Well, Day 1 did not go as I planned! I'm not sure what I thought would happen, but the truth is that nothing much did happen. On the surface at any rate.
I spent the day in a mild state of anxiety. I was desperate for some sign that they had arrived, something on which to pin my faith. A spiritual crutch, if you like. And none came.
As the day wore on, my long-standing reaction to anxiety emerged: comfort eating. Comfort eating is different to ordinary eating in at least three ways: I eat more rubbish food than normal, I don't want to stop eating, and I feel very guilty.
This is one of the parts of myself I dislike most. Why can't I learn to feel more calm? Why can't I find a more positive way to deal with anxiety? This, I thought, was hardly putting my best foot forward: how would I prove I was worthy of miracles and transformations if all they saw was the parts of me that are 'unhealed', the parts that I'd rather keep in the shadows?
As the day progressed and nothing happened, I had to look at myself rather than searching outside myself. Some writing in the sky, or a shimmering vision would have eased my worries, but it wasn't to be. I had to look inward.
There's nothing comfortable about facing our shadows. In fact, it is ironic that, as I wrestled with feeling a failure - my lack of faith compounded by my 'negative' reaction to that lack of faith - I did find peace. But only when I really accepted that I wasn't sure they were here and that I was upset that the first part of me they saw was my shadow side. Once I could accept all of that, and not try to change it, then I found peace.
It's easy to look for 'glamorous' miracles, and it's easy to like our nice parts. Accepting and finding peace with the knobbly, shadow sides of our personality is so much harder. Experiencing that, even if for just a short while, made that part of me feel more acceptable - and what I was able to accept (in however small a way) gave me a deeper understanding of divine love, of being loved exactly as I am.
Looking back, perhaps that was the miracle in the first day. I feel they accepted me as I am and were offering me the opportunity to do that for myself.