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Learning from loss is possible, if we can shift our attitude, right? I was contemplating this, when I knocked a set of handmade bowls to the countertop, breaking them to pieces. The sting of tears came quickly. I had purchased them as a gift for my mother, who died recently. 

Just like for so many others, the losses in my life over the last several years have been stacking up. I have been seeking a path to accept all of it; the ups and downs of everyday life.

Thich Nhat Hahn, beloved teacher, Buddhist monk, and activist wrote, “Most people are afraid of suffering. But suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower of happiness grow. There can be no lotus flower without the mud.”

Standing in the mud, I breathe, raise my eyes to the sky, and I know that I am free. The trick is to keep breathing.

Photo Leilani Norman
Leilani Norman

Author Leilani Norman

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