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  • Writer's pictureEsther Brownwood

May you? You may

Definition of may

1a —used to indicate possibility or probability

you may be right things you may need

—sometimes used interchangeably with can —sometimes used where might would be expected

b : have permission to

you may go now

May is a month full of celebration, so we wanted to start off by saying a very happy Mother’s Day dedicated to the people who brought us into this world, thank you all! At the end of the month, comes Children's Day, another beautiful time of celebration.

It is such a nice aspect of life to me, that we take any and all opportunities to celebrate the people in our lives, and I do think May is the perfect time, since the word itself offers us the permission to celebrate, and usually, the weather to enjoy it.

One of the interesting aspects of this word is that it’s not very firm, it’s more uncertain, yet it still has this gentle power of acceptance and surrender.

For example, in the practice of Metta meditation, these phrases are common:

May you be safe,

May you be healthy,

May you be free of suffering.

These sentences are not demands, they feel more like suggestions, possibilities that you have the option of either taking or rejecting.

In so many situations in life, it seems like I have no idea which way to move, or perhaps I do know what I want, I just don’t feel like I’m ready or allowed to actually follow the path ahead.

Our generation has this odd relationship with opportunities and choice right now. The media and the internet show us every day all the exciting things we could be doing. It makes it so much harder to actually decide, and feel satisfied with our choice.

These are the times I naively wish I could have been born in a different time, or perhaps in this time, just a different place. I crave simplicity, I imagine it was so much easier to create solutions for your everyday life, when you weren’t bombarded by the difficulty of bountiful choice. Of course, we can all agree that choice is necessary. Having a choice is something so many of our ancestors were not afforded in this same way. Still, it may act as just as much a curse as a blessing.

Let’s take clothes, for example. If you have a limited selection of clothes that you own, let’s say 2 shirts for work, 2 shirts for formal wear, and 2 for casual, it’s easy to decide what you’re gonna wear, the choice doesn’t take up so much of your time. On the other hand, if you have cabinets full of clothes, the choice becomes much harder, it may take up more of your time to choose the perfect outfit for the day.

That is may, as a possibility, which does seem endless, and therefore almost turns back around into the inability to do anything at all.

But may, as permission comes into this as well. We might think, why would I deserve to follow my dreams, or choose between all the amazing opportunities?

This is called imposter syndrome, and I know many of us are plagued by it.

Therefore, it’s a good thing May is not only an opportunity for possibility, it also gives permission to pursue it. Looking at it through this lens helps bring some ease into it. Where the abundance of possibilities nearly paralyze, we can surrender into knowing that no matter what you choose, you May.

May I bloom,

like love in the chest

of a bird so free,

his song sang me.

Falling petals,

drift through the wind.

Whatever it may be,

I May, I see.

It is the perfect word for balance, the fine line between uncertainty and conviction.

I am uncertain of what I may do, because I may do so many things.

Yet the birds, the words, the trees, and everything just nods gently, no matter what it is: You may.

So I hope this May, we can all lean into the permission, into the ease, into the softness, and into the possibilities.

I love you all,

May you have a beautiful month!

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