This year has been a challenging year, transforming the business, creating new programs, the loss of friends, loss of relationships, many endings and some new beginnings. In many ways I feel like I was racing to get through it and coming out of it a bit bruised and battered.
I’ve spent much of this year questioning the events and trying to figure out why they happened, why me, why now, why this way? Which ultimately leads me down a path of despair and confusion.
The only way to relief is to accept what is and explore what I can learn and how it encourages me to grow so that I don’t wallow in the challenges of life. Instead I lift myself into more opportunity and possibility.
Which leads me to my annual question of this time of year.
“What did I learn this year?”
For me, the resounding answer is “Be Kind” it may seem trite and cliché, yet this is the message that rumbled through the upheaval of this year. That soothed my shattered heart and gave me the stability to stand here today and breath into 2018.
In embracing kindness first in myself I am able to then change the lens that I gaze through and perceived the world around me with more kindness. This subtle awareness and mantra to “be kind” has given me a window into my chattering and many times destructive mind.
It illuminates my judgment, mostly on myself and projected onto many around me. It amplifies the discord in my emotional state and guides me to more inner peace. It reflects a reactive-ness in my relationships and life around me so I can meet them with more of an ability to respond (responsibility).
I have been exploring what keeps me from being kind and see the addiction of being attached to my false identities, digging my heals into a sense of self righteousness and justification.
This addiction a result of my need to feel valued and connected, validated and acknowledged. All of which can be resolved when I allow a soft sense of kindness to permeate through a relaxed breath, a balanced body, a quiet mind, and a stable emotional state.
The truth is life is freaking hard! It will beat us down, chew us up and ultimately kill us. The struggle and pain comes from the holding and the attachment to it, which reveals the kindest act we can every grant ourselves, TO LET GO.
So in my drive to embrace more kindness in my life I simply let this year go. I let go (yet never forgot) the great friends that have transitioned this year. I let go of understanding why this year has unfolded as it has. I let go of the judgment I place upon the choices I made, I let go of being so hard on myself, I let go of false identity, I let go of all that I have been struggling with and striving for, I let go.
In this letting go I stand free to take the next breath. My hands open, mind clear and heart available to receive the next experience life has to offer. With a humble sense of awe as kindness reverberates through the stroke of midnight and every moment there after.
I hope the year ahead brings more peace, joy, and an abundance of kindness to each and every one of us. For we all can do with a bit more kindness in this world, especially those that are the unkind amongst us. It is the lack of kindness that screams the need for it the most.
What do you learn from 2017? And what will you embrace in 2018?
Love your vibe, Matt