The End of the Beginning

December 31, 2016

The End or the Beginning – 2016 morphs to 2017

On Dec. 31, 2011 I wrote how delightful the year had been; how I was looking forward to what 2012 would bring. As I considered all the items which made the year “great,” there was nothing “super eventful” on my list. Yes, I had finished my year long residency, which was enriching and note-worthy, however for the most part my list was filled with the “amazing-ness” of daily adventures. I noticed it was less about events, and more about celebrating relationships and what I had learned. And, it was about little things, like learning how to make cranberry chutney.

During this last month of the year, I have heard people wishing for 2016 to end. While I am not one to wish even one day away, I do understand this sentiment. 2016 has been the container for difficult times. From the deaths of well-loved people, clashes at home and abroad, and to those within families and with people we don’t even know. Embracing the other has been put to the test during 2016. It doesn’t mean we stop, it means there is more work to do. It is work we must do. Take a deep breath and dive in.

So, I decide to be grateful for 2016: a year where I have learned many things.
*From a trip to Cuba, I discovered the country’s beauty and the hope of its people. I realized I had been taught about Cuba through a lens of mistrust, and I began to wonder about truth.
*In developing Resiliency Revitalizers workshops and blog, I have heard stories of resiliency and pain, gaining a new appreciation for the bounce-back-ability of us humans.
*From my travels to Scotland, I explored not only an amazing country and made new friendships, I also encountered an unexpected and deeper level to my own soul. Through my discovery of the history of the Scots, I found my own history impacted and my today, blessed. (I also found I love Highlands whiskey – a true gift to the world. )
* In leaving a well-loved team and job, I was reminded my ego can scream loudly, and my soul speaks softly. Therefore, I must listen and trust. I was reminded tears are a release of tension and it is a way to allow grief to flow through me, not get stuck in me.
* In my work I remember our days on earth are fleeting and if you want to do something, whether that is a trip, play golf or say I love you, today is the day to do it, not when you retire. Because frankly, none of us know if we have tomorrow, let alone retirement.
* The hard work I mentioned earlier? I know that in order to do the hard work of 2017, it is vital for me, for us, to care deeply for ourselves. For me, this is an important thing to take into this new year. In order to care for those around me, and to do my work well (whether that is the dishes at home, therapy with a patient, or coffee with a friend) first and foremost I must care deeply for my own self. I want my spiritual practices to be present in my life all the time, not just when I am in a panic. The consistency of which I practice, is the consistency in the amount of peace I have in my life. Expect more photos and more writing in 2017. 

So on this new Dec. 31st, I take into this new year: joy of nurturing relationships, prayers for the struggling ones. I will bring the reminder to allow emotions to move through me while they do their cleansing work. Stay present to each moment, be alert to the beauty and create space for practices that heal my soul and continue to look for the good is all places. To look for opportunities to embrace the other, to view different perspectives and remember joy. What will you take into the new year to help you do the work ahead? May you find all these things and more in 2017. Happy New Year to you~

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