For many, the beginning of a new year can represent opportunity and excitement to begin anew.  We often move into the new year reflecting on the many lessons we’ve learned, and have gratitude for wisdom and gifts received. It’s the natural time to refine the dreams we wish to create in our lives.  

But what happens if we feel stuck and mired down in the heaviness of old energies.  In spite of all our best practices and intentions we are unable to fully shift forward. Every effort to push through the heaviness leaves us exhausted and frustrated.  

                             “Do you have the patience to wait till the mud settles and the water is clear?                                                              Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself.” —- Lao Tzu

In my life, I have always attempted to live with integrity and humility, serving from the heart.  And while this intention is true and real, I have come to realize how very well insulated my heart has been.  For most of my life, many of the experiences have been filtered, muted and buried deeply in my tissue.  While this seemed safe and manageable, it has often lacked breadth and vitality.

On winter walks, I resonate with the trees. Although dormant and bare, they are still very much alive. Their roots anchored in the earth, drawing sustenance, and cultivating new life beneath the surface. The heartwood running through the core of many trees, although technically a dead wood, has alchemized with the blending of life giving saps and resins. This provides an inner resource of strength and stability to the living layers. This analogy helped me appreciate that although I am summoned to slow down and wait, there is an eternal chord of resilience and fuel sustaining me in the heartwood running through my core.

Being in the restless discomfort of this temporary pause, I am learning to accept the power in waiting, especially when I engage the wisdom and strength of the heart. Here, it is safe to be with the uncomfortable emotions and beliefs that are calling out to be felt, lovingly witnessed and transformed. As I heal the dark corners of my own being, I become more conscious and present to the bitter and the sweet. At the same time, I am quietly stoking the fires of alchemy at work within me.

                                               ”When all the knots that strangle the heart are loosened,                                                                                the mortal becomes immortal.”   — Katha Upanishad

When we choose to live in our heart, we discover that the experiences of life embody far more depth and potency.  While this means sometimes feeling tremendous loss and pain, it also means tasting exquisite joy, pure love, and oneness.  We are all connected.  As one suffers, we all suffer; as one heals, we all heal; as one loves, we all love.