I love this powerful time when we transition from one year into the next. In my country, whether or not you celebrate the end-of-year holidays, the unmistakable essence of a kind of finality fills the air. And in a similar way, whatever your beliefs or background, experiencing some sense of uncharted possibility at the New Year seems unavoidable. For a mundane but ubiquitous example, it’s when gyms always experience their biggest bump in new memberships!
I want to share with you how I’ve been engaging the momentum of this period to catalyze transformation. And my meditation practice is absolutely central to the way I’m doing this.
Engaging the Momentum
My son Mozen will be 3 in March. He’s at an age where he can start to recognize that the holidays are a unique time of the year. My wife and I wanted to encourage in him an appreciation for the poignant atmosphere of reflection and renewal. So, we created a slideshow of videos and photos that begins from the holidays last year and unfolds chronologically until the present moment.
In the process of creating the slideshow and sharing it with Mozen, we crystalize our journey together through the past 12 months. The images of Mozen are particularly striking because human development is so dramatic between 1 and 2 years old.
The first video is all of us decorating our Christmas tree last year and Mozen is giving my wife and me monosyllabic directions and orders, whereas now he’s still directing us but as a clever chatterbox! Mozen thinks the video is hilarious and I hope it’s partially because he is realizing the extent he has changed in 1 year.
But these images also serve as psychic bookmarks for me. In the context of my pursuit of spiritual growth and vision, there is a backstory to each captured event. For example, I’ve written in earlier posts about key lessons I’ve learned this year through losing a goal time for a marathon, quitting drinking and smoking, growing as a father, and correcting my nearsighted eyes. Within this slideshow, I am reminded of the specific circumstances when these realizations were emerging.
And as the slideshow completes with us putting up this season’s Christmas tree, I ask myself the questions: did I change enough in accord with who I want to be?
On one hand, I know this has been the most dynamic year of my life. As I’m in my 5th year of keeping a formal journal, I’ve got a lot of supporting data to this. But shortly, the book of this year will shut.
I’m a sales professional and an avid marathoner, so in business and running worlds, you have to deal with irrevocability. You can’t add extra weeks to bring in more revenue against your yearly quota and you can’t take away minutes from your race time once you’ve crossed the finish line.
While the holidays are certainly about warmth, celebration, and love, they also create a stark deliberation of the passing of time.
Looking Towards the Year Ahead
However, I’m also looking towards the year ahead. I want it to be the most magnificent ever. I feel the coming of how our slate wipes clear. It is exhilarating and daunting in its potential. Anything can happen – and I don’t mean that in the wishful sense, but in just how much is actually out of our control. Our aspired goals, visions, and dreams will merge into the unfathomable currents of existence.
And I don’t think I need to tell anyone just how unknown these times are.
Since my birthday in November, partially out of design and partially because of my body’s chemistry, I’ve been getting up in the middle of the night. If possible, my favorite time has been around 3 or 4am when the world around me is most still.
I go to my room that doubles as both my home office and meditation space. I light a ton of candles making a hearth of light. Then, with all of my focus and love, I meditate, write, and sometimes read, if time allots. That will usually be for at least two hours. I’ll either crawl back into bed for a catnap or have breakfast, depending on what time I started.
These nightly expeditions both invigorate me and take a toll on my sleep. So, every few days, I’ll have to go to bed extra early to help settle the balance. It’s so worth it. Especially during this time when the finitude of 2017 is passing into the immeasurability of what lies in 2018.
You see, my completely unscientifically unsupported assumption is that this vastness encompassing it all is alive and it is good. Each night as I sit on my meditation bench framed by candles, I celebrate and commune with its presence.
Seat of my Awareness
I have no fixed idea what it is but I bring all of my sharp attention and open heart to the moment. Each night, I am reinforcing a temple within the seat of my awareness. I blow the dust off its rafters with the breath of my life and fill the hall with my light.
I can’t think of a more important thing I could be doing to ensure that I will be my best self for 2018. No matter what opportunities, dilemmas, or circumstances happen, they will all have to pass through my temple to engage me. I want this place to be in impeccable order. I want to be with my richest faculties and most cherished values at least once a day.
It’s a paradox, but while we are all dealt our cards by the hands of fate, we are also indeed future manifesting beings. Our lives shape themselves in accord with our originative spirit.
Let your meditation be deep and committed. It clears that sacred space where everything you’ve ever known will meet what you never could have imagined