By Angela Nichols
It’s been a heck of a year, hasn’t it? A global pandemic with a nationwide lockdown, highest unemployment we’ve seen in decades, closed businesses, protesters in the streets, wildfires, hurricanes, an election that is still being contested, and a lot of death.
Many people that I know can’t wait for 2020 to be over while others are sad to see it go. The range of reactions to the events of the past year are as varied as our political points of view. Some are anxious to return to “normal,” life (whatever that is), others feel that the global reset we’ve experienced was needed; to slow down the pace of life, to let the earth recover from the ways we’ve abused it, to reconsider what really matters. These people hope to find a new “normal” that carries some of what we’ve learned in 2020 into the future.
Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, the passing of 2020 into the next year offers an opportunity to practice the yogic concept of non-attachment. Non-attachment challenges us to allow the natural flow of life to happen without interference. Releasing things whose time has come to an end nor suppressing or denying what we wish were different. Life has its own flow which doesn’t belong to us and isn’t ours to change, but ours to live. When we resist what is, it causes suffering; whether it’s the suffering of trying to hang onto something that’s gone or the suffering of denying our reality. The practice of non-attachment offers us the opportunity to accept the moment we’re in, free from both attachment and aversion.
One of the five earth elements is water. Water teaches us to flow with life; to allow it to teach us, move us and transform us. Imagine that you are on the bank of a rapidly flowing river. If you step into the flow and your feet are knocked out from under you, you can struggle to swim against the current or you can allow yourself to be carried, trusting in the buoyancy of your body and that the tide will eventually bring you to shore. One way will steal your energy, cause you to panic, maybe even drown you. The other will bring you safely to a new shore. The unknown of where you will land can be scary, but if we trust the process and the nature of the water itself, we might find ourselves in a better place than we started. A little wet, but none worse for the wear.
This week, I invite you to let go. Let go of the need to control what is beyond your control. Let go of your attachments and aversions. Let go of 2020. Recognize that the only thing that is ALWAYS true is…this too shall pass.
HAPPY NEW YEAR.