Wow. What a year. 2021 often felt like an out-of-control rollercoaster ride that would never end. Feel familiar??
It was a year of constant challenges. A year of beginnings. A year of endings. A year of pain. A year of hardship. A year of uncertainty. A year of brutality. A year of loss. A year of sadness. Another year of COVID. A year of death… and so much more. It was frequently an incessant, unforgiving, and unrelenting year.
I don’t know about you, but during 2021, I often felt I was in a cage match fighting for survival and wondering how I became an unexpecting MMA fighter. If repeatedly, hit me with powerful rights and lefts. I really felt at times like boxer Jake LaMotta—beaten yet determined not to hug the canvas no matter the blows to my body and soul. It felt like I had been pummeled—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The universe seemed to keep coming up with ways to try to knock me down. And seemingly yelling, “now stay down!” Can you relate?
But I wouldn’t listen. I’m too stubborn and resilient to do that. There is the wonderful quote, “Fall down seven times, get up eight.” Nice try, 2021, but I got up. Many of us did. We may have been emotionally, spiritually, even physically battered and bruised, but not defeated. I imagine many of you feel similarly.
I truly marvel at this past year as one of resilience. I am proud to state I have survived it—intact and arguably better for it. True, it was a brutal year for me and others on so many levels. Yet, it was a year ultimately rife with valuable life lessons and crucial personal growth opportunities.
And the blessings. Oh, so many blessings.
I have so much to be grateful for. I have an amazing wife and a house full of loving animals. Good friends abound. Wonderful clients and projects to fill me up with pride and purpose. And having dealt with cancer and other physical challenges, I am in excellent health.
I must remember, life is a perpetual cascade of change.
In my life and this past year, I know that I am never given more than I can handle. The dark nights (or days, weeks, or months) of my soul can seem unforgiving and too much to bear, let alone survive. COVID and other world events have really put this belief to the test.
But, still being here—alive and thriving despite it all, reminds me, and reinforces that I have indeed survived all that I have been given to deal with, not only this past year but throughout my entire life. Regardless of how I may feel, I have come to know that I am never alone.
God, friends, my chosen family, loved ones, and a welcomed cadre of beloved souls are the ones that make the path easier to follow, even when it’s arduous. As well as the multitudes… a hundred thousand angels who continually light the way for us all.
Faith and trust are my life’s trusted travel companions—guiding all of us on a journey filled with surprises—many of which are not initially welcomed. But not unlike the peeling of an onion, there are so many layers as one goes deeper. Life ebbs and flows with or without our participation. So I choose to push through when confronted with challenges and go deep, especially when life is most painful and difficult. That choice always rewards me with gifts of insight and growth. I hope that is your experience as well.
Rebirth is the ability to grow anew. So, as the new year begins to unfurl, I feel reborn, apprehensive sometimes at the uncertainty of it all. But, I am hopeful and comforted in knowing that I will be supported as long as I trust my process and walk this world with an open heart and open mind.
I hold a vision for the future, near and far, by looking within first. Then, I move forward, knowing I am only responsible for the effort and not the outcome. That deep knowing keeps me in the present, reveling in all it has to offer. At this moment, I am filled with gratitude. At this moment, I am open to being open and to what the next moment has to offer.
So as I reflect on 2021 and ready myself for 2022, I believe this coming year will be a year of rewarded faith and participation. A year of trust. A year of rebuilding. A year of creation. A year of friendship. A year of expression. A year promise. A year of success. A year of love. A year of beginnings and a year of opportunity.
Though I do hold a vision, the future will, moment by teachable moment, take care of itself and all of us in the process. 2022 is ready and awaits you and me. Best embrace it. It’s time to open your heart, share yourself, and create some magic.
Now more than ever, the world needs you to bring your authenticity, talents, truth, and passion to the fore without apology or reservation. Wield your power like never before. May this year also be a year of celebrating diversity, connection, and community infused with peace and love for ourselves and others. So shine on and soar beyond the confines of judgment and conformity! The world awaits your uniqueness and individuality.
Let this be the year you release yourself from fear and any societal and self-imposed constraints of “normalcy.” The deepest boredom magnified multifold is always doing what is expected or acting pedestrian. Thus it is unimaginative and ultimately unfulfilling. Embrace independent creative freedom and soul-nurturing as the new dictum. Allow your imagination and your heart to run wild. It’s time to saddle up and enjoy the ride!
Here’s to a Happy New Year, and much more, indeed.