- "In order to have pain, you have to know what is missing." Lorraine- My beautiful soul friend Lorraine offered me this image in a session together and I have been sitting with it as a child might sit with a new awareness of the world around them. She encouraged me to know that what's missing is standing right beside us. If this year has brought tears to your eyes and your heart has felt grief, it is only because you know that joy is standing hand in hand with your grief. We know this grief because we know our capacity to experience joy. My heart knows that this will be a lesson throughout the years. But for today, I feel grateful to be aware of what is missing and to know that its opposite is standing right beside it.
- "Each one of us has a deep connection to the Divine." Lorraine- We each carry within us the Divine form. Whatever you name that Divine form. From the time of our inception, we carry a connection from the supreme being into our Earthly awareness. We perhaps find our self disheartened that our physical reality never comes close to embodying this perfection, but we each get to embody that perfection by being our Divine unique expression. Not seeking it from another, but from going within and unfolding the possibilities of our unique hearts. I envision 2017 as a year full of encounters with the Divine parts of myself and the world around me.
- "All of nothing thinking creates pain."-It's all one thing or another. How many times this year did this thought occur? As I pause and look at this amazing teacher, I am again in awe of all the information this statement offered. Information from diets to relationships. One of my teachers shared this year that "Pain is reality, suffering is a choice." And so over this year, I have noticed as I have worked with my teachers that we can become addicted to this type of all or nothing thinking. As I move towards 2017, I am excited to more clearly follow my inner knowing and create different experiences for myself, to find a balance and to encourage others to find this sense of balance for themselves.
- "Find what you love, love what you find," - I have this sticker quote on my vision board and am reminded that as I have moved towards finding what I love, I am loving what I am finding. I've always had a fear of not fitting into the external worlds constructs-the time honored traditions, the expectations, the addiction of being accepted by others. But, this year, I have been creating my own internal constructs with the support of my mentors, friends, and community of like minded-people. I am a writer and I am planting that vision for 2017, like my grandfather planted his gardens. With certainty and conviction, I know this to be true about myself. I need not prove this to anyone, I simply need to celebrate this and write. As we celebrate our gifts, we give others opportunity to celebrate their gifts. As I love what I find, I find a trail of happiness leading me to the next opportunity of thriving, not merely surviving. Bring it on 2017!
- "I am Redeemed" by Big Daddy Weave - These lyrics really sum up my personal work this year. Releasing shame, regret, guilt, and other lower vibing emotions. Feeling grateful for knowing that I truly am not who I used to be. "Bound up in shackles in all of my failures, wondering how long is this going to last? Then you look at this prisoner and say to me son, stop fighting a fight that has already been won. I am redeemed. You set me free. So I'll shake off these heavy chains and wipe away every stain. I'm not who I used to be. I am redeemed."
- What are my opinions and where did they arise from? A very wise friend of mine shared that opinions can be a way that our mind atrophies. I never thought of it in this way, but when I mouth off my opinions, its like I'm playing an old record. I keep hitting the same grooves of the record. I never had this awareness until this year, and it is an awareness that I have to continually re-visit. Often times these opinions are not me. Opinions are a chance for me to ask, is this truly how I feel? Have I imitated my opinions from those I love most? Such a rich landscape full of exploration.
- Have I loved well? The Buddha reminds us to continually ask this question. Have I loved well this year? Have I held back? Have I contracted my heart? Have I lived in ways that are congruent with my authentic nature? As I peer inside my heart, I find myself so excited to love and express love. Over this past year I have become clear about what love is and what love isn't. My definitions have shifted and my insights have changed. Love isn't loving someone if they, (fill in the blank). Love isn't controlling another person. Love isn't belittling someone. Love isn't turning over the responsibility of my life to another. Love isn't losing yourself for another. So many other lessons that love has taught me, but the greatest lesson love has taught me is to love myself enough to 'Do my work,' so that I can be more fully present to love myself and the world around me.
I could write a book about the personal lessons I learned this year, but I will leave the list at its present length. I feel so much gratitude and love. For all of the new insights that I have been molding into my realities. For all of the people who have supported and loved me. For all of the joy that is yet to come. I am wishing each and every one of you profound joys for the year ahead. May you tenderly review the past year of your life and embrace your journey with compassion and kindness. Let go of what no longer serves you and invite in the new. Cheers to 2017 my friends!
May You Sweetly Seek:)