Once this self-absorbed reflection is over, take a moment to congratulate yourself - whether you feel the previous year was a success or not. Give yourself the kudos for living through each and every day, and experiencing every kind of moment -- the joys and the sorrows. You lived through each of them and are worthy of the small reward of personal gratitude. Recognize, if you will, the power of your own fortitude for making it through (especially during these tying times, where jobs are scarce and people are really having to scrape by). It is so very important to be grateful in honoring your strength and persistence.
This, in reality, is the Hero's journey that you are on. We are all on this path in our own unique ways. A hero is not born, but rather forged through the trials and tribulations of the journey. It is through the tests and drama of experience that mold and impress the hero to reach within and pull out of him/herself those qualities and aspects left hidden, which raise not only the soul of the hero to greater heights, but also the community s/he serves. We are all diamonds in the rough, yet it is through the course of life that the black outer crust of existence gets chiseled away and the brilliant glory of your being is brought to light.
Rejoice in the aspects of your illumined brilliance -- a result of the past year's events. You have earned the right to honor the energy you've spent, the price you have paid, and to recognize at least a sliver of your own personal heroism in getting through it all.
Of course, the New Year wouldn't be complete without accepting that it is not another go at the same wheel as 2010, but a chance to make things new. Celebrating the New Year is a chance for inspiring our spirits to open new doors; to accept that next chapter on our heroic journey of uncovering what it is that makes us a divine being and sharing it with the world. How much more of your brilliant light will be exposed in the next 12 months in comparison to where you are now? How much more do you wish to glow?
Oftentimes we start the New Year with the best of intentions -- all those resolutions and stuff -- and then for some reason let them go and return to what is comfortable and familiar. Yet, if we take stock of all the years gone by, the comfortable and familiar never really returns, in terms of our experience. If anything, it is only a feeling or mental attitude that returns, creating events and circumstances that may be quite different from ones gone by, but result in the same "feeling tone" we have grown accustomed to.
Make a resolution this year to change that "feeling tone." Little by little, that tone changes regardless of whether or not you are directing it -- this is the natural flow of the Hero's journey. Yet it is a slow change that you are hardly conscious of. But here you are, at the start of a New Year (and a "1" year at that, in a quasi-numerology point of view), so try a hand at doing something a little different: Don't wait for the adventure to come to you, why don't you go on the adventure?
You've been honed, carved, fashioned, and bread for greatness through all the prior challenges and adventures of your life, so you are by no means incapable of going on the "offensive" for change, versus feeling on the "defensive." You've gathered an immense treasure chest of skills, wisdom, and abilities through the decades and can no longer be considered an apprentice to life's missions. The third act of every dramatic play spins the hero around from being a perceived "victim of circumstances" to becoming the initiator of change. He takes what he has learned, dips into the treasure trove of his experiences, and discovers he has everything he needs to change his world in the direction of his choosing. Of course, "his world" is a personal reflection, which metaphorically (and perhaps in some cases, literally), can have ramifications for the greater masses surrounding him.
Let the New Year be an open door for you to become the Hero in the third act of your own dramatic play. There will always be challenges -- things that push and pull us in directions and invite us to grow and become different than what we were moments before. This, my friends, is inevitable. But the promise of a New Year is an invitation to engage your own creative faculties in making new choices, new decisions, and also engage in new actions to inspire the change in a direction you choose.
Keep your mind, your focus, your intention, on that new "feeling tone" of your life. A Hero, in the course of his journey (and most certainly in that third act), finds his strength by keeping his mind clearly on the goal -- sometimes to the point of saying "I won't take 'no' for an answer." And the great thing is, the universe does assist us. When you start doing things in the direction of that "feeling tone," the universe will conspire to move things in your direction, provided you keep to the task and accept these gifts when they come (hint: sometimes, they won't feel like gifts, but obstacles. Don't worry, it's a playful disguise). Commit not to return to your old ways of thinking, doing, and feeling. The mythical Hero usually burns his bridges (or rather, they are burned for him) -- meaning he's not only unwilling but unable to return to the ways of old; instead, he must construct anew. It is, quite frankly, the only way to grow.
We are always in a state of change, but change doesn't necessarily mean growth. We don't want to backslide here.
Let 2011 be the first year, the "1" year of beginning your third act in certain areas of your dramatic life. This means sacrifice -- unwilling to return to the old ways of thinking and feeling. Slay the dragon of your discontent by crying forth your belief - your faith - in not only the possibility of a better "feeling tone" (and hence life), but the fact that you will not be denied it.
At this point is when you encounter some of the wonderful hidden treasures buried deep within. Here is where the peasant farmer turns off his computer and uses the Force to destroy the Death Star; or where the gladiator removes his protective armor and shield to rely solely on his own wits, strength, and the will of the gods. There's something magical in that act. Previous experiences provide the platform -- these are not careless moments of naivety. These are moments when the Hero knows he is worthy, capably, and the possibility of failure minuscule in the face of his learned skills.
Yes, let your review of 2010 fuel you for the next act of your life in 2011. Do you wish to allow circumstances to mold and guide you through all of this coming year, or will you dare to finally enter the dragon's keep?
Happy New Year!