jessica, you must spend time with your mother. Take the time afforded to you now that you have been laid off and spend time with your mom. Do things with her and Maya. Play in the garden, walk to the beach, go to the park.
Write love letters to Maya. Write love letters to yourself. Take writing classes. Learn to love a dirty house. Just take the time. Take up space, gather it like wildflowers. Hoard it. Revel in it. Enjoy this life in this moment because you can’t even begin to fathom how it is going to change in the next ten years.
Lives and loves and dear friends will be gone. What you thought was indestructible will be destroyed. What you thought was impossible will be commonplace.
New lives will be born. New smiles and thoughts, different love, deeper love.
You must hold the space within and around you to breathe and recognize what is real and what is not. To honor what is transitory, which really is…everything.
So stop. Breathe. Love. Laugh. Rub your hand over that sweet bald head of Maya’s because in ten years time it will be covered in golden ringlets she won’t want you to touch and your hands will be full of other hands and things and even if you don’t – can’t – won’t slow down you’ll realize how easy things were now, then.