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Natural Awakenings Space & Treasure Coast Florida

Celebrating Unseen Milestones

Jun 28, 2024 09:27AM ● By Marlaina Donato
Happy woman in breeze

mihailomilovanovic from Getty Images Signature

By the time we see our backyard gardens explode with abundance or notice a hillside’s vibrant palette of summer, stealthy forces beneath the surface have been at work for many months. Like nature subtly turning the page to another season or the decaying, secret magic of mycelium networks underground, human milestones are not always obvious. The job promotion, dream vacation or new car promptly gets posted to social media, but emotional and spiritual progress deep within our recesses is not usually announced or even capable of being articulated. In a world that values shiny, tangible successes, the stuff that matters to us most gets lost like rare wildflowers in the underbrush.

We struggle for decades to get out of the stranglehold of trauma, labor silently to refine a spiritual practice or create a new life brick-by-brick after devastating loss. Some of us work late into the night honing a craft or work through addiction recovery programs without a visible support system cheering us forward. Sometimes getting out of bed after a long, debilitating period of depression feels like winning the lottery to which very few are privy.

Whether we put an old grievance to rest in a soft grave of forgiveness or master a yoga pose, our most valuable accomplishments are the quiet kind that rarely inspire commemoration. Too many of us refrain from sharing our hidden harvests because we do not wish to appear foolish, or worse, fear being judged, envied or even dismissed by others. Too many of us feel that our internal achievements are insignificant or unworthy of attention. Too many of us minimize the value of what is utterly invaluable.

For today, take a personal milestone from the shadows by honoring it or sharing it. Inspire someone else to do the same. After all, this deeper work—and the cultivation of our intangible joy—is what makes the human journey exquisitely and arduously worthwhile.


Marlaina Donato is an author, visionary painter and composer. Connect at

This article appears in July 2024 issue of Natural Awakenings.

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