This past year was the most challenging one so far for me. Slowly, over the past few weeks, I have come to the other side of painful times. From darkness, truly comes light. When the heart is grateful, perhaps for nothing but to be alive – which is a lot – that foundation of gratitude keeps all in perspective.
I bow down to the darkness I have felt this year. I bow down to the pain and the thoughts laced with anger, sadness, anxiety and fear – for I may label them as “negative,” but what they are is a gift…if I let them be. If I can look them all straight in the eye, embrace them fully and say “thank you, I hear you, I see you, I will feel you and let the life cycle of your arising, abiding and dissolving happen,” then I can experience what is next. For me, what is next – what is here – is freedom from expecting anything from the outside and a focus on living true to my potential.
Just a week ago, when I thought about 2015, the word that came to mind was “grief.” There was the loss of my family unit, the death of a family friend, and the grief that I imagine we all share regarding the violence in our world. Life indeed is precious and rare. Is your life an expression of the treasures that lie within as this is the best way to honor the living and the dead.
Neuroscience indicates that we remember the last event of a series more than what came before (for example, the bad times at the end of a relationship rather than years of good times before). Anger, fear and sadness may arise more commonly when we think of the past rather than enjoyment. Our minds are so powerful we can change our experience of the past simply by attending to it in a different way. For example, I can remember the beautiful moments spent when my family was together. I can open myself to new experiences rather than dwell on what was not meant to be. I can rejoice in the amazing memories of those passed. I can find purpose and inspiration and awaken a reservoir of energy within to work harder for peace. Instead of letting the pain bring me down, I rise.
The mind is an instrument that as we get to know, we can work with. 2016, I invite joy. May we handle our minds with such skill that we rewrite our past in the most constructive ways, live our present with deep understanding, and create a future where the definition of Self expands to include more and more beings. May we come closer to the truth of our union. May we together find the energy and vision to create peace and lasting happiness.
My contribution to the above goals:
- See everyone, every event, every emotion as a gift, as wisdom itself. Meet all with compassion and keep moving forward.
- Drop expectation of others and focus on living true to my potential.
- Judge no one while being concerned with my own actions, thoughts and expressions.
- Be present to be radiantly alive, lucidly awake, and most useful to the world.
- Allow moments of quiet every day to directly experience my breath and the treasures and truths this leads me to.
- Express myself more.
- Return to a daily personal yoga/meditation practice.
- Play with my family more.
- Be more kind and compassionate in my thoughts.
- Make time to organize teachings that most benefit others.
- See myself in everyone and in this way deepen my compassion for others and my experience of the universal truth that we are one.
- Remember that everyone is a messenger of God, an angel, bringing me exactly what I need whether it is in a form of discomfort or ease. We are already angels. We are already God. We are here for each other. Practice gratitude at least once a day.
Thank you all for being in my life. Happy New Year. Om. Amen. Aho.