Perhaps I’ve told this anecdotal story before, but it’s worth repeating for all of us waiting to win the lottery rather than open a savings account. After a lecture or workshop, followers of the Siddha Yoga guru Baba Muktananda would wait with bated breath hoping for the rare moment when the master might touch a devotee with a peacock feather, releasing into the spine a lightning bolt of energy called shaktipat which instantly transformed the lucky believer into an enlightened soul.
I don’t have peacock feathers in my office but over the years I have listened to clients describe their path to wellness as an equally mysterious process.
Somehow, after years of doing the work necessary to confront and exercise our painful age-old conflicts, one day without notice or fanfare, there is an awakening. The faint light at the end of the tunnel that revealed the first, tentative grasp of the future you yearned for, has flooded the dark corners with the bright light of clarity.
How does it happen?
What took place before we awakened and the words of our morning mantra – “May I awaken to the light of my own true nature” – mumbled by rote a thousand times before, suddenly became grasped with meaning and clarity, “gasp, oh my, I feel it, I see it, I have awakened to the light of my own true nature.”
How does it happen after years of conflict with son and daughter and parents, suddenly this year’s dreaded holiday visit becomes a surprisingly okay vacation? When does the conversation become respectful and non-threatening, even as the differences in viewpoint remain apparent, still there, yet handled without emotional pain? When does our happiness, dependent on others, become “live and let live”? When do we start enjoying what we have in common rather than focusing on our disagreements… feeling love even as we disapprove of behavior?
Here’s the answer, in my opinion.
Putting the past behind us, becoming open to the endless possibilities of the future, it’s like solving an anagram. The letters, the components are the same, but how we align them makes all the difference. The road ahead can be an unadorned stretch of tar that disappears into the horizon, or, the road ahead can be a dazzling work of art that lights up the horizon with possibilities. What a difference when we make a-r-t out of t-a-r.
Change occurs when we start loving ourselves. When we see the events that left us reeling as lessons, not punishments, we are able to move forward smarter and wiser.
Will this be the year when we look back and see, amazingly, astonishingly, how far we have progressed? Will this be the year when we look ahead to new beginnings, the true happy new year we deserve?