This past week, my daughter Maya finished her 8th grade year; culminating the experience with a graduation ceremony. Asked to write a speech for commencement, she captured and spoke to her learnings to an auditorium bursting with peers, parents, faculty, and supporters.

The end of one thing always leads us to the beginning of the next. Life is like that – unless we choose to stay (un)comfortably swaddled in what was or swirling in the liminal space between what WAS and what CAN BE.

  • Where are you swaddled in what what you know needs to come to its natural end? A job? A relationship? A habit? A belief? (Notice where you feel disconnected, frustrated, or bored).
  • Where are you swallowed up by fear in stepping into what’s next even though “what was” has ended? (Notice where you feel confusion or inertia; lack of momentum in your life).

Maya’s speech allowed her to assimilate her learnings from her middle school years; not to attach to them but to integrate their purpose into her wisdom chest. When we do this, we don’t suffer because of what happened (past tense) but instead we GROW towards our potential because of what we learned. She also celebrated and named what she cherished; a reminder to always be grateful and honor our journey. “Thank you for brushing my hair and making me laugh so hard I couldn’t breathe.”

This step is integral to closing a chapter. We say our sweet, sometimes complicated goodbyes. But it is in the goodbye that we invite hello. You must breathe out before you can breathe in.

She then said aloud: Hello To My New Adventure. Claim It. Send a message to the universe that you are a YES for your path. We may not know exactly what it is, but the first answer to HOW is YES! WIthout it, we are paralyzed with confusion. The world is ready for us but it’s not sure we are yet ready for it.

Here’s my suggestion: Write your graduation speech. Whatever you are graduating from at this moment (and we are all in this process somewhere in someway), write your speech. Speak to your fears, your learnings, your promises. Say your complicated goodbyes and your enthusiastic hellos. Articulate your belief in yourself and how your precious path, no matter how tattered or pocked, is and will continue to be not your scars but your truth serum & guide. Claim your True North. And then read it aloud; every day. over and over. Until its truth is your truth.