I have been writing a memoir for the last 15 years. So much writing. Folders of drafts and notes and moments of inspiration and despair. I really did want to share my story. My friend has a stunning blog and as we sat on a beach this past summer I preemptively cut off her suggestion with “the world doesn’t need another blogger.” To which she kindly replied, no one has your particular story. I told myself that the concept of me blogging was self indulgent, but I knew that what was behind it was fear. I love to write. I love to hear stories of other woman. I love belonging to the tribe of sisters, mothers and seekers who are putting themselves out there as long as I didn’t have to.
One day I was sketching the words sweet nectar on my paper when I saw a quick movement catch the corner of my eye. My heart skipped a beat. It was the hummingbird. I stayed with the magical creature as long as it would have me and when it flew away went to my Animal Speak book to look up the meaning of the appearance.
The message of the hummingbird is tireless joy and the nectar of life. I knew that the hummingbird was a sign to not only start the blog but to name my blog, Sweet Nectar. The hummingbird is the only bird with the ability to fly backward and this reflects its ability to explore the past and draw from it the nectar of joy. The question that the hummingbird asks is whether you are getting enough sweetness in life.
Ten years ago, I went to India to study Yoga and my teacher gave me the spiritual name, Amrita. It means sweet nectar of immortality. Over the years, I’ve meditated upon the meaning of this concept in my life and it always felt like such a tricky kind of irony. How was I to find sweetness in a life that felt so wrought with loss and pain. But the name, like any true teacher, held deep answers for me.
My aha moment came when I simply asked myself, what joy can be found if I stop waiting to be healed. There was such freedom in that for me. Sweetness and joy and life and living do not have to be mutually exclusive. Even more than that, the bittersweet essence of life is where all the poignant moments have ever existed for me. It doesn’t take away from the commitment to heal our very deep grief and trauma. It is just the awareness that there is still light despite it. I have never understood the concept of pretending that life is not tough. But I am now at the point where I have entered into a more intimate relationship with the divine than I ever had before. It feels really nice to let down some of my own guard and to find sweetness in the feeling, in the writing, in the living.