Sometimes a simple story, song, or image you have encountered hundreds of times can suddenly speak to you in new ways. My son pulled "Goodnight Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown off the shelf the other day before bed. Although we have read this book dozens and dozens of times before when he was a toddler, this time it has inspired me to make a somewhat bold decision in my life. You probably know the story. "Goodnight moon, goodnight bears, goodnight comb, goodnight brush, goodnight to the old lady whispering hush..." Basically it's a baby bunny detailing the items in his room one by one saying goodnight to each one. There is an awkward cadence and rhythm to this book. Everything is just a bit off kilter, from the red balloon floating in the corner to the brightly coloured room. This book is considered to be a treasured classic by many. But many parents I know hate it. They hate the awkward redundancy and wish they were reading something with some kind of narrative structure instead. I may have even been one of these parents, but here I am years later reading it again and I have found some hidden wisdom within the text and awkward angles. This little bunny is abundant. It is clear there is so much in his little world from a room full of toys, to a loving care provider who is caring for his every need, drying his socks by the fire and giving him a warm bowl of mush. I can relate in so many ways. I have so much. I have love and care, I have stuff and things. When I take the time to detail it and offer gratitude to all that I have in my life it's overwhelming. No one would want to read my goodnight moon bedtime list. "Goodnight son, goodnight baby, goodnight loving partner doing the dishes, good night free time, good night electricity, good night new pink socks my mom just bought me..." You get the point, I have it all. This little story is about abundance and gratitude. But it is also about focus and attention. When we peek at each corner of our lives with intention we can see abundance. The little bunny isn't focusing on his worries (seriously that fire is pretty big in his room it looks kinda dangerous!!! and who on earth is the old lady in his room whispering is that his mother if not what tragedy has befallen her?!) or his life's deficiencies (he looks so lonely in that big bed and his red balloon likely won't stay inflated long I think its withering!) But rather than fall into these dramas the bunny is choosing to focus on the here and now, and what he has here and now is pretty good. So little bunny you have inspired me. You have caught me off guard years later and I see the wisdom in your weird quirky little night time ritual. You have got me thinking about everything I have at a time when I am out on a limb each day with a new baby, trying to honour my own creative voice, and trying to start a practice that serves others using the expressive arts. As I look around and catalogue all that is great in my life in terms of my family and my own creative endeavours I feel satiated and at peace. But in terms of my new expressive arts practice I must say I have found myself drawn into the fear of the big flames and the loneliness that little bunny seems to be able to skillfully ignore. There are many voices and lots of advice about how to start a private practice and most of it centres on how to make money. In a capitalist society where individuality rules this is no surprise. But that wouldn't worry little bunny would it? Nope. He would say why focus on all that stuff when you know it will drag you down and isn't what you are about. Little bunny would just focus on what he has and make it shine each night. So I am taking his advice and I am going to focus on what I care about and what matters to me. I am focusing on the quality of my work, the impact it has, and my ability to be of service in this world. I am forgetting about money, and building client lists, and all the rest of the worlds advice and I am going to focus on working with people, because that's what I care about. Yes I know this will bring about eye rolls and scoffs of "she's so naive" for many. I find myself jaded by the flashiness of business pitches, the two tiered mental health care system insurance companies profit from, and everyone trying to make it big. That may be reality but its not mine when I am working with people.
So here I am a fresh little bunny with so much to learn and hopefully many more "Goodnight Moons" to come. I am committing myself to working in a way that lessens the focus on money, I have so much of what I need right now after all. This little bunny in her new little endeavour will work with people first and if money and value come into play well than I will just consider that "extra mush" to be thankful for each night. Each day, each person, each event I will intentionally do my "Goodnight Moon" ritual and only ask for that which I really need and be thankful for that which I have. So consider this your official invite into my world, no strings attached just gratitude. And so I will begin my ritual for today, "Goodnight amazing opportunity, Goodnight supportive friends and family, and goodnight to the courage and inspiration of an new old classic.