One Inch Deeper

I turned 27 yesterday.

It was a quiet, sweet birthday: dinner with friends, flowers at work, breakfast bright and early with a sweet sister.

On Monday, for the first time in my life, I consciously thought about my last few hours as a woman of a certain age, and what I hoped the next year might bring. Here are some of my hopes for 27.

I want to be brave. I want to go new places, see new things, form new friendships, move deeper into old ones, and push myself beyond my comfort zone.

I want to be steadfast. I want to be certain, sure, and confident. I know this will mostly grow from uncertainty, mistakes, and a bold openheartedness. Guess what. That openheartedness has to include openness to failure, and just as importantly, openness to success.

I want to be silly. I want to have more belly laughs. I want to open up the vast dreams in my heart and find joy everywhere I look, even in the midst of heartbreak or suffering or both.

I want to write more and be outside more and simply live more.

Today I went to my first ever barre class. It was part of my I’m 27, Which Is Code For “Adventurous,” Not “Old”  Plan to live a fuller life. I had been looking forward to starting barre classes this week since, like, December. It was such an unexpected treat to actually get to go this morning, almost like 27 was telling me, “I agree, this year will be surprising and wonderful and victorious.”

Here’s the thing that stood out to me from barre more than anything else, sore muscles included. Our instructor encouraged us over and over with this gentle refrain: “use small movements and go just one inch deeper.” No overbearing C’MON LADIES, TEN MORE REPS. No yelling. No competition. Simply the tiny invitation: join me one inch deeper.

That’s my prayer for this 27th year of life. Yes, I hope to be brave, steadfast, and silly. I hope big, wonderful things happen, but I hope I arrive at them all with small movements, living one inch deeper every day.

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