I guess the memo never went out that it’s a New Year and with it, the idea of a clean slate.
My news feed on January 1st continued to pour in with the same thread of dread it possessed the previous year. Fake news, violence and environmental calamities appearing in the top five articles. The feed reading like a Twilight Zone episode instead of a Guy Lombardo celebration. Doom and gloom are dominating the news sites making the New Year’s transition depressing. It confirmed for me why there hasn’t been an alien invasion. With all the photographs from Nasa’s Mars Rover, it’ll only be a matter of time before we get an image back with Martians holding a sign reading ‘F*ck Off Earthlings, Go Home,’ and we can’t be surprised if that happens. Instead of cleaning up the planet we have screwed up so royally, environmentally and socially, we’re now looking to do the same thing on other planets. Whatever happened to what we learned in Kindergarten where we were told we must clean up whatever mess we make and further, to use our words when it comes to conflict. Apparently, another memo that went missing.
The current calendar year will undoubtedly serve as an opportunity for newly acquired wisdom. It is when we walk through difficult times cursing and pissed off that our soul expands, our intelligence grows and our consumption of wine increases. It is not through the good times we experience those insights which often arrive in hindsight. When times are calm, we exhale as they serve as resting stops along the journey of life. The contrast allows us to fill up with gratitude. The pauses are necessary to plug in and get recharged for the times that we get depleted. A depletion no one is immune to in their lifetime.
I have no New Year’s resolutions but rather lifestyle changes, my most significant one being, frequenting the gym more then I do even though I despise it. Recognizing this extension of myself, called a body, needs to be honoured. It is the rental vehicle that houses my spirit in this lifetime, and I must be just as vigilante around its well-being as I am with servicing my car. Doing whatever I need to, to get myself through the doors of the gym while telling myself whatever I have to, to get out of my front door. My attire, gym bag and accoutrements reflect my disdain in its sexless Goodwill appearance. January is notorious with all the newbies now attending, keen to keep their resolutions, occupying the various machines. It will add to my contempt until the resolutions fade, sometime in March. With raging hormones, I suspect I’ll be able to clock in around 500 kilometres daily on the treadmill once I secure one.
I’m also reflecting on those that have passed. My community is the only thing that is shrinking around me. The gift from those that have crossed over is to be discerning in what and where I spend my time. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone, and there is only the present in which I aim to stand. I am also the benefactor of the insight that expensive champagne is to be consumed with pizza or Pez. It doesn’t matter. Anything we perceive as precious is not nearly as sacred as every moment of every day and therefore should be consumed or used.
Through all of this reflection, I remain positive, and I have no idea why. Maybe because many friends have become grandparents, cannabis is legal, gas prices are low, or despite the fact the Christmas chocolates are hanging on my hips, I’m still wearing the same sized jeans.
The collective consciousness is shifting dramatically through organizations like the Avaaz Foundation or SumOfUs. These courageous groups of committed individuals are addressing dire issues that affect the well-being of humanity. They and other similar organizations are looking to shape positive change for the planet while tackling issues through engagement of people from around the world who support their efforts by signing petitions and contributing financially towards their legal causes — all benefiting the family of humanity. These groups are growing daily as are their slogans echoing the sensibilities of the sixties which are resurfacing and are more relevant now then back then. I find comfort in that and the increasing aroma of patchouli oil in the air. The compassionate quotient is growing all around the planet with innovative Michelin star chefs sparing the slaughter of animals while introducing healthy recipes with plant-based foods which are surfacing in a variety of incarnations.
Whether you acknowledge it or not climate change exists and people are wanting to be proactive in doing what they can to shift that. I find the young particularly innovative in what they are achieving like those working on the Billion Oyster Project in NYC where the propagation of oysters is restoring the harbour.
The common obstacle in all of these issues is the growing polarity that exists between those that are waking up and becoming conscious and the dinosaurs wanting to continue to operate in an old way of being — their presence everywhere including politics. This changing socio-economic climate will reflect a more profound polarity, and I’m trusting new solutions will abound like never before. As history has already dictated with dinosaurs going extinct in the past, they will again if the narrative is anything other then helping to heal the planet.
As someone who has been advocating for most of my life on behalf of my industry and community the idea of common sense, balance and justice remain prominent on my radar. In this time of unprecedented technological change, technology has been instrumental in creating dangerous new possibilities as well as positive and surprising solutions. The continued evolution of technology can serve a more significant and higher good if we see it through the eyes of compassion and not through the lens of profit.
Despite how dark it may all seem, I am reminded of the line by Leonard Cohen where “there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” The same is true for relationships that surround us that are asking for healing. Once we address those, the impact will affect not only the dynamic it’s focused on but everything else that matches that configuration. The result is our peace and compassion will grow. I once read that the best way to world peace is to find it firstly in oneself, then one’s home and finally one’s community. That if every house had peace within its walls, it could only grow out from there.
Despite all the shifts and uncertainty that surround us, I wish you all a stellar New Year. I can’t pretend to know what the year will bring, but undoubtedly it will be rich in experiences and excitement around what we manifest for ourselves. There will be possibilities, and though some might not get packaged the way we would like or expect to see don’t be fooled, they are still gifts. Dare to give up your judgements for observations without labels. There’s magic in that. Trust in Life knowing you’re getting wiser. You will learn and grow until you take your last breath. Release yourself from the concept of age and embrace your brilliance and wisdom. It is the essence of who you are especially at this stage of the game. Your life will have twists and turns in this New Year as only the Universe can create and throughout it all, walk through them with your heart, not your head. Remember what shows up in front of you is for you so embrace it — any fear you have put in the trash and leave at the curb for pick-up. At our age, it’s time to be fearless. If not now then when?
I wish for you a year of love, blessings, abundance, intoxicating peace and laughter. Lots and lots of laughter so much so that you wet your pants. Only in that state of pure joy, are we ever genuinely present. In fact, I hope you spend most of the year peeing your pants. Chances are you’re going to anyway, might as well be laughing while you do it.
And that ladies, is the memo that we all need to send out.
Happy New Year!