Sunday, January 1, 2017

"Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee, oh God." St Augustine

"Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee, oh God."
St Augustine

As the New Year begins, I feel compelled to observe an alternative path. We often wish prosperity, health, and happiness to one another at the beginning of each year. Then, as the year progresses, life begins to happen and the let down ensues. It's as if we failed somehow because we didn't end the year better than we started it.

What if we looked at it differently? Instead of viewing annual success as measured by prosperity, health, and happiness, what if we measured it by something more subtle. In business, what if we measured it according to how compassionately we cared for those we serve? In our personal lives, what if we measured it according to how deeply we were able to LOVE both ourselves and others?

It's funny that I used to talk about these things as a business strategist, but i could not release the focus from financial metrics. It's what people expected of me (I was a rainmaker) and it's what I expected of myself.

Yet, I knew that it was important to open one's hand to receiving...which means letting go of traditional metrics. I began to lecture in keynote presentations about the importance of placing the client (I worked in home health and hospice) at the center of care delivery with empathy at the core. I talked about abundance flowing naturally from simply doing what is RIGHT.

It's ironic, though, that I was incapable of doing this in my personal life because of the way that my marriage and our family businesses required me to perform financially. I remember dipping my feet in the sand and praying for a simpler and more abundant life. I wished for LOVE. And then my life changed dramatically as a result of a traumatic brain injury. I have been on God's curriculum ever since. And let me be clear, God's road is far from easy; rather, it is filled with the suffering of transformation and learning to let go.

It is with that in mind that I offer the following insights gleaned from another year of badass growth - Don't wish me health in the new year - my body will be what it is and I will strive to LOVE myself exactly as I am in each moment. Don't wish me happiness in the new year - There will be a natural ebb and flow of the full range of human emotion and that is simply a part of life...I strive to do my best to LOVE myself and others in the midst of it. Don't wish me prosperity - From millionaires to the homeless, I have learned that success is not measured in financial metrics; it's about LOVING fellow humans in the NOW, independent of financial circumstances.

Being human is messy. So all of these wishes, for health, happiness and prosperity, run counter to the natural flow of life. Instead, my new year wish continues to be for LOVE.

I begin this year reflecting on how I have deepened in my ability to LOVE, which means simply surrendering to the source of all that IS and allowing it to MOVE within me. It is through the suffering of 2016 that my capacity to LOVE has grown. This is a different kind of LOVE, one that embraces the non-dualistic wholeness, the mess and the beauty, without labeling it as good or bad/right or wrong. In LOVE, it is all what it is, in this moment, in the NOW, and that is beautiful.

"New Beginning"
Acrylic on Canvas
Original Art By Heather Thompson, Blue Phoenix Art

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