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A NEW THING
December 21, 2007
 
Well, you've needed to cut back for a long time. You've said so yourself. You do have a book to write.

These things are true. But today I am feeling a little sad about a decision I've made: moving my spiritual direction practice out of Manhattan and onto the Farm. Saving energy, time. Money, even.

The people who need to see you will come to you. The others will find someone else.

Well, that's true enough. I composed a letter to my directees, explaining and apologizing.

Never apologize and never explain.

Oh. Okay.

Besides, people don't really care as much as you do about why you're doing it or how it makes you feel. They just need to know that it's going to happen, and when. This last came from my daughters.

No, of course they don't. I reread my letter and it did sound a little overwrought. I substituted her revision of my draft and pressed "send."

Oh no!

But already it had escaped into the ether. Replies came in all afternoon: calm, supportive emails, rescheduling appointments, some of them congratulating me on making a sensible change. Not one of them had "HOW COULD YOU?!?" as the subject line.

For some of us, taking a stand for one's own well-being is not difficult. For others of us, it feels all but impossible. But it's not impossible. It is, however a thing that only I can do. Nobody else can take my stand for me.

So many things in life determine us that it's easy to forget our own role in what happens. Not everything is visited upon us -- I may not call all the shots in my life, but I call some of them. I can't change everything, but I can change some things. And every change in life, the change I author as well as the one that just falls from the sky and bonks me on the head, brings with it at least one road to travel that wasn't there before.

So here it is: new things will happen if you do a new thing. Whether doing the new thing makes you happy just thinking about it or scares you to death, it will bring something into your life that wasn't there. And you'll have a hand in creating your own future.
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