I am coming off of an amazing weekend…and amazing days before the weekend.

Last week I flew to Minnesota to attend the Trans Equity Summit that my kid planned and coordinated for the City of Minneapolis. I don’t think I yet have words for how powerful and moving the Summit was. Over 400 (I think) people attending, such a glorious representation of strength and beauty and individuality and community and… I don’t yet have words.

I flew from there to the Jersey shore to spend the weekend with my best friends from high school. Laughing, connecting, walking on the beach, sitting in the sand, telling stories (new and old) …laughing and connecting.

Quite different experiences. Both of which fueled me and filled me. Both of which were reasons and excuses for love and joy.

My last post called out the guidance I was recently given – to be in the moment and to enjoy my life. As I look back on my 48 hours in Minneapolis and my weekend at the beach, I can clearly acknowledge that I was in the moment and I did enjoy my life. I laughed. I played. I related. I learned. I deepened. I cried.

I can also clearly acknowledge that there was much in each moment to dive into, to bask in, to relish, to appreciate…to enjoy. And that there often is.

As I sat through sessions at the Trans Equity Summit or spoke with the other attendees, people I’d met before and people who were new to me, I allowed the stories of trauma and pain – and then the stories of triumph, joy, self-love and self-preservation – to sink deeply into me. All are stories that need to be told. All are stories that need to be heard. I honored the resilience and spirit. I celebrated the beauty and strength. I identified when I identified and did my best to stand beside others in their space.

As I spent my weekend with people with whom I’ve been friends seemingly for forever, there were, at this point at least, challenges and tough circumstances in everyone’s life. I noticed, as we worked through the topics of family, work, health, etc., that often we’d highlight our challenges and tough circumstances first, and only after a thorough explanation of those, begin to mention the positive movement or steps we’d taken to address things or wins we’d had.

Why is that? I wondered to myself and to my friends. Why do we focus more on what’s wrong? Why do we need to list our problems and pain?

Especially when there is so much love and joy there for the taking. Especially when we could, quite as easily, highlight our strength and delights, our determination and the creative and magnificent ways we’ve handled what’s been put in front of us.

Especially when we can own our own power and beauty. Our resilience and spirit.
What makes us unique and amazing. What makes us members of a community and also someone who can, and does, hold others together.

Being part of the Minneapolis Trans Equity Summit and being part of a laughter-filled weekend of friendship and love – both of these experiences heightened my awareness of our humanity, our solidarity, and our interdependence and strength.

And both of these experiences reminded me, yet again, that love and joy are there for the taking, if I will only remember to focus my mind and attention there…and to let the love and joy in.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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