As I look back at 2011, I am astonished at how different (and fast-paced) this year was for me. It was almost like a long rollercoaster! Every time I thought I had it all figured out, a big turn or drop would show up out of nowhere. It would throw me out of balance for a while, until I learned how to deal with it, which sometimes took longer than I wanted to, but that’s all part of the learning process.
Since the beginning of 2011, I have tried many different things and approaches to life, in terms of jobs, workshops (taken and taught) and teaching classes. All new to me. A couple of years ago, this would have sounded completely insane, too risky or weird to me. But not in 2011. It is almost as I felt fearless and did not hesitate much before diving into every new opportunity that knocked on my door. Not all of them were successful, but all of them were worthwhile. Each step led me to the next one – isn’t that how we learn to walk? And with all those baby steps, I am where I am now. And I feel very thankful for that.
This year also opened up my eyes to some wonderful people – some of them complete strangers, some well-known to me. I can picture it this way: If I am a flower, these special people were bees hovering above me even if just for a couple of minutes – some for at least once a week, some only once in a lifetime – pollinizing my ideas or even new ways of blossoming that I came up with. These friends acted like angels, encouraging me, clearing pathways, showering me with their blessings. Now, who needs proof angels exist when you have people like this around you? Do you want to try to find them? Take a look around you; not literally, but re-examining your life experiences recently, which brought you to where you are today. Can you spot friends or even strangers who showed up to give you a little hand here and there? I bet some of them you haven’t even seen for a second time! They just came, helped you with one step or two in your life path and, all of a sudden, they were gone. They don’t even wait for a thank-you, they just want to selflessly help. So, maybe you just stop today, for a minute or two, and simply acknowledge their help. Come on, feeling thankful for a minute can’t hurt you!
As I take time to thank and acknowledge all those big and little angels, who crossed my way in 2011, I must also give credit to practices that have kept me standing on my feet and helped me bend with the wind, no matter how hard it blew. One of them is my connection to my family and how much I give and receive in this complex but yet beautiful relationship. Another one is constant or even random support from local and distant friends (including the above mentioned “angels”), who always seem to know when it’s the best time to pitch in! Some friendships have actually dissipated for a variety of reasons and I haven’t stopped to question them; I trust there probably is a bigger explanation, which I don’t necessarily need to know right now (or ever). And last, but not least, comes my yoga practice, which keeps me grounded and at the same time challenged enough to quiet my chattering mind and make room for creativity to blossom.
2011 was a year full of tests for me, and surprisingly I decided to face each one of them, even though sometimes they made no logical sense or I had no clue about how to proceed, but I realized turning my back on them just meant wasting one more opportunity. And so I took chance after chance. Succeeding or not, I now understand (thank goodness!) they were all part of the growing process. If we look at a baby, it is clear how much growth can happen in one year; but for an adult, it is not so obvious and clear. May we all grow towards the best we can be in 2012 and beyond!