Writing this blog is delicious and wonderful. I have a place to stand inside my heart and breathe. When I sit down to write I feel connected to something bigger than myself. Even if no one is reading it, I feel like what I write here will take me to the places in my life that I am being pulled towards. I feel like writing is very, very important to who I will become. Writing this blog makes me feel like I am walking step by step towards my dreams. I have decided to accept that a part of who I am is someone for whom it is necessary to be seen in the world. At least for now. I consciously choose every day to be connected to what is true inside me. And right now I am choosing to write about it. I also choose to be connected to God and nature and to all sorts of beautiful people. People like you. But sometimes this feels very hard. I feel like I am being asked to stand up when my whole life I’ve been sitting down. And it may or may not be true, but my fear is that other people in the world won’t want me to stand. I am finding that choosing to be connected to something bigger than myself means that first I have to be very connected to who I am on the inside. I have to make the choice, again and again, to listen to my own voice and to speak what it says out loud. Even when it’s scary. Even when it feels like I have to stand alone rather than sitting down with what is familiar. Because I have been choosing more and more to follow what is inside my heart I am often finding that I am led in a direction that I am not sure others would understand. That is not new. I am a long-term vegetarian in a family of hunters. Being different has been with me for as long as I remember. What I don’t forget is that for a while I went to a place that was so different from what others understand that I actually had to be forced back into their view of things. I had to give up everything that was making me different and fit myself back into what was considered acceptable, which was painful but was actually helpful in some ways. I learned that I don’t want to be so far away that I get lost. I learned important ways to live in the world that I will always keep with me. I learned how crucial and essential it is for me to be with my children. I came back to center from that far off place with a lot of time and growing and healing. But what I am still learning is that my center doesn’t look like what I thought it should when I started coming back to myself. It still doesn’t look like what I imagine other people would accept and understand if I truly let them see it. And yet for some reason, here I am, writing about it and choosing again and again to let myself be seen anyway. Standing up is a challenge. Being true to what is inside of me no matter what the world says is one of my biggest fears, but also, it seems, one of my biggest life lessons. If I can stand and hold myself strong I believe I might find myself in a different place some day. I might find myself in a place where I can see the others that are standing, too. I might find myself tall and beautiful like a tree in the clear forest that was once covered in mist and fog. I am convinced that every tree on earth knows about all the other trees because they are connected through their roots. If I can just stand here long enough I hope that my own roots will tell me everything I need to know about who I am in the place of things. I hope that I will be balanced between earth and sky and I hope that my connections will be strong and true. I hope you find that place, too. I hope we find it together.