Accept the pain, cherish the joys, resolve the regrets, then can come the best of benedictions: "If I had my life to live over, I'd do it all the same.
-Joan McIntosh

From "Romancing the Ordinary: A Year of Simple Splendor" by Sarah Ban Breathnach:

Women were created to experience, interpret, revel in, and unravel the mysteries of Life through their senses. Our senses speak the secret language of the soul-longing. If there is anything every woman understands-whether she is single or married, eighteen or eighty-it is the dialect of desire.

Emotion is the feminine mother tongue Think of how often the senses are evoked in our casual conversation to convey a women's inner life: "I was so touched..." "I heard that..." "I see your point." "I felt misunderstood." "I could taste it, I wanted it so badly." "I had a hunch you'd call."

And yet how often in the course of one day do you deny your feelings' validity? How often do you turn away from their urgings or suppress the unruly things? Could it be that we don't trust our feelings because we haven't ever given ourselves permission to live as we are meant to? Luckily, most of us are born fully sentient beings, able "to perceive the world with all its gushing beauty and terror, right on our pulses," as the poet and naturalist Diane Ackerman tells us in her exquisite evocation A Natural History of the Senses. And yet we continually shut ourselves down, condemn ourselves to misery by rendering ourselves blind, deaf, and mute.

Think back to the three best moments of your life. Slowly summon them to return. Watch them ride a wave of rediscovery on your sense memories as you bring back the setting and mood and power of those moments.

Call back a moment of exhilaration and engagement. What were you doing? What were you looking at, holding, or hearing?

Call back a moment of clarity and commitment. What private prompt of your intuitive heart did you act upon?

Call back a moment of transcendence and transformation. What wonder was hidden in the tastes and textures of your everyday life? Today revisit those moments when your soul soared and yet you were completely connected to earth. And then, throughout the day, echo James Joyce's heroine Molly Bloom's exquisite moment of surrender by offering it to Heaven as a private psalm: And yes I said yes I will Yes!

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