I am aware that I am fully responsible for myself, for my mental, physical, and spiritual health. I am aware that life on this plane, on earth, constantly offers every opportunity to experience all that I seek. I am also aware that life constantly offers the opportunity to change myself, and my circumstances, but that it’s up to me to take the leap, to decide that now is the time to take a leap of faith and trust that life and the universe will support me.
Through a great part of this life I sought something outside of myself to bring me into balance: a lifestyle, a partner, children, a career, a spiritual practice, nature and the surety of the unfolding of each day as each sun rises and each moon sets and each moment leads to the next. All of these things are positive and important events in the life of an evolving being seeking wholeness, but as I journeyed further I began to discover that I no longer needed to look outside of myself so much anymore, for I held much of the balance I sought within. But even so, as I journeyed on, new things constantly arose, blips on the horizon that signaled something coming into my world, perhaps good, perhaps bad, perhaps nothing important at all. But I still had to decide what to do with what approached, whatever it might be.
What approaches most significantly now is anticipation itself, a restless wondering. It has been on the horizon for a long time now, in the coming of the Winter solstice on 12/21/12. We’ve all heard about it, as well as a lot of hoopla about the world ending. On the other hand, I cannot dismiss that hoopla, for I understand how important it is, how even hoopla can wake us up so that we take notice of something. Even hoopla offers opportunities: to regroup, to get into balance, to face the truths of ourselves and really change, finally becoming who we know we really are, allowing what we are capable of at the deepest level to emerge and fully live.
I also know what holds us back: FEAR—fear of making a fool of ourselves, fear of failure, fear of facing the honest truth of the choices and decisions we’ve made and why, fear of what others might think of us, fear that we are doing it all wrong. Fear that someone outside of us will judge, condemn, ridicule or taunt us burdens us so greatly that we let lots of opportunities go by. Oh, I couldn’t do that! What would people say!
If we take all that energy that is going into being afraid, into wondering what will happen on 12/21/12, and instead of projecting it outwardly decide to focus on ourselves, we might begin to feel that great anticipation in a different way. If we pause and sit with what is inside us, as Jeanne suggests in Monday’s message, we might realize that our spirit is indeed anticipating change, eagerly awaiting our decisions. And not just on that date, but in general, for we live in a time of great change all the time. Jeanne has told us this many times and this statement is repeated often, not only among the spiritual communities, but in the mass media as well. It all depends on how you elect to interpret what that means. Does it mean someone else is responsible for that change? Or does it mean, as I am suggesting, that we are all responsible for daring to change ourselves. Now is a good time to sit and contemplate the change that our spirits might be anticipating, actually yearning for.
The solstice marks the ending of one season and the beginning of another, and it happens every year, twice a year to be exact, in summer and winter, as the sun reaches its highest and its lowest points relative to the equator. This is a natural occurrence that marks a shift; it always has and it always will. That’s nature working as nature does. Have we humans become so disconnected from nature that we don’t naturally feel this shift anymore? And why is this one supposedly so different? Is it in fact any different from this year’s summer solstice, or last year’s winter solstice? Is it only different because we’ve been told it is? Do we have to be shaken out of our complacency by the anticipation of something big occurring before we dare to take responsibility for ourselves, for thinking for ourselves, for acting independently in our best interests as citizens of the natural world, and as spiritually interconnected beings?
Many of us go through life afraid to change. We must be forced into it. Forced change comes in many forms: illness, divorce, death, birth, accident, loss, sudden and unexpected shifts in our world. In my case, forced change came in a barrage of unrelenting flashbacks that I could no longer ignore. Those flashbacks were synchronistically supported by the universe presenting me with all kinds of situations and truths. And so I knew that the only relief I would get was in facing my deepest issues and releasing myself from the hold they had on me. That was the catalyst to my doing a shamanic recapitulation: I could no longer hide from what was naturally occurring inside my own psyche! The psyche in imbalance, just as nature in imbalance, has its own ways of alerting us to change.
This is the other aspect of what we are all facing now as 12/21/12 looms on the horizon: the truth of the great imbalance that we humans have wrought upon this earth. We are out of balance with nature and have been for a long time. And yet, this natural phenomenon, a yearly solstice, portends to shake us up. The hoopla around this event is created by us, but in order to balance all that hoopla brewing outside of us, we must dare to face what is rising up inside of us first.
Keeping in mind that we are responsible for our progress in life—for our maturity, our spiritual growth, our ability to successfully navigate life—and if we remain open to changing ourselves now, we might succeed in giving ourselves the catalyst we need to make this next step of change really matter. Begin where you are. Begin where you are in your inner world and in your personal outer world.
I have long sought balance, achieving it quite successfully for long periods of time, and yet life does not let us get complacent. It seeks to shake us up. How many times must it shake us awake before we realize that it’s offering us the answers we’ve been seeking, and the only way to receive the gifts that life offers is to trust that they will be there for us? It’s an ethereal thing, this life, for in reality it’s nothing more than an illusion of moments, piles of moments. What makes those moments important and significantly meaningful is what we choose to do with them. Do we choose to face our issues and accept them as our catalysts to change? Can we all accept 12/21/12 as our personal wakeup call, no matter what happens outside of us? Can we dare ourselves to take the next step to a new level of existence, coexistence, mutual consideration and caring for all beings, and bear our truths, just as we ask our planet to bear what we have done to it?
If we change ourselves, part of the world has changed. The more people who elect to change themselves, the more the world will change. There is power in that kind of change, in numbers of people electing to change themselves for the right reasons: because all living beings are equal, because our planet is a living thing too.
The solstice will arrive. I suggest trusting nature and the universe to guide us, to show us the way to true balance, as we each acquiesce to our own truths and take full responsibility for ourselves as individuals and as citizens of the world. Nature balances by constantly giving and taking, in tension and release, in yin and yang, in contraction and expansion.
What must we take and what must we give up in order to regain our personal balance, to relieve our personal imbalance? The only way to truly figure this out is to pull inward and release what is holding us back from our true experiences as living beings.
Remember, it’s a process, so don’t be too rigid; keep in mind that balance requires flexibility. Nature is challenging us to get in balance, because it’s time.
Yinning and Yanging,