We close the year with the theme of Awakening Humanity and a spotlight on peaceful conflict-resolutions. In light of this, I’ve been thinking lately about how all too easily we can become so caught up in our fast-paced lives that we neglect the value of listening to inner “gut” feelings regarding our decisions and interactions with others. This can progress to conflict and miscommunications that could have been avoided with a bit more conscious effort.
I have come to know that for true personal peace, which can have a larger ripple effect on our inner circles and beyond, I must focus on my own heart-centered evaluation of what is the best next word or step, rather than responding with a knee-jerk reaction. It is a lesson I am still constantly learning, and just like so many others, I dream of a more peaceful and loving world which I know begins with me and my own thoughts and actions.
How wonderful it is that we always have a choice in how we respond to each situation life sends our way. In everyday living, as well as challenging times, I have learned that how we perceive and address anything that crosses our path colors the outcome. Perhaps like me, you’re on the path of learning that we can either let life happen to us or we can take responsibility and be accountable for every aspect and outcome of our experience. As awake beings, we come to see and realize how our own thoughts literally shape our days.
Through much trial and error, I have come to truly trust my feelings and give them weight in determining my next steps. Admittedly, I have often led my life more from the heart than from the brain, and I have no apologies for that. I used to regret each time I could have avoided the consequences of a poor choice had I just listened to what I already knew. But now, I am a bit more seasoned and I see everything, past and present, as a solid opportunity to understand myself better and accept that every day I am more awakened to that understanding. Each one of us can celebrate such baby steps of awakening as we move forward.
Reflecting back on 2017, when I count the number of things that have changed and transpired in one short year, that really is quite unbelievable to me—but again—no regrets. (If 2018 ends up being a bit boring by comparison, I will actually welcome a less unpredictable existence for a while!) This year ended up being all about letting go for me—from belongings to loved ones—I unintentionally experienced almost an entire life detox. So I happen to be extra-excited for the new year to come, and being where I am now, as opposed to this time last year, feels especially wonderful. Looking ahead, I see 2018 as a broad, new beginning of welcoming in the good that I have made more room for. As I accept that in, I aspire for it to emenate equally from within me, too. What is on your 2018 goals and dreams list?
For now, it’s the warm glow of holiday lights and a happy, purring kitty keeping my feet warm that remind me of peace and joy. May the simple delights of the season and the coming year be yours, as well.
Carolyn Coogan, Publisher