And so the wheel turns once again to winter. The holidays are over. We have rung in the New Year and we turn to face what is left of the winter here in western Wisconsin. Now what? Perhaps you have big plans for resolutions to start 2015 on a new note: losing five pounds, eating health-fully, organizing your home, reading important books. Resolutions such as these are good in their own right, but they will not transform your life.
Mark Nepo wrote, “Each person is born with an unencumbered spot, free of expectation and regret, free of ambition and embarrassment, free of fear and worry; an umbilical spot of grace where we were first touched by God. It is this spot of grace that issues peace”. We show love to one another thru right relationship. This love often is the mirror to witness our spot of grace within. Take a moment and ponder who in your life has taken time to make you feel seen. Think back. Did you have a certain wonderful teacher who made you feel special and unique? Or perhaps a Grandmother who always took time and interest in your stories? Those individuals who helped us see our own spot of grace hold an incredibly important place in our hearts. Their time and sometimes small acts of kindness may have radically changed the trajectory of our lives.
Each of us was born with unique and amazing talents. Lovely souls throughout our lives have taken extra moments out of their busy days to help reveal them to us. What if a different sort of resolution then was to use our energy and talent to be that mirror for someone else? “The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change the world.” (James Baldwin) A kind word or a listening ear at the right moment, may radically alter someone else’s day or even their lives. Who can you help to recognize their own uniqueness? Who in your world may need just a little more love and attention to believe in themselves?
Looking outside of ourselves and sending love towards others also just happens to be one of the quickest routes to transformation. It gives us a perspective that no amount of self-reflection or self-judgement can give. Focusing on others allows us to escape our heads and live from our hearts, in the present moment. When we do something good or kind for others, we are also giving to ourselves. In the end, as Ram Das said, “ We’re all just walking each other home.” During these long and cold winter days, be that mirror for someone. Reveal to them their spot of grace and in the process, glimpse your own. That way, you are both walking in peace. Blessings for a wonderful 2015.
(This piece was originally written for Five for Women in 2013).