What’s in a New Year?

It’s just a day.  New Year’s Eve…Like a birthday, it only has meaning that we humans assign to it.  I just turned 54 a couple of weeks ago, and that didn’t seem old at all until my mom told me this weekend that she was 57 when she and my dad began their retirement.  And I remember that she was OLD when that happened.  So, I guess I like being old.  I KNOW I like being old. I have time to sit and think and ponder and breathe and wonder and love.  Which brings me to the point of this post.  My word of the year.

It is stillness.  STILLNESS.  

Last year’s word was adventure.  After a year of adventure, one appreciates some stillness.

Facebook friends add much to my life, and it is on Facebook that I learned about Word of the Year.  From a “friend” named Molly, who I do not know in any way know outside of Facebook – it was just some little twist that occurred because we had the same name.  I can’t remember the details and am not in the mood to make them up.  I have met flesh and bone friends in similar ways.

I like words.  So much so that the Online Etymology Dictionary was the first bookmark on my iPad.  So I was immediately attracted to the idea of Word or the Year.  It’s something of an alternative to the dreaded New Year’s Resolutions.  Which are useful only as a boost to the revenues of 24-hour Fitness, Weight Watchers,  Nicorette gum and Kale farmers.  Word of the Year works like this.   Before the end of December, you begin to ponder your word.  You do not try, or struggle or effort.  You allow the word to find you.  After it finds you, it is recommended that you learn more about your word, including the origins.  Personally, I start the process by reflecting on the current word.  Oh, yeah, post your word on Facebook or somewhere else to help you remember it, if you are old like me.  At some point around March, I usually forget my word, but by then it doesn’t matter because it’s become part of my thinking

Adventure – I remember choosing it because I wanted to allow myself to experience newly.  And I did.  Beginning 2014 with the experience of the Landmark Forum, I created possibilities and enrolled others.  My adventures have been close to home – more adventures of the spirit than of activity.  The result has been confidence and courage that was previously hidden.  And a willingness to feel deeper connection to others.

So, now, stillness.  

I considered other words.  Stillness came out on top – and here’s why.  In my research, I found out that the phrase “still, small voice” is from the Bible.  Yeah, I’m sure most of you already knew that.  It is from Kings.  It talks about the lord being not in the mighty wind, or the fierce fire, or the earthquake – but in a still small voice.  And I will spend time in 2015 listening to that still, small voice.  It comes from stillness.  Not necessarily of body, or even mind, but stillness of spirit.  Holding a place where intuition can sneak in around, over or through the noise.  Ahhhhh.

I will let you know how it’s going.

Day 17 – Don’t Fear the Dark

I read something this morning about embracing our own darkness and how that will allow us to see the light – the other side of the darkness.  I’ve been experiencing darkness for a couple of days, and I describe that darkness as neediness.  Emotional neediness; I thrive on the opinions of others about me.  I wish it wasn’t so.  I frequently pretend that it isn’t so.  However, it is so. There, I’ve said it.  Not embracing it yet, just feeling the full wave of negative emotion right now.  I’m hot, my muscles are tense, tears are streaming.  For me, this is the darkest part of me that I am currently aware of.  Right this minute I cannot envision a life which is not based around this emotional neediness.  That is not affected greatly by the opinions of others.  The glimpse of light is what I have received so far on this journey.  I don’t care what anybody thinks about my body now.  And that is amazing and a gift I never expected.  But now I want more of that.   I suppose that is what’s on the other side of the pain I am feeling at this very moment.  

Years ago I had no friends, I had no god, I had no hope.  How amazingly grateful am I today that I have loving friends, a loving god, and ever present hope.  I used to drink away the darkness.  Now I do not.  Nor do I smoke it away, or eat it away.  Hope just reared its bonny head.  I am blessed with love from friends and from source, and with the strength to experience emotion.  I don’t ever have to feel this pain again.  I don’t  mean to say that I will not have pain again.  Just not this specific pain.  Because I have the time and the tools, right this moment, to allow healing.  To allow the light.  To wait and feel and wait and feel until I get to neutral.  Like a cork bobbing on the water.  

OK now, to my Landmark teachings.  Ooh, good, I’m starting to bore myself.  Approaching neutrality.  I declare a breakdown.  Ah, closer to neutrality.  I am the possibility of peace, stillness, knowing.  I am the possibility of grace, which can be defined as simple elegance. Now what is the action that leads to peace…stillness…knowing…grace.  Not trying to fix anything.  Meditate.