For the past decade or so, I've dedicated the month of July to celebrate my birthday by conducting an annual review of my life. With the diligence of any Type-A personality left inside of me, I take self-inventory, investigate my resources, and make it a point to relish in my favorite things. Celebrating both the new and favorite things is the thing to do in my July. It is a sacred time to create the runway for the next wave of delight and growth that is yet to facilitate my next transformation. The entire month is my molting time where I shed this old, hardened shell for the bright power and sweet vulnerability of my new layers of muscle.
Though I've been practicing this ritual for a while, I began recording the process in 2015. A journal cleverly named The July Book serves as my ledger for the process. It's only brought out once a year and travels with me everyday for the month. The July Book lists events of the day, new favorite things, resources, growth points, breakthroughs... you name it. If I'm doing something for the first time in July, it is aptly named a "July First". Examples of July Firsts in the past have been: learning to crack an egg with one hand, memorizing verses of poetry, walking new routes to familiar places, choosing to try flavors of foods that I'd typically ignore or give the "bleh" face, learning to twirl drumsticks with both hands while walking and singing, going on my first Tinder date, visiting new places, and so on.
Today's July First is to share something from the July Book. So, here we are.
Share #1 Entry from last year JULY 17, 2018 Being in the present moment is more fun and less strenuous than worrying and taking yourself too seriously. This is the practice of an open heart: being vigilant about seeing the habits that exhibit a lack of faith and actively breathing through them and choosing even a slightly different way to be.
Lately, Trust is an unspoken yes, is minding my business. Perhaps all of my July Firsts is the practice of Trust.
I remember the cards I pulled on the island that pointed to letting go, the work already done that readies you for the next era of surrender. I have a new appreciation for my community, the way people are in person, for the work of making bodies more open and truthful so nothing gets too locked up inside.
Despite the temporary mind-boggling shifts that the patriarchal structures are undergoing in this slice of time, the intelligent conversations about the body (physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual), only gives me much needed hope. If a hard headed--or formerly hard-headed person like me can be softened by the re-education of my body within my body, then my faith is restored. I've learned to extend my love of nature to my love of human beings. We have a chance of being alright. We all must create a world that our hearts yearn for, our minds long to play in. It's what we're built to do.
Share #2 This year's list of favorite things, in no particular order
Thirty-seven of my favorite things:
1. Almond Matcha Lattes from Maru. Hot or iced, to stay, in my corner, on my favorite stool by the window
2. The feeling of a good pen on quality paper
3. Kisses on the forehead
4. Full body laughter, experienced first hand or being a witness
5. Hula. Everything about it. E Hia'ai barefoot at the end of the red road at sunrise.
6. Rainbows in the Hawaiian sky and cool rain on a warm day
7. Performing successful late-night splinter extraction on Casey's big toe in the Calig kitchen
8. Running into neighborhood friends on morning walks with Eli
9. Elijah the Chickensheep's morning state, his big dumb grin and swooshy tail wag when he's pumped
10. Drawing, doodling, making a blank page something else
11. Simple dishes that are surprisingly delicious
12. Fireworks, the kind that swoosh up like fingers and end in dandelion shapes
13. Jon's zombie walk in the morning
14. Drumstick and nose flute time
15. Watching friends lose track of time together
16. Rose's faces when she thinks something is magical
17. My Himalayan Salt lamp cube and the light that it gives
18. Getting fun things from Mia in the mail
19. Everything about waves
20. Time with the Capili Clan
21. Human hands
22. Leaves glowing with sunlight
23. The running list of restaurants that Melvin and I must go to
24. Being in class with the Two Snake tribe, laughing and discussing the human body for hours
25. Time in an empty studio, beautiful floors, good mirrors
26. Love bites, tickle bites, flirting and blushing about it because it's mutual
27. Perfectly timed days where somehow all the buses and trains arrive in time with the speed of my gait
28. People-watching and eavesdropping on conversations that would never have occurred to me to have
29. The sound of a land line phone ringing
30. Watching Jon watch nature documentaries, and nature documentaries
31. The men in my round table
32. The women in my round table
33. My yellow Cheech and Chong shirt because I can almost feel its future, a jillion washes from now
34. Waking up in the Amazon rainforest and how the sound of the Pajaro seemed to rise above all else 35. Being naked, feeling naked, doing naked things
36. All mornings when I get to do all my Trin things and feel like days have passed but it's only been two hours and I get a week's worth of work done in day
37. Kitchen sounds
And, that is that. Thanks for riding along for this one, everybody. Onward to my next tasks of practicing Hula and doing thirty-seven somethings for every year that I've been alive...