I've been asked several times what my New Years goals are. You know the questions:
"What is your New Years resolution??"
"What are you leaving behind in 2020?"
"What do you want to manifest for 2021?" "What big dreams are on your horizon?"
"What changes do you want in your health, in your career, in your status?"
"Where do you want to be a year from now?"
A year ago I would have had a list of impassioned desires to answer these questions with. I probably would have said things like:
"I want to travel here and there, far and wide. I want to make xxx amount of dollars. I want to be the fittest me I've ever been. I want to be known for doing this wonderful thing and that other amazing thing. I want to finally reunite with this part of my family and also make this many new friends that like to do all these kinds of things with me. I want to get to the top of that metaphorical mountain... and then this one... and then this one too."
I could go on and on. And I would believe it too. And I would expect from myself to do all such things. And then, life would happen. Life always happens - and its twist and turns rarely follow the road maps that we laid out for it. And we can be so darn insistent on getting to the points that we have marked along the path that we have pre-determined that we completely miss the magical flow of life. When things don't work out the way we have perfectly planned them, we drown in our frustration of what went wrong and frazzle ourselves with the anxiety of the uncertainty before us. We cling to non-existent time - the past or the future - these other dimensions that only exist in our minds. We ruminate there and let the present moment slip away from us. And we say things like "2020 was the worst year ever." As if life and all its magic was no longer good enough for us because it didn't live up to our expectations. And so, we chose to live in the past or the future instead - that is, we lived in our minds. Worrying, planning, judging, evaluating, grieving, longing, demanding...over and over again. What did we miss? Where were we?
I am so grateful for 2020. Life did not come screeching to a halt, life kept moving as usual. Our schedules only began to slow down and match its natural flow. I looked at the trees in my own front yard more. I dug my toes into the cool mud; I laid in my grass and let the sun bathe me in its loving light. Man, has it always been so bright? I spoke to the people that I live with more. I actually got to know my neighbors - believe it or not - does anyone have full conversations with their neighbors in this millenium? I came to appreciate my home more. I became more aware of the struggles of other people. I became intimately aware of my own internal struggles that have been quietly screaming for my attention since I was a child. I cooked more and I cherished having time to sitdown for a meal more. I loved more, I felt more, and I found that I could not turn away from the world and all its people to whom I am undeniably interconnected with.
I've spent a lot of time in bouts of fantasy about the future and depression about the past. And while I'll never say that we shouldn't have goals and ambitions for our future - I will say that our tendency to obsess over them makes us discount the present moment. The present moment is the only thing that truly exists, it is all we truly have power over. It is where all creation is, and holy crap if I miss another chance to create right here and right now because I am too busy fantasizing abut what I could create in the future or what I didn't create in the past! Most importantly, here and now is the only place where you and I are - and I love you too much to miss out on a second of your presence.
And so, my only New Years goal is to be so so so present, so full of presence, I mean... a total embodiment of the present moment. Whatever that means and whatever that looks like. This is the only way I can participate with life fully and joyfully. It's simple, but it is not easy. It is an act of total and constant surrender. It is radical, even illogical, trust. But this is what I am choosing to work on because I know by now that life has a plan way bigger than I can ever imagine. My only job is to be here for it. Here and now. Will you be here, now, with me?