New Year’s Day
New Year’s Day offers an opportunity for reflection, renewal and rebirth!
As I prepare to soar into 2021 trusting in the capacity of my wings to carry me forth in the limitless sky, I must acknowledge and appreciate the fuel gathered from 2020! Today, as I look at the rearview mirror, I am overwhelmed with grace, humility and gratitude!
The year 2020 has accentuated the inability of humans to stay in self-created cocoons, believing that we are fortified by the power of geographical boundaries, money, power and influence! It has shattered all conceived or actual borders and left us naked at the mercy of a force greater than us! The message was pertinent and since we were engulfed in the illusion of unceasing stimulations, we failed to hear the whispers and the knocks. Yet, the significance of the message could not be discounted! Hence, the lockdown ensured that we became absolutely quiet so we could finally begin to listen. In the absence of the blaring honks on roads, the ringing of bells across institutions and the uninterrupted sound of clicks on myriad gadgets, we could finally access our sense of hearing! After the initial phase of absolute denial and defiance, I began to settle like the sediment in a glass and became still! In that space of stillness, I slowly heard the subtle sounds of nature and was reminded of its beauty and grace. As the lockdown intensified and the distressing news felt repetitive, I sought new paths to stay afloat. As my capacity to listen was enhanced, I accessed buried talents, fancies and interests and sought pleasure in pursuing the ladle, paintbrush, dice and other forms of creativity!
Rumi, the great poet, stated, “As we start to walk on the way, the way appears”. After the initial excitement of learning a new skill or rediscovering an old one withered away, and there was no respite from the outside, I was coerced to turn my gaze inwards. The universe had beautifully contrived this plan so I could set foot on this path of silence to rediscover my other senses and ultimately journey back home. After all, “We’re all just walking each other home” (Ram Dass). I began to dig deeper into the trenches of my inner landscape as I battled with polarities, problems and other prospects. At other times, I wanted to escape the anxieties and troubles looming over the entire global community and hence sought solace and a place of comfort. In the process, it dawned on me that turning inward is no longer a luxury, option or privilege but rather a necessity. While the form spanned a wide spectrum including meditation, yoga, chanting, healing tools and other empowering practices, the intention was to strengthen my inner muscles so as to better exercise the outer ones.
Even though the concept of “six degrees of separation” had presented me with the interrelatedness of our beings, the past year has revealed how I no longer need to find the connections between self and others. We are social animals bound by interdependence, such that what affects one will undoubtedly impact the others, regardless of the highlighted differences in our physical realms. As structures and systems began crumbling, it challenged my foundational beliefs, patterns and attitudes. I was finally awarded the freedom to break out of the vicious cycles that had held me in tight captivity by decades of conditioning and other imposed limitations. The digital revolution redefined my modes of communication and interaction, impacting all areas of my life. While the local community was being strengthened, the internet awarded me the space to harness the global network as well. As I dialogued with people across different continents, I awakened to the true power of the human spirit. I realized that each one was combatting the same three “enemies” or “gatekeepers” — the voice of fear, the voice of judgment and the voice of cynicism, that Otto Scharmer from MIT, highlights in his proposed Theory U. The three voices keep us blocked from accessing our deepest source of creativity and potential. Yet, the prevailing trial was urging the entire human race to release these shackles and instead lead from the voice of compassion, the voice of love and the voice of empathy! Once the lines that demarcated the space between self and others were wiped out, I was able to lead from the heart rather than the head! I saw the same people but with different lenses! A rekindling of this spirit allowed me to further value the power of dialogue.
The unpredictability of the outer world was no longer a threat as I developed the knack to navigate and control my inner world. It was similar to finding the keys to a treasure tower! Once opened, the abundance began to flow in myriad forms. Yet, this abundance was not one attached to wealth or material possessions but an abundance of life itself! The darkness that cast its shadow on my life began to lose its grip on me as my perceptions were transformed. I was able to embrace the storm with the same dignity as I would welcome the sun! As a result, the contradictions began to wither as I viewed both darkness and light as extremes on the same spectrum. Just as the experience of the darkness led me to appreciate the light, I also needed to walk the path of lack to acknowledge the bountifulness! After all, entire creation is based on a fundamental principle of balance! The issues arise when this balance is disregarded by the micro or macrocosm. Today, I am consciously striving to maintain equilibrium in my life on a daily basis, so I do not need to be knocked off my feet and kneel in repentance.
2021 is the year of manifestations! It is the year when the caterpillar is ready to spread its wings and soar, resting in self-assurance at its readiness, capacity and fortitude! Having survived the harsh winters and cruel nights, I have now found my space in the eye of the storm where I stand with dignity while simultaneously embracing the drama around me. The purification of my senses through an inward journey has equipped me to see through the veils of illusion. Just as the metal needs to be forged to reveal its real beauty, humans need to be tested to uncover their capacities for resilience, patience and grit! Dealing with excruciating degrees of intensifying challenge forced me to transform the deep-rooted fear to faith, the anger to compassion, the blame to responsibility, the comparison to contentment, the pain to life force and hone the power of my faith! Now, I am able to value the infinite potential within that radiates brilliantly! As I glance towards 2021 on this New Year’s Day, I can hear the engine of my soul nudging me to take off with courage and hope into the boundless skies! Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, I am enthusiastic and equipped for this age of rebirth and renewal where humanity will once again celebrate itself so that the dignity of each life will be revered, and each breath will be rejoiced! Bring it on 2021!!!