A year ago today I received my ordination from Centers for Spiritual Living. It was a long road to get there: 8 years of education plus 4 years of working “in the field” after graduating with a Masters Degree in Consciousness Studies. When I look at the photos of me in my memories feed, I see someone who looks tired. I was doing what that lady in the commercial for anti depression meds was doing, walking around with a paper smiley face to cover up what was really going on. I had experienced so many changes and losses in such a short time during that period of my life and I was weathering it as best as I could. I’m strong. That is a character asset that has served me well many times in my life, allowing me to persevere and sometimes even succeed, no matter what. But the shadow side of that is that I became accustomed to only being able to succeed when I felt a need to be strong to stand against what life was dishing out. That is not a good way to live. Today I’ve come out the other end of that journey. The active grieving is done, the PTS (I refuse to call a normal reaction to shit happening a disorder) is lessening in frequency and intensity, and today I have learned that I can succeed without hardship. I can and do succeed just because that’s the natural and normal progression of things. And today the sun is shining and it isn’t snowing, for the first time in weeks! So today I will bundle up and venture out into the world to continue painting on the canvas of my life. As Ernest Holmes said, “we must all become artists in living,” and today I am an artist painting a bright and glorious canvas!