This has been a year to remember and one to forget. My personal feel is for the former because I believe we will look back on it as the dawning of a new and better age.
The light always follows the dark.
And while 2020 has covered us with it’s fair share of unwanted shadows, I truly believe that 2021 will see us all shining our brightest. There’s so much we can’t control — 2020 was constantly telling us that. But it also reminded us that much is in our control — our actions, daily habits and how we treat others.
And 2020 confirmed for us that there’s no bypassing some hardships. But also that these are the moments when humanity’s resilience can be most inspiring.
Thinking back on the year, I first learned about the virus in mid-January. I felt frightened for a host of reasons: my family, work, health, the unknown etc. And as January turned to February it became all-consuming. One of my private clients, who frequently travels to China, shared how they were in complete lockdown, which seemed so implausible to me at the time. He shared that almost all human interaction was through streaming video. I was shocked and mesmerized all at once.
And I was scared.
I work in a field that is so dependent on human-to-human interaction, and physical touch is a big part of it. I love teaching yoga. But it is also how I pay rent and buy groceries. I couldn’t wrap my head around being unable to work in person for even a few weeks. Funny to say that now because here we are 10 months later about to move into a new year and our more virtual existence all feels a little more, can I say…natural?
Then in June the warranted Black Lives Matter movement brought to light the inequities and injustices of Black people in America and around the world. The curtain was pulled back and with glaring bright lights we were forced to confront some hard truths that we hadn’t wanted to see. This period also triggered many feelings within me of my own experiences of racism and micro-aggressions.
I like many of you dedicated time then and still now to reading, learning, discussing, and sharing my own experiences with BIPOC teachers and friends. In these moments of sharing and listening and learning, I felt validated by my past outrage, and saddened at how friends, family members and I have been treated at times, shame at remaining quiet at times of injustice, and through all of it, some healing.
That is my hope for you too. Whatever the pain you’ve endured this year, I hope you have found time to reflect and start to heal.
I wish for all of us, that we never have to suffer again. But that is not a realistic wish. So what I actually hope for us is that our future suffering, are the times when we also learn, heal and grow.
2020 tested us and it turns out we are much stronger than we thought.
When challenges arise, we might have fear in the beginning and as we inch forward down the path of uncertainty. I’ve never known anyone to do brave things, without also feeling fear of the unknown. The brave and cowards both feel the same thing. It’s just that the brave keep moving forward.
And so I want to take a moment to acknowledge your bravery this year. You are stronger today, than you were 365 days ago.
So I invite you to think about how this past year has shaped you into a stronger you. And how can you use this new strength built over the past year to create greater wisdom, better relationships, a healthier life and more spiritual power? Can you tell the people that you love that you love them more? Maybe hug them a little harder? Can you be kinder to yourself? What can you let go of that is no longer serving you? What can you take on that will make you even stronger?
One more day in 2020. A year to remember.