I woke up this morning to a sunny, cold, beautiful New Year’s Day. I felt full and happy to have been surrounded by great friends at our New Year’s Eve party, to have had so much good food, and such a safe, beautiful place to gather.
I watched as a hummingbird tried to drink from its frozen feeder and hoped that the sun had melted enough of the sugar water for the little bird to be fed.
Our party was themed around light– an acknowledgment that many people are hoping for a new year that’s much lighter than the one that just parted. I hope for this, too: for less darkness and hate in the world, for less suffering and less injustice.
But as I looked out my window this morning and watched the tiny bird flit around in the beaming sun, trying to gather enough food from the frozen feeder to keep warm and fed, I was reminded that every living being experiences hardship, loss, and difficulty. We do go through difficult times. We do experience loss. We do hurt.
Emotions are a tender and important part of learning, growing, grieving, and living a full and splendid human life. They offer us healing when we offer them our full presence and respect. Conversely, our thoughts, expectations, attachments and judgments are what can bring us into a state of suffering if we allow them to have too much power in our lives or if we value them too much over our natural emotional states.
“Pain,” my teacher always said, “is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” This, we begin to learn and understand through the practices of yoga, mindfulness, and sacred connection with ourselves.
Today, I choose to relieve the new year of some of my expectation of it, and instead I make a promise to myself to continue to work on my reaction to the pain in the world and in my life. Instead of just asking the year itself to be lighter and easier, I ask myself if I can also be those things no matter what the new year brings.
May I be brighter.
May I be easier.
May I be more filled with joy, love, and happiness.
May I share my love and light more freely with the world.
May I care for myself.
May I create brightness, ease, joy, love, happiness, and the freedom to be light in myself and in others.
May we be happy. May we be healthy. May we be free of suffering.
Love and Light in the New Year~