“Change is inevitable. Growth is intentional.” ~Glenda Cloud
What do you do when you come to the end of a calendar year as it approaches the start of another one? Do you get caught up in the festive season hype and then, as you roll into the new year, find it all a bit anticlimactic? Or, are you a bit like me and prefer to keep it a quieter, reflective time?
We know that calendar time is really artificial, for true time is simply an infinite and continuous cycle of day and night, seasons, birth and death, and change.
When I used to trek the mountains of the Himalayas, I loved the prayer wheels at the Tibetan temples. I would happily spend hours walking around the Boudhanath, spinning the prayer wheels with my hand, engrossed in a meditative state.
It always reminded me of how change turns the wheel of time and life. Without change, life is static, stale, and limited. Without change, there isn’t growth. Like everything in nature, a flower doesn’t remain forever regardless of how beautiful it is.
So, each year when the calendar slips into its last pages, as people rush around in a frenzy of spending, I prefer to retreat into a silent space of reflection. I write my gratitude list for the year gone and set my intentions for the year to come.
In doing so, I get a deep sense of the energy for the coming year, then prepare my mind, body, and soul to flow with it. This has become my ritual every New Year’s Eve.
Babies grow into children, children into adults, adults now have children of their own, and the mature become aged. New lives are born as we say goodbye to those who have passed on. Relationships end, new ones begin; some people fall in love and others out of love.
Every year we are bestowed more gifts and joys, while also confronted with more challenges and turbulences.
One particular year was especially tumultuous for me. Usually when I write in my Gratitude Book on New Year’s Eve, my pen won’t stop moving and I end up with pages of blessings that I’m grateful for.
However, that one particular New Year’s Eve, I just sat there, stared at the blank page, and thought. “Wow, how do I begin?”
Then, without thinking, my heart immediately whispered, “I am grateful for making it through this year.” And then it flowed again, “I am grateful for making through this year a wiser, more evolved and compassionate soul.”
That was the year I nearly killed someone (random unintentional freak accident, of course), thought I had lawn-mowed my pet tortoise, saw a friend suffer through severe burns in a freak accident, ended a relationship that I thought was true love, had conflicts with my children, experienced extensive damages to my home and car from a major thunderstorm in my city, and the list went on.
Globally, wars and riots ran rife, topped by natural disasters, like earthquakes, and human caused disasters, like major oil spills into pristine oceans. It was a year of chaos, so sitting down to reflect and journal into my Gratitude Book was most interesting.
As the saying goes, through chaos emerges a new order.Through chaos, I saw that I have indeed grown, expanded, and matured. Through adversities, I’d learned to trust more in my true and higher reality.
Through challenges, I’d come to turn inward and listen to the wisdom and voice of my higher self.
Over time, change continued to sweep through, and the world shifted into renewal and recovery. So the pages of my Gratitude Book continued to fill.
Now that I’ve come to the end of another year, again I bear gratitude. At the start of this year I’d sensed a very strong wind of change blowing through and knew I had to be ready for restructuring. Sure enough, everything regrouped itself in my life.
Transition wasn’t easy. It was tiring, and it required trust in stepping into the unknown. It summoned my courage in welcoming the new and acceptance in letting go of what was. My kids changed, one moved out of home, another fell in love, and another stepped into a newfound life path.
I’m grateful as I celebrate their independence, growth, and expansion into their own world, as much as I miss them. My home and divorce settlement came to a final closure. Our family home was sold and I moved into a small rental home that I love.
My work changed, evolved, and restructured as I stepped into a new role. Overall, it was simply a year of change and transitions.
So, in line with embarking into a new year, here are some suggestions for setting your purest intentions for moving forward into the sea of change. Incidentally, they are contained in the acronym CHANGE.
At every point in time, and especially when confronted with imminent change, you have a choice of whether to embrace or to resist.
Embracing change requires courage and trust because it’s always unnerving to step outside your comfort zone. But when you trust and embrace, change can bring you excitement, growth, and infinite new possibilities.
Step into the New Year with the intention of choosing happiness for yourself and those around you.
Happiness is a choice that comes from within. Regardless of your external circumstances, your perception determines your emotions.
Choose to look on the bright side of everything; for example, ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?” Or, count your blessings with heart filled gratitude, and happiness will abound.
Continue to anchor in your higher reality and wisdom, for there’s more to you than just this physical and transient existence.
This brief life, with all its ups and downs, is merely a myriad of experiences for the growth of your soul. Staying anchored, you will ride and surf the storms and waves of life with skill and ease.
Time and change involve flow and movement. Along with these are borne new experiences, people, places, and ideas. Be open to receiving and bringing forth the new and nourishing, and let go of the old if they no longer serve you.
When you flow with the movement of time and change, and embrace the new while anchoring and trusting in the greater you, growth is the natural result. Like the sun enables a plant to sprout from a seed, the happiness that you soak in and project will allow you to grow and thrive.
Out of that strength and solidly grounded foundation, new creations will emerge.
You will find yourself forging new fulfilling friendships, relationships, successes, and joys. New ideas will emerge into manifestations. Imagination and dreams will become a reality. A new phase will continue and take you forward with the flow.
What are your intentions for this New Year ahead? May you flow with the energies of change and embrace this wondrous gift of life, along with its mystery and excitement, into the unknown.
Woman and sunset image via Shutterstock
Patsie Smith is a spiritual author, self-healing and self-realization facilitator, meditation and yoga teacher. She can be connected at www.spiritpond.com.