Over the last few weeks I've been hearing from family, friends, patients, and even strangers about how 2013 is going to be a great year. Well, I suppose the fact that there will be a year after the doomsday predictions of 12/21/2012 gives us a great start, and a potential for considering our personal rituals around the beginning of the calendar year. We get new calendars, learn to write 2013 on our paperwork and checks, and begin the year by submitting our taxes for the previous year.
Depending on the lens through which you see your life, New Year's might be nothing special, or it might be a time for you to reflect on how you will shift within you to create the "great" year you are wanting. Being a fan of turning inward, I'm the reflective type. I consider the previous year, 2012, and my experiences of family, friends, work, community, and the bigger world I'm part of. For me, 2012 was filled with celebrations, creativity, abundance, great music, dancing, new babies, fulfilling work, miracles of nature, wonderful practices, and peace. It was also filled with stress, loss, weather disasters, senseless violence, fear, and endings. I remember a year that was full with life's experiences, times I moved in, moved toward, moved out, moved away, and times that the simplicity of being present brought more healing than any action I might have considered. These reflections support me to understand my nature, and create the compassionate awareness I need to grow and show up in my life with more presence than I have the year before. For me, reflection is the ritual, as it brings forth the truthful experiences of my life, and it's precious moments. Those moments are sometimes extremely difficult, dark, and filled with fear, and other moments are filled with abundant bubbles of excitement, giggles, and passion. However, they are all my experience…some shared with others, some alone. Those moments have become the sacred story of my year.
Try a reflection on 2012, all your experiences, and see what your awareness brings… allow it to be unfiltered, allow it to simply be your experience of a year in your life, with no pressure, no promises, no should haves, or could haves. Simply notice the fullness of your experience. The most difficult experiences can be the most challenging to reflect upon. However, they are part of the sacred life you live. Perhaps journal if it appeals to you, or perhaps a prayer of gratitude for all your experiences, and the promise and hope of creating new awareness of your experiences in the coming year.
Blessings of Presence to the fullness of your life in 2013.
When tragedy strikes and nothing makes sense, when human hearts are broken, when family is devastated, when communities are shattered by horrific violence, sometimes all we can do is come together as a community and pray for those suffering such a horrible loss.
Sometimes the best we can do is pray for their healing and the healing of those close to them, and pray for their ability to rise and somehow find meaning once again in their lives.
Sit for a moment and be present with your breath in and out through your heart's center.
Breathe in and out through your heart's center focusing on compassion, love, and peace until you can feel yourself filled with that compassionate love and offer that out to the parents, children, extended families, and the community of Sandy Hook Elementary School, and Newtown, Ct. Stay centered and be present to the sensations in your body. When you are ready, bring your awareness back to yourself, place your hands over your heart and again find that compassionate presence for yourself. Lift your hand up and offer your loving presence to the Universe.
Embrace peace with yourself, live peace in your life, teach peace by your example!
My prayers and thoughts are with you all.
The holiday season can be a joyous time, and for a lot of us, it can also be a stressful time. Here are some suggestions for how to let the joy speak more than the stress.
When we compare ourselves to others it can be to our detriment. These comparisons might be in relation to careers, physical appearances, possessions, stress, pain levels, and more. During the holidays this pattern can be amplified. Sometimes tough financial times or living on a strict budget make us wish there wasn't a holiday. We become embarrassed that we can't afford expensive gifts for our loved ones while others can. Other times our energy is simply low during this time of year whether it is from dis-ease in our bodies, the emotional stress of the season, or the negative story we tell ourselves. Instead of a loving, giving atmosphere, the holiday spirit changes into to a stressful and anxious cloud.
Here's a look through the spiritual lens of the season. Hanukkah means dedication, and is a holiday about the miracle of light and religious freedom. Winter Solstice celebrates the return of the sun, and more light in the days ahead. Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, a celebration of unconditional love. Kwanzaa pays tribute to the qualities of unity, self determination, purpose, creativity, collective work, responsibility, and faith. It's no coincidence that in the middle of the darkest days of winter, we celebrate the light of the human spirit. It's a time of year not only to show compassion to others, but also to yourself. We can celebrate the light within us, the gift of our human potential and manifest the Blessings of that celebration. As you learn to acknowledge the light within you, you will recognize it more clearly in others.
Take a moment to consider how you will consciously create a compassionate connection within you this holiday season. No matter what your beliefs or where you are in your life's journey, dedicate a temple within you, bring alive a miracle of inner freedom, envision more light in the days ahead, give birth to unconditional compassionate love within you, and be responsible, self determined, purposeful, creative, and united. Work collectively and evoke faith in all your beautiful dreams.
This holiday season awake the "light" within you, and celebrate the miracle of your life. Blessings of joy and peace to you always.