That quote suggests that time is a bastard. But I say that in the most endearing way. Time will certainly slap us around a little, but it is such a wonderful teacher.
I wonder at the proximity of my birthday to the new year, to the solstice even. A turning of the wheel in so many perfectly synchronized ways. As I come to the end of another year of my own complex and beautiful existence, the earth comes into her longest night, farthest point from the sun. And the year comes to an end, as well. 2011, you've been one hell of a year. And so I reflect in so many ways, on what this time has meant to me.
The other night: a conversation about wisdom, compassion, and age. Of course appropriately timed. Several people suggested that compassion grows as we get older. And wisdom as well- which is intricately intertwined with both compassion and mindfulness. I feel these things abundantly in my life. Incorporating themselves into my existence. And I am grateful. Humbled.
Every year is epic, but this past year was especially so. I welcomed some of my most deeply buried shadows, found some of my most thoroughly hidden light. Some of the most important questions of my life thus far arose this year. And I was able, in many ways, to let go of all the futile attempts at answers.
I traveled long and far this year. And these journeys were physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. 16 states, 6 months on the road, so many miles I lost count. So many realizations, moments of intuition, critical moments, crises even, and of course mistakes.
I found synchronicity again, though I'm not sure how I'd gotten so far away from it.
I lost all my dreams, and all my ideas of who I was or what I wanted my life to be.
And as I reflect on all these things, on selving and connecting, on places and spaces, on moving and shadows, I ultimately come to where I am right in this very moment.
Today I sensed what the dark half of the year is all about. I used to think it was about just that: darkness. But it's also about rest. As the earth moves through winter, she is not dead. She is sleeping. There is so much life still, only it's more subtle. More silent. There's a calmness there in the space where darkness is welcome. Where cold is welcome. Where we can drop our leaves and bare our limbs without shame. We let go of those things we cling to. Invite our shame, our guilt, our doubt, our fear, our sadness, our injury, and our lack to come to the surface. We welcome those aspects of ourselves, embrace them even. They are part of us as much as our love, our compassion, our faith, our joy, our healing, and our abundance are a part of us. And so at this time of year, we must allow ourselves to be whole. To find the sleep of slow and silent winters. A time of healing. So that with the return of the sun, we will be renewed.
And as I am on the brink of entering another year of this beautiful and astounding life, I want you all to know how grateful I am to share this journey with you. To be on this earth, living this life, having these experiences. I wish, for you, wholeness: a space where you allow yourself to be fully you. May you walk through this life with a whole heart and a whole mind.
And know that I love you.