Welcome 2020. Thank you 2019.
As I sit at my desk at home to write this blog, I feel tears slowly fogging my eyes, and my throat closing down. I cannot stop crying. What is happening? I look around and I see the bookshelf to my left, filled with hundreds of books on subjects I have always loved, from sustainability and architecture, to neuroscience, leadership and self-development. I see on my desk an old photo of my father and I, when I was only 16, and recent photos taken of my daughter, at her pre-school. These images tell a story.
As I contemplate my surroundings, I am brought to 2012. 2019 reminds me of 2012, with its roller-coaster of experiences that ultimately led me into the best year of my life, 2013. I feel the same now. In 2012 I left a fifteen year profession that I loved to pursue a calling – to be a writer, to be a coach and to lead trainings. I had no idea what that path was going to be like, but I wasn’t choosing that path as much as that path was choosing me. In 2012 I ended a relationship with a man I believed would have been my husband and the father of my children. In 2012 I received my green card – a fifteen year journey that had shaped my life in the US. In 2012 I met a mentor who helped me transform my life, and I went to Thailand and Laos on a month long trip that made the end of 2012 unforgettable. In 2012, I got a tattoo on my wrist, the only tattoo I have, with the word freedom printed on it. As I often tell my clients, the greater the chaos in our lives, the greater the possibility of change, the greater the possibility of a higher order. Just like in physics, chaos often represents the moment just before change, and order.
Like 2012, 2019, had all of the same elements. Pure chaos. I had some high, highs, and some low lows, and I am ending this year with both excitement and wonder – what will 2020 bring? While we all have a natural urge to look forward as we close one year and embark into another, I find that too many self-development gurus overemphasize this idealization of the future without spending enough time on reflection. My books are a reminder of a trajectory, and they are also a reminder of a quest for answers still not completely answered. These books are also a reminder that life is cyclical, and that while 2012 was tumultuous and difficult, it brought me straight into the brightest year of any I had lived before. 2013 happened to be magical, not just because of a strong and powerful vision I held in my heart, but mostly because I allowed 2012 to be what it was supposed to be: messy, difficult, frightening, challenging.
I am not sure where you are in your life cycle, whether your life right now is exhilarating and whole, or you feel yourself sinking into a deep abyss. Maybe you are somewhere in between, like 2018 was for me. Regardless, moving forward demands that we experience the fulness of whatever experience is given to us, now. It also demands releasing and completing whatever emotional experiences we had this past year, and the years before.
You may have heard of ceremonies where we are asked to write words or names on pieces of paper and burn them in a symbolic gesture of release, often referred in the spiritual world as cutting chords, spiritual chords that is. Perhaps you may have your own list of names, words – both said to you, or those you say to yourself, that it is now time to release into the fire. Your fire can be virtual, just an idea of the burning and not literal. You can process this by being quiet, and allowing whatever expressions of emotion come to you, as you face the incomplete aspects of your past, and open yourself up to the possibilities of the future. Your fire, may be actually water, letting a natural current both take away your attachment and grip to people, habits, thoughts, ideas and even values, while simultaneously cleansing your hands, or body in a gesture of openness.
I will end with the words of Michael Singer, “To free yourself of your inner thorns, you simply stop playing with them. The more you touch them, the more you irritate them. Because you are always doing something to avoid feeling them, they are not given the chance to naturally work themselves out. If you want, you can simply permit the disturbances to come up, and you can let them go. Since your inner thorns are simply blocked energies from the past, they can be released.”
If you hope for a garden filled with flowers, trees, fruits, you must tend the soil and you must pull the weeds that will disturb the natural growth of the seeds you planted. If you want 2020 to be all that it can be, you must allow your blocked energies to be released, and you must face that that you have avoided facing your whole life. Burn in the fire, or let it flow into the current what needs to be released. There would not have been a 2013 without a 2012. There can not be a whole and complete 2020, without your allowing 2019 to be all that it was meant to be.
With love and wishing you a beautiful transition,