The passing of years is a wonderful marker - a way of honoring our journey through time, like the rising of the sun and moon. Many people (myself included) welcomed the end of 2016. Between the contentious US presidential election, our world's ongoing humanitarian and civil rights crises, the continued impact of climate change, the slew of celebrity deaths - there was a collective perception: 2016 was a tough year. Even the New York Times asked, "2016: Worst. Year. Ever?"
As January comes to a close, I wonder how you're doing? Has it gotten any easier? Even though we inaugurated our 45th President, we still have a divided nation. Whether you were boycotting or celebrating, have you stopped to consider what you inaugurated into your own life? Reflecting on how you've been feeling over the past month will shed some light on the answer.
Most of us do not have a conscious relationship with our Will. Our state of well-being is determined by the people we do or don't live with, our neighbors, our parents, our political leaders. In the Indian system of energy, the Will is the third energy center or chakra in the body. It's located in the space above the navel and its focus is power. When we are unaware, our Will is ruled by the desires and fears of the Ego; our well-being is easily disrupted. In my Toltec work, we learned the practice of anchoring our Will to the sun's pure life force energy. Literally imagining a line of energy from my Will to the Sun shifts my state every time. In a recent session helping a client process his fear response to anger, he reported feeling much calmer just by imagining himself connected to the sun. Getting consciously and wisely connected to our Will, to our own "right power," is a good medicine for all of us. The Christian tradition has its own version of "Thy will, not my will." Whatever tradition you use, just anchor yourself to something steady and affirming.
When the going gets tough, what do you do? I worry sometimes. Okay. Actually, I'm a World Champion Worrier. But, I also know to seek counsel from those much wiser than me. Alice Walker, the internationally acclaimed writer, poet and activist, is one of those people. While living in the San Francisco Bay area, more than once I was blessed to sit with her. When she speaks there is so much space in and between her words I inevitably find my breath again. Her poem, "While Love is Unfashionable" is a source of strength and direction for me:
While love is unfashionable
Another wise teacher, Pema Chodron, reminds us that everything is always falling apart. Our elders who are people of color, LGBTQI or female will tell you how they have lived through difficult things before, and still. The human struggle is not new. So, what sustains you when things fall apart, when you're scared and hurting? What does it take to "gather blossoms under fire" as Alice Walker guides?
There is an Eastern teaching I use a lot in my work with people: we spend much of our lives scrubbing the window so we can see the light better, all the while never realizing we are the light shining through. We get fixated on what's wrong with us, what's wrong with the world and, if we are not careful, we get toppled by it. You are ridiculously awesome. Yes, even with your humanness. The world contains a beauty beyond our comprehension even with all its darkness. We can and do benefit from doing our work or "scrubbing the window," but we must do it with laughter and levity remembering we are the light. Already brilliant and whole.
When the darkness comes, and it will come, remember who you are. Connect with the sun, feel your power, and take an action that's life affirming for you. One of my favorite humans and internet sensation, Kid President, says, "Sure, there's bad stuff in the world, but there's also you." There is you! The world needs your light, and if you're like me, you need it too. So in 2017 I invite you to inaugurate your power. To become conscious where you anchor your Will. Shine, regardless of everything. It will make it easier to find each other, and ourselves. So, shine!
Poem, "While Love is Unfashionable" taken from: Walker, A. (1997) Anything We Love Can Be Saved: A Writer's Activism. New York, NY. Random House, Inc.
Rainbow A. Marifrog