There are years that break us and years that make us.
In the breaking, we feel diminished, in the making our character becomes alive, fresh with the hope that after all, our struggles do make sense. It is time for another year to be closed and I find myself asking the question: How do I close the year that was intended to be opening my heart?
The answer is lurking just around the corner, tucked behind the blue mountains as I say good bye to them. Our boxes are packed and I shed some tears before I finally drive out of this hidden beauty where I resuscitated my heart from a three-year long desperate search for it. The frustration was not only mine, I heard more people than ever asking the same question this year: What if the life I want is not what Life wants me to lead?
The sun is crisp and it bestows the flickering hope upon us as I drive along the ridge of the mountains. I am transitioning again and it always feels disorientating, no matter how many times I do it.
This time I notice there is subtle but piercing strength in the way I move. In slow, deliberate, mindful motion I catch myself breathing calmly as I take the sharp turn on the mountain road. Rocks on my right, a lush gorge underneath on the left sum all what my life is about in this minute:
You only have control over the drive on the path. The rest is unpredictable.
Our ego is clever, it makes up rules and ideals of how we should or could live. It creates facades, even a strong sense of self. But our heart, oh dear, that cannot be fooled. This soft, sensitive organ cannot be taken for granted too long. It will speak and when it does, we all become speechless.
I spent 18 months doing nothing but listening, deconstructing, observing my own story, searching for patterns, tearing apart my failures and successes. I spent these months swinging between unspeakable joy and heart wrenching sadness, often holding both in equal measure because I figured this was the only way to live life.
In this sweet silence I recognized what I can only call my soul, the way Parker Palmer describes it: “The soul is like a wild animal, tough, resilient, savvy, self-sufficient, yet exceedingly shy”. I agree with most of it, except…. we are not self-sufficient. We need soul food, be it nature or connection that feeds it and most importantly it needs listening. In the listening we open to possibilities, we gather courage, we dare to plan our next steps, we dare to jump for whatever is important in our life.
The manuscript of my book, the one project that pumped the blood into my life is winking at me from a box cheerfully. It is ready to be launched into the world in the next few weeks.
I am not only closing 2015 today. I am closing a chapter of my life that stretched me, changed me and challenged me in immeasurable ways. I cannot wait to see what is next!
What is it that You are looking forward to in 2016?