This is my first post for the new year: I’ve just come back from celebrating Christmas with my partner’s family and then a weeklong Esperanto festival in central Germany.
This article is going to talk about my focus for the new year, particularly regarding personal and spiritual development.
I was planning on adding some stuff about the Esperanto festival and about what I’m going to do with this blog in this upcoming year, but as this post got longer I thought I’d make those other things separate posts. So stay tuned for more stuff very soon.
Somewhat inspired by Steve Pavlina’s example, I like to pick a focus for the new year.
I seem to channel them – at least they don’t really come from my conscious awareness – and they seem to have to do with particular energetic states rather than very concrete goals. In a way, for me they are almost a presentience about how my year is going to unfold, at least as much as they are goals for that year.
The first time I chose such a focus, it was “health and money”. There’s so much someone can do to improve those areas in one year it seems like rather a scattered focus, but I think the energy behind it came down to “stability”.
The next year I picked “connection”, particularly interpersonal connection but also connection in a wider sense. It happened to be the year in which I decided to commit myself to a polyamorous relationship model and since then I’ve seen it was one of the best decisions I’ve made.
Thanks Talitha Walterfang for permission to use this picture. I find it incredibly poignant for me at this time.
And finally last year I chose “rootedness” as a focus.
Looking back, I see I made very great improvements in that last year. I’ve improved my general situation, becoming more stable emotionally and financially as well as more in tune with my purpose. I feel stronger and more comfortable in my own skin.
Last year had two major events in terms of my spiritual growth, both of which had to do with rootedness.
The first event was me deciding to begin to express myself as female. (I am a male-to-female transsexual, in case you are new to this blog). I didn’t set out for it to make me more grounded or rooted, but it did in a surprising way.
When I was younger, I used to feel a strong disconnect from myself whenever I looked in the mirror and often when I just thought about myself. It felt like a note of discord – imagine someone slamming their fist randomly against a piano.
Weirdly I never connected this to transsexuality until I experienced life as a woman. It had seemed that I felt the shock and discord at the fact I existed at all. It wasn’t the same as a desire to die but rather a discomfort at my own image and identity, and a refuge in a sense of non-existence.
It was only when I began to live as a woman that I realised I could feel comfortable and happy with my own image and not have to ignore it. And I think this let me tune into reality, rather than – at some level intentionally – tuning it out.
It’s grounding in itself to care for your image rather than running away from it. I’ve learned to love clothes and grooming and spend time on myself this way each day. This also seemed to have leaked over into other parts of my life, though, too. As well as caring for my body I’ve become better at caring for my house, my space, and my work. It was like there had been a block in those areas from my gender issue, and until I removed it, I couldn’t advance at all.
I also noticed that after beginning my transition, I could finally feel the Earth when I meditated. It was as if before, there had been some kind of barrier between my lower body and the Earth. I just couldn’t reach into it, no matter how hard I tried. Now, I can feel how my body has no boundary and how my energy goes straight down into the Earth, how the Earth comes straight up into me. It’s a very pleasurable experience.
Before all this, I had had a strange relationship with the Earth. To a greater or lesser extent, I felt that Earth energy would stop me “flying” in my life. I resisted it, scared it would trap me if I just relented for a second.
Now I’ve come to feel how the Earth is good and not bad for me, and accept my connection with it joyfully. If I have to give up my leaf-in-the-wind freedom for security and safety and strength, then I think it’s worth it. Perhaps, though, now, I can experience a much better kind of freedom.
The other major event in my spiritual growth last year had to do with me learning self-reliance.
You can read all about it in this post: Berlin, And Learning Self Dependence. In short, my life came to a crunch in many ways which forced me to face down my pattern of leaning on others for support. After the crisis was over, I found myself much more inclined to depend on myself. Rather than thinking that others “should” help me, I felt that I should try and be strong so I don’t drag my friends down with my avoidable weakness.
Interestingly, right after learning this life lesson, my economic and life situation began to empower me in a way it never had before. I became much more connected to my sense of purpose, too, and for once I’m genuinely motivated to work on a project full-time and be actually productive.
So these two events conspired to help me grow in the energy of rootedness or groundedness. Interestingly, just a couple of weeks ago I wrote this article: “How To Get Grounded“. I wasn’t consciously thinking about this year’s focus (I was writing it for a couple of friends in particular) but it made a very nice way to wrap up this year.
I definitely see room for improvement in my groundedness. I’d like to be more aware of how I move and speak and to get more of a structure in my life. Still, I’m very happy with the progress I’ve made so far.
Someone actually told me they thought I was grounded this year. I mean, grounded in an objective sense, as in “a grounded person”. That surprised me. I was once very much objectively not grounded. I was basically staggering through life in a daze. Perhaps somewhere I’ve made enough progress to not just be better than before, but to be actually good at this. Well, I don’t know really. I’m not going to stop working on my groundedness just because of what someone said. Or even if I decided that they were right. I mean growth always goes on.
But it seems a good sign.
This year, I’ve decided that the focus will be on the energy of lightness.
I kind of expected it to be something more to do with my blog, seeing as that’s what I’m going to be working on this year. My partner had the same idea when I asked them what they expected, too. 🙂
But when I checked in with myself, the intuition was very clear. And it seemed to make much more sense than anything blog-related did.
I mean, the blog will get done. It’s the focus of my activities. But on an energetic level, I’ve got a different, complimentary focus.
The intuition came to me in the image of a feather. It was against a background of green and I tasted mint. I’m not sure if that last input was really a clairsentience, though. I was idly staring at a tube of toothpaste as I probed my intuition — so there might have been some interference there :p
Still, the feeling of “freshness” that mint symbolises makes a lot of sense. Lightness, freshness – clearing away old cobwebs, getting rid of attachments to the past.
Basically, I think I have an issue of being overserious. I’ve seen some nightmarish stuff in my life, and I think I’m still dragging the weight of that with me. Things tend to have a life-or-death importance to me a lot of the time. I tend to think of the world as a negative place and life as a set of challenges to face down. I’m very purposeful but, I think, don’t temper that purpose with enough joy.
Just generally, life seems heavier than it should.
So, while living in basically the same way, I want to infuse everything I do with lightness and joy. I will continue to care about what I care about, but without that excess heaviness.
I want to really live and feel the truth that nothing is life-or-death serious, not even death.
Because you can’t change it by being serious. The starving people won’t be fed by your seriousness. The environment won’t be saved by your seriousness. The unjust system won’t be changed by your seriousness. Action changes those things. And action can be either joyful or heavy.
So you might as well be joyful and light, and also I think that it will have surprising benefits. I think joyfulness helps you have a clearer head and avoid conflict and negativity. I think joyfulness makes it easier to take action. And I think joyfulness is inspiring and healing in itself. If we’re trying to save the world, can we expect to bring it out of negativity by being negative ourselves? I think if we’re aiming to create a place of joy, we should start by being joyful ourselves.
Perhaps a lot of us who want to change the world have assumed that means being heavy and overly serious about it. Perhaps we can all examine that assumption. I mean, it’s only the entire world we’re trying to save… :p And just like our lives and deaths mean nothing in the grand scheme of things, so does the world.
And yet, we can still care about it. Our hearts give it meaning. What we can’t expect is that it will have a Universal meaning, or the power to give us a sense of fulfillment if we feel spiritually hollow. The hollowness is something we have to tackle for ourselves, rather than expect external things to fulfill them for us.
So this is what I hope to gain by the end of this year: a feeling of lightness and joy in everything I do, a simple enjoyment of life even when I don’t know how things are going to work out, and a release of excess seriousness.
I’ll report back next year and tell you how it went 🙂