Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 : the Year of Rebirth

I have mentioned in a previous post that for the past four years I have picked up on themes for each new year. This new year brings with it a Year of Rebirth, a fitting follow-through to this old year's return to one's roots. After making peace with the past, our histories, and the consequences of old decisions, we are now ready to move forward and to face life with a fuller heart and a fuller spirit. More whole. A renewed self continues the journey of life.

2011 has been like a dark tunnel for me, with only the glimpses of light at its end spurring me on. Emerging, finally, from a labyrinth of trials and challenges I am like a child emerging from the womb. While I may be more vulnerable in my raw self I have also regained a sense of wonder and joy and magic. I am also now stronger in other ways, and with a clearer purpose. My life's compass has found its north and I am now somehow getting better at making new maps and charting courses for my journeys. I have given up some things in the process but I believe that what I will gain later on will be much much more.

Here are the little embryos and seedlings of 2011 that are waiting to emerge fully in 2012. While I have been doing a few of them for many years it is only in the past year that I have re-evaluated how they are contributing to my living a fulfilled and authentic life. For some, it is only in the past year that I have been able to actually do anything tangible. The old year has been both a painful and enriching experience.

more Crafting and Creative Journeys
The rediscovery of my passions has been a major event for me. While the actual process was slow and at times even excruciating, the reward of knowing where I really want to go and what I really want to do is simply priceless. The new year presents a daunting task of being true to what I love but I trust that my heart will show me every way and that the Universe always helps those who seek with the soul.

a Happier and more Inspired Home
As part of my practice of authenticity, I embrace who I am and my home now reflects myself instead of hiding and camouflaging who I am. I open myself to kindred spirits and invite love and friendships and opportunities. I surround myself with inspiration and seek to inspire others as well through example.

a more Discerning and Patient Heart
After two decades I finally learn the lesson of patience and keeping still. While I acknowledge my own strengths and powers to shape my life, I could not shape the heart of others. But by being true to myself then everything else will follow and there will be no need to yearn or to strive or to scheme. The how of fairy tales has always been in the domain of the Universe. All I have now is the faith that there is a happily ever after unfolding before me.

Knowing and Doing What Really Matters
I was supposed to do a monthly highlight in photos for 2011 but I realized that there are huge gaps in my journals and photo albums because of being enslaved by work and the need for money. I do not dismiss the necessity of money but I should never lose sight of why I gave up my easy access to it two years ago. If I calm myself down I will see that help is sent at exactly the perfect time. There is no need to waste time and energy fretting and worrying. Instead I should channel those time and energy into creating and loving. I also learned that compromising out of despair (such as accepting work for less than adequate fees just to have something) never works in the long run. It takes its toll on the heart and the spirit and derails me from my true journey.

Valuing Family and True Friends
The number of people who actually greeted me and sent me gifts this Christmas have gone down to a number that I could count with my two hands. On the other hand, I have strengthened and deepened the bonds of the few and precious that have actually remained. Going back to my family roots and reviving my relationships with my cousins, aunts, and especially my grandmother have added substance to the core of my self -- particularly because they make up the ancestral tree of my creativity.

more Earth-Conscious Living
I read a story somewhere about a man who would walk down the beach at low tide and he would pick up stranded starfish and throw them back to the sea to save them. Another man told him that there are too many and he would not be able to save all and it would not make a difference. The man who was saving the starfish picked one up and threw it to the water and said "Well, it sure made a difference to that one."

That's how I want to look at my own little efforts to live an earth-friendly lifestyle. Every little thing counts. It will all count.

more Meaningful Travels
What I now lack in travel budget I make up for in meaning and memories. Instead of coming home with a bag full of shopping that I mostly bought on impulse, I now come home with a camera full of photos capturing every mundane moment turned magical.

a Stronger Spirit (and body!), a Braver Heart
The greatest challenge of my life so far and I am amazed that I have not given up on kendo. I will be taking the exam on February and it is something that I both want and don't want. It terrifies me. I hate it. It reveals me in all my weaknesses including the worst of it, my physical weakness. It crushes me in ways that nothing else can. But I know that on my death bed I will be regretting it if I gave up. So I will not give up. (God help me.) 

a Daily Life of Simple Joys, and Contentment without Compromise
Calmness, simplicity, honesty. No unnecessary indulgences but no deprivations. Taking care of myself as much as I take care of others. No more guilt. No more self-recrimination. No need to acquire possessions to masquerade as accomplishments. I will create what I need and what I want. As much as it is in my power. I will dispose of what I don't need and what I don't want. I will keep only what is essential, what keeps me true. The rest I leave in the hands of the Universe. 

Happy new year everyone!

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