This is a love letter, an anthem.
It began as a gift to myself on this day of my birth. Somewhere along the way it turned into a lullaby to my most precious daughter. And finally it became this collection of sweet nothings for all of us.
So listen, dear one. This is for you...
Your desires are beautiful, and they are right on time. Allow the longings of your heart, and pay attention to them. Dream big.
See yourself, my love. Look in the mirror and gaze into those deep, knowing eyes, and feel the waves of calm emanating from your sacred soul. You are transcendent, a spark of the Divine.
Your body is soft and alive. Celebrate it. It is meant to bend and move and transform. Observe it with wonder. Its shape is as precious and unique as the fields of wildflowers dancing in the sun. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.
Honor yourself, my darling. There will never be another you, and your voice matters. Use it. The words that fall from your lips are ever-creating the life you live. Create a world that inspires you. Stand up for it, and never apologize when they say its light is too bright.
Be patient with the ebbs and flows of your heart and mind. You are meant to feel deeply—in great cascading waves. The ups will expand you, and the downs will strengthen you. Allow the movement to gently lap against your heart. It is for you.
Be tender with yourself, precious one. You are so worthy of good and love, of joy and abundance. Soften your heart when it feels hard, and allow the tears to fall. Water smooths the sharp edges that prickle our skin. Be fluid. Float when it feels too hard to swim.
Laugh. So loudly. With your head thrown back and your eyes squeezed tight. Open your mouth and let the sweet sounds of joy pour from your body in great big bellows. Your joy is your power. Never stifle it.
Stand up for yourself. Even when they judge you and push you and tell you you’re wrong. Breathe into your truth and expand brighter and bigger. There is no darkness too thick for your light, my sweet.
Make friends. Everywhere you go. Speak to people with kindness, and allow them to see you. Hear their words, but really listen to their hearts. They are here to teach you about yourself. Pay attention.
Be yourself. Always. When it feels wrong or scary, or too much or too little, take a deep breath and close your eyes and feel your heart. There is truth in there. Be the you that you are in this very moment. It is enough. It always has been.
Don’t settle. In love and in life. Stand tall in the knowing that you deserve the very best. You are worthy of every dream you can conjure, every experience you can imagine. Sink deeply into the moment, and let yourself fall in love with your future. You can be present in the now and excited about the then all at the same time.
Listen to yourself. Behind the chatter of your mind, there is a wise inner whisper. Offer it a microphone. It is you. Trust your knowings, and use your voice with power and strength. Your body will guide you. Remember that you are the expert on you.
Live, my sweet. So fiercely. There is so much beauty in this world, and it’s because of you.
Be bold. Travel. Dance. Kiss. Make love. Meditate. Lay in the grass. Jump on trampolines. Gaze at the stars. Read great books (and trashy ones too). Fall in love again and again and again.
Follow your excitement, my love, and devour each feel-good bread crumb after the next. They will always lead you right back to you.
If you seek anything in this life, seek yourself. Make it your mission to discover every rich layer of who you are.
Explore your body as if it were a lover’s. Wander through your mind as if it were the streets of an undiscovered paradise. Nurture your soul as if it were a delicate garden.
Remember that you are love. You are light. You are the perfection of the Divine embodied.
It’s okay to forget sometimes. The sweetness is in the remembering. You will forget and remember and forget again. Allow people to hold you while you do.
This world is brighter because of you. Because of the things you think are weird or flawed. Don’t hide them.
Shine. So brightly.
When the day is done, all that matters is how much you loved. Start with yourself.
*A version of this post can be found on Elephant Journal.