It’s late on December 31, 2018. I’m watching my friends near and far post their goals for 2019 and lessons learned in 2018. I love new beginnings. Memories of the first day of school, with a new pencil box organized, trapper keeper filled with unblemished paper, and backpack ready to go, still fills me with joy.
2018 has been a year of intense growth for me and for many around me. This has been a year to prepare us for the next chapter. A chapter that will bring a lot of change outwardly, but certainly growth inwardly as well.
2018 Lessons Learned:
- Speak truth with compassion. This year I faced interpersonal challenges in many instances, each one a mirror reflecting my own shortcomings and my own strengths as well as those of the other person. Although it took courage, I practiced speaking truth with calmness and compassion. This ability is quickly becoming my most helpful tool in working with others. In relationships we strive for harmony, but there are times when compassionate feedback can help another to grow. I welcome the feedback and have finally found a balanced approach to expressing it with others. Thank God. Seriously.
- Be honest with yourself. In the face of the challenges that this year has brought, my nature is to be self critical. I had the opportunity to see many of my own human flaws this year. Although difficult at first, it has been a year of ego liberation by simply accepting this human personality as it is. Once we accept it, we can sincerely move past it into our true Self. A healthy ego is the first step on the journey to Self-realization. Check.
- Say yes to life. This year has been full of yes. Yes, I will work harder, smarter, and with more joy. Yes, I will share inspiration from my heart with others in ways that I never have before. Yes, I will write more, exercise more, serve more, meditate more, love more. My cup runneth over. It’s been crazy, but also very fun.
As 2018 draws it’s final moments in my time zone, I can feel the change that is coming. The first half of 2019 is dedicated to the Temple of Light, the 50th Anniversary of Ananda, and my sweet children who still need a lot of me. The second half is very unknown. The wandering sadhu in me loves the blankness of the unknown; anything can fill those empty pages yet to be written. Anything.
- Meditate more. Always my #1 because the more I do, the better I get at being me. The big me. The higher me. The light inside me.
- Follow dharma (right action). In ways both big and small, I aim to do better at following dharma. When I am party to a critical conversation that brings me down, withdraw from it. When I feel a tug of desire, breath and let it pass. Embrace the dharma of living in this world as a gift. Cleaning, cooking, caring for children, serving a mission, earning a wage, it is all dharma if done with the right spirit: the spirit of service and love.
- Tune in. This is my essential goal for 2019. It’s why I meditate more. It’s why I follow dharma. The more I can tune into the inner Guru and my outer one, Yogananda, the more I can flow with this year and this life with grace and joy, no matter what it brings.
2019, I am ready for you.