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2021: Press Pause to Play Now

I imagine that in the minds of many, 2020 will forever remain a sham shame of revelation and betrayal. With the long low altitude flight hours over the dateline to 2021, the seatbelt light remains on. This year is not about making new year's resolutions; but it is about discovering how to free ourselves from our collective resistance to acknowledge how we oppress ourselves. We must consider our gullibility and accountability to the creation of our social egregores. Just last week, independent platforms for free speech and artistic self expression were nullified with the discriminatory justification of "wrong think," a term coined by George Orwell in his novel,1984. The truth of experience is as relative as it is relative. A friend recently used a double entendre to describe his disbelief, “I used to consider myself a part of the left, but it left me.” No matter the global optics, no matter who you voted for, what you support or don't support, we must stop placing blame for things going wrong outside of ourselves as our excuse to distract us from empowering ourselves.

Assumption, projection, perception are the ego's vulnerabilities used against us. These "beliefs" are what shape our opinions of self and others from cultural DNA, familial dynamics and encoded personal experience that triggers emotional pathways. We can choose to rail against the AI machine and blame others or we can become interdependently self-reliant. To overcome our collective shadows of distrust and separation anxiety we can look at ancient tools and texts that inspire self-realization as that we are wholly compassionate beings. By giving ourselves permission to get unstuck from from the quick sands of hell on earth, we will have paused to be present to "what is" here on earth. 2021 is an invitation to unplug from unhelpful influences to move inward. By respectfully embracing our vulnerabilities, there is a surprising amount of wisdom and strength to be gained. Letting go is a final step toward accepting what is not within our control to show up as who we are in this very moment.

The precious journey of the human genome twists and turns. It is as mysterious as it is paradoxical. At the time when Gods walked the planet, Hermes' caduceus awakened healing light and knowledge within. In Patajali's Yoga Sutras, there is much wisdom about the ebbs and flows of consciousness with instruction on how to work with the physiological fluctuations of living in an earth body. J. Krishnamurti termed "choiceless awareness" to demonstrate that a mind that is at ease, is non-compulsory and without sully. In Vipassana meditation, the Buddha taught his disciples to practice liberating themselves from their own misery and pain through "Anapana" breath that today is known as "mindfulness of breathing." Ancient legacies continue to pick at our curiosity with celebrities like Whim Hoff who knows how to sit comfortably in a snowstorm by practicing the "Tibetan Tummo" breath of inner fire to warm the body. Throughout the ages, teachers have been the farmers of spiritual wisdom by planting the seeds for spacious generosity across humanity. The teacher arrives when the seeker is ready.

We all have a penchant for growth in spite of ourselves and we can choose to liberate our heart and mind little by little to rest in a restored neutral space. Following the compass of our hearts will guide us to discover well mapped clues for our trek like cairns marking a subalpine trail or desert landscape. Coming home to ourselves means that even with all of our imperfections, we sit next to that exacerbating egotistical character inside of us that raises the flag of resistance for us to stay mischievously stuck. For a precious 5 minutes, you can consciously pause negative triggers and emotional cascades by turning down the volume of the archetypal inner critic and saboteur. Listening with non-judgmental awareness and feeling to the breath in silence, we can gradually coax our impetuously angry and scared inner four year old out of the driver's seat.

Inquiry within will help reveal what keeps us attached to desiring others think and be exactly like us when it really is none of our business what others think of us. Ushering a new reality with for all our relations means that we remain lovingly curious without denying ourselves to ask for the help we need to process our fear, anger, resentments and grief for authentic relief. With playful celebration of our growth, we can take what happens in the outer world less personally and feelings of gratitude overflow. Giving generous attention to the practice of observing our breath daily will help get us there from anywhere, at anytime and in whatever body position chosen. As God-given energy is the oceanic source of our souls, falling into rhythmic breath patterns are the eddies of water that lap at the shores of mind.

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