The 21st of June marked one year since the launch of Wise at Any Age - a project of love and dedication that I embarked upon the day my psychologist told me I no longer had Panic Disorder.
The day of my launch my life was experiencing the most incredible combination of emotions. There was worry, uncertainty and sadness as the city I was born in declared a state of emergency due to flooding. And there was utter elation, joy and happiness to be a published author, finally, after dreaming of it since childhood.
There was also gratitude, kindness and warmth from new friends and old, dancing in public and celebrating together. Covering it all there was genuine happiness - to be alive, to be free, and to be loved.
When I began writing Wise at Any Age I had no idea what it would become. I was merely attempting to capture the shear volume of epiphanies, revelations and profound realizations I had experienced in a short span of time following the end of my first relationship of great significance.
Looking back, and flipping through the pages of that very first print proof I got in the post, I can honestly say that what I put in there is still so very applicable. But I can also say I've grown so much in the last year. Something I am both proud and humble about.
Proud because I remain open to learning and I'm doing my best to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. We can be given all the tools in the world to wake up and become more open to our experiences but if we don't apply them it amounts to very little, if anything at all.
I'm humble too, though. I'm humble because I can see how much more I can open. I can see it simply because I know how much I've changed in the last year alone. If I thought the growth I went through to write Wise at Any Age was significant, this past year has been akin to an acorn becoming a twelve foot oak in a matter of months. Just think how open a person can become in five year, or ten.
I find myself unable to capture my experience so easily with words these days, but also happy to let it remain something felt. It's like a deep knowing in my bones - a greater understanding than I realised I was capable of and yet, insignificant to how open we can be.
I have had the great fortune to meet certain people who radiate this openness in ways I aspire to. They are profoundly wise but also incredibly child-like.
A single flower can captivate their attention in one moment whilst they speak to crowds of hundreds intimately in the next. They are incredibly present for whatever is going on around them but never arrogant about what they have come to understand. In fact, the greater their understanding the more they want to teach, so those around them can experience the same awareness and presence.
When I wrote Wise at Any Age I was almost creating notes for myself - something to act as a reminder of what I grasped intellectually and knew would heal me. I've discovered the result of application now and I am hungry
to teach, to share, to enthuse.
I appreciate the motivation of these great teachers because even a glimpse of this openness is enough to make us want to share it with the world. There is no value in not sharing it because it is vast and endless and if we could all learn the root of happiness and genuinely understand it, we would never hurt each other.