The best you can do

  My 8 year old son dragged his feet getting ready for school yesterday morning, he said he didn’t want to go.  I asked why and he revealed he was nervous about the school performance, where his class would sing the song they practiced all week, the song he has shared with me over many lunches, in the car and before bed.  The song he has obviously put a lot of work into learning.  I said to him, in Seussian-style rhyme, as we headed out the door,
“You can only do the best you can do.  That’s all you need ever expect of you.”
I never felt comfortable publishing daily musings, as I often return to read them later, only to no longer agree with what I wrote.  That’s the nature of life sometimes.  Like snakes, we shed our skin, reinventing ourselves, renewing ourselves and growing.  Changing our ideas, challenging our thoughts, behaviour and outlook as circumstances change in our lives, as our perceptions change, and often, simply, as the weather changes.
I began writing An Accidental Awakening over three years ago, as I participated in a group of self-explorers, journeying through one year on a raft of yoga and inquiry.  I knew then it would be a book, one I’d finish and publish someday.  I returned to it over and over, attempting to finish it, and some days that included the idea of burning it.  Each time I read what I’d written, I cringed.  The events of the year were compelling and remarkable, my thoughts and feelings documented at the time, however, seemed so far removed from the me editing the writing.  As I’d grown, evolved, transformed, reading old story became more and more difficult.  
Each day I return to the writing, thanks to award winning writing coach Lisa Tener, advice from the inspiring and prolific Jean Houston, and disciplined practices learned during my year of discovery, to move closer to completion of the book.  I reserve judgement on my previous self and infuse the best of what I know, what I learned then and continue to learn now, to breathe life into the writing.
“You did then what you knew how to do… and when you knew better, you did better.” ~ Maya Angelou
You do the best you can.  Telling or revisiting old story to understand your motivation behind what you did, the lessons you learned, or sometimes to have a good laugh or cry at your own life, doesn’t suck you back into that life.  Quite the contrary, it honours and releases those stories and helps us to understand that we are ever-evolving beings.
It’s all life; the good, the bad and the ugly.  You never know how what you do or think may help someone, or how revisiting it later helps you develop compassion for yourself, detachment from your story, understanding you are not your beliefs, thoughts and behaviour, and allows you to appreciate just how much you have evolved.
So, tell your story, share your art, reveal your passions, without thought to whether they’ll be in fashion a year from now.  You may later decide to keep them and continue to wear them, or you may clean them out of your closet, replacing them with new.
Just don’t layer them under your outer wear, or eventually all those layers will suffocate you.  Display them proudly and give yourself freedom to breathe.
Share your life willingly, creatively, abundantly, joyfully, honestly and whole-heartedly.  After all, it’s the best you can do with what you know right now.

Stephanie Hrehirchuk
atONE Holistic Living

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