2020 has been filled with one heartbreak after another, each one seeming worse than the last. Many of us have felt at times like everything we’d thought we could count on was lost, and that the weight of the failures, setbacks, and tragedies might crush us.
I get it; sometimes things just feel too hard to face. I’ve spent way too much energy trying to bury my head in the sand – and then feeling more and more overwhelmed with each of my refusals to acknowledge the problem.
Looking to the helpers
And yet, we have also seen the most incredible resilience and hope – our healthcare providers stepping up to the challenge; people standing up for justice and against racial profiling and violence. We have come out in record numbers to make our voices heard at the polls. We’re still here – alive, creative, and curious – and we’re about to enter a new year.
So, what’s next?
So, the question now becomes, “What’s next?” Do we hide from the truth? Or do we learn from it? Do we shrink in helplessness? Or do we put on our big-person boots and do something about it?
Here are some “what ifs” to consider:
- What if we commit to learning from the past, examine our assumptions, and start fresh?
- What if we bring all of the lessons of the last year to bear on what we do next?
- What if we give love, compassion, and support to others?
- What if we strive to see the best in people, friend and foe alike?
- What if we step into each moment with fresh eyes and an open heart, and wake up each day with gratitude and love?
- What if we acknowledge our fear and frustration, without owning it or believing that it always has to be this way?
- What if we give ourselves compassion for the pain we feel?
- What if we agree to imagine something new?
- What if we greet 2021 with a beginner’s mind and see this coming year with all of the hope and aspiration our hearts can hold?
A Beginner’s Mind
“To see the richness of the present moment, we need to cultivate what has been called ‘Beginner’s Mind’ – a mind that is willing to see everything as if for the first time… No moment is the same as any other; each is unique and contains different possibilities. Beginner’s mind reminds us of this simple truth.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
It is often repeated by mindfulness teachers that a large part of the practice is the “coming back” to present-moment awareness. However far you think you may have wandered away from your path, you can come right back in the next breath.
The tagline for our Center is “You can choose to live differently.” As dedicated mindfulness practitioners, we know from personal experience that committing – again and again – to living in the present moment is what gives us the space to choose to respond skillfully to the events of our lives instead of reacting recklessly out of our unchecked thoughts and emotions. Mindfulness doesn’t change the circumstances of our lives, but it changes our experience of them.
We invite you to join us as we step into this new year with a commitment to cultivating presence, resilience, and whole-heartedness.
Please, join us for a free introductory class to get started “beginning again” in 2021, or explore our upcoming classes in mindfulness, self-compassion, and mindful eating. We would be honored to walk this journey with you.
Wishing you deep peace and hope for what’s to come.