Body, Mind, Spirit Magazine

Don’t Give Up

By Shavawn Berry @ShavawnB


Let the Water Take You

The theme this week seems to be loss and letting go, which have been the overarching themes of the past several years, if you’ve been paying attention. At. All.

We’re back in our hip boots, standing in a fast moving current, nearing the point where the water will sweep us off our feet. There’s no point in trying to stagger upstream any more. The currents whirling around us have their own plans. It’s time to float, leaf-like and still, and see where we land. (Even if it is someplace bewilderingly unexpected.)


In the midst of all this chaos and loss, I’ve been re-evaluating my planned trip to Spain and London this summer. I’ve realized that next summer is a better choice. In order to walk the El Camino de Santiago (550 miles of often rugged terrain), I need to lose a minimum of 50 – 75 pounds and be much more physically active and fit that I am. Having just started to recover from years of sleep deprivation, I realize now I can actually do the physical exercise without collapsing in exhaustion, but it will take time. With school keeping me insanely busy, I don’t know how I can devote four or five hours a day to exercising.

Once the semester’s over, I’ll have down time for about 8 weeks. That’s when I originally planned to take my trip. Now, I will start my serious exercise then, in preparation for the summer of 2016.


This also will allow me a chance to devote myself to my writing projects because I will not be teaching at all this summer (something I haven’t done since 2010). I can launch several writing workshops (and their online components) and do some local writing workshops to beta-test some of the materials I want to use for workshops in London next year. I am setting up plans on my calendar and building time into my schedule for both writing and self-care.

At last, I am doing what is important first, rather than what is urgent. (Everything can seem urgent to a teacher.)


What are you letting go? What’s changing in your life? How are you navigating these losses?

Every Sunday I listen to New York astrologist, Anne Ortelee, broadcast her “Weekly Weather.” This is a big week. Today is a significant full moon. Tomorrow is Chinese New Year. Today is Lent…and the list goes on. If you have noticed that the losses are piling on and you feel isolated and alone with your grief, be sure to listen to Anne’s podcasts. They help. Tremendously. I feel much less alone when I hear her caution that the week is jammed packed with difficult aspects. I take her advice to heart. I build down time into my schedule. I nestle in bed and snuggle with the cats. I read and drink scalding hot Earl Grey tea. I sit with the song sparrows and hummingbirds and grackles; I listen to their contentment and joy as they chatter incessantly: Spring! Spring is coming!

They celebrate change. They revel in letting go.


via damien-crisp

via damien-crisp

I am having dreams again, after years of just slivers, fragments.

Full blown nonsensical narratives pour through my head each night.

This is a sign I am deep into the creative juice of my subconscious while I sleep. I awaken feeling rested! I haven’t felt rested in years.

For a long time, I lamented my lack of energy since it blocked my forward motion.

Now, I understand what a pleasure it is to see the world clearly and to be able to make plans. I am daydreaming again. I spy on my most secret self, greet her, ready to unpack the suitcase she’s been sitting on since I was 35.

There’s so much joy in being present, in being here.

I’ve come home to myself.

I can finally get started.

© 2015  Shavawn M. Berry All rights reserved

Feel free to share this post with others, as long as you include the copyright information and keep the whole posting intact. If you like this piece please share it with others. You can like me on Facebook  or Twitter to see more of my writing and my spiritual journey on my website  at

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