This past year brought forth many valuable lessons. Each one fulfilled a purpose and perpetuated change.
January 1, 2017 began on the heels of an election battle that pitted us against one another. As we shuffled to our sides and waited for the winner and loser to be declared, a divisive precedent was set for the year to come.
This year felt off-balance. As childish politicians led us through a cumbersome time, with threats of war permeating the air, we crouched in horror as natural disasters loomed in the darkness, leveling cities and blazing the skies with flames. Our world seemed dismal and broken.
Yet, there was a beacon of light shining through the cracks. An unprecedented revolution rose from the shadows, gingerly dismantling a misogynist paradigm. Hardened predators, ousted one by one, in a historic victory for womankind. A fleet of Wonder Women, with clear direction, illuminated a systemic disease that had been plaguing our world for too long. Their decision to stand tall restored equilibrium to a discordant era.
Our world seeks balance, just as we do. No period of time can last forever, no empire eternal. As certain as the weather, seasons come and go. New leaders, new rebels....balance is preserved when polarities co-exist. For it is the winter's rain that cools us off from summer's heat.
As the wind carries us into new seasons, we humans are reminded that unlike the elements, we are bound by time. And so with our time, we've learned to do. We've learned to discover and create. Compressing lifetimes of toils, into seconds of automation. The days of working the fields under a baking sun, have been exchanged for sitting, immobile, behind a screen in the comfort of an air-conditioned box.
We are out of balance again. Our once tall and able bodies have been molded into hunched back creatures looking down at screens. A posture likened to defeat, rather than the grandeur of the success we've inherited from our predecessors' labors. We no longer need to journey on foot to discover new lands, so we run for miles to compete in races, to illustrate our stature.
We are creatures who are adept at adapting. This is how we have learned to survive. And while life may sometimes look bleak, we still search for the sun. Balance must be restored.
Like our great country, our body also longs to be united. Yet we go about it all wrong. We pick it apart trying to make sense of the sides, rather than examining the whole. We want the bits and pieces, organs and bones, flesh and blood to stand together in alignment, but by trying to compartmentalize and isolate each part, we are missing the big picture.
One cannot treat a symptom if there is a problem with the whole system. Of course that can be applied to anything--quite poignantly to the current state of our world. But in this case, not only to the chaos across the globe, but also the dysfunction within our self. Feeling acute pain in one's back does not only necessitate an ice pack, a heating pad, a brace, a bandage...or surgery. It requires a careful examination of the daily habits from the entire body that contribute to that pain. The parts are mere reflections of the whole.
By repeating the same harmful habits every day, we are wreaking havoc on our own system. This inevitably leads to pain. Once the pain is so severe, the body is alerted with symptoms, until the whole system breaks down. In Hollywood, harmful behaviors were not stopped. And eventually their repetition led to the collapse of an ailing system.
If we want to make our country great again, we must first make our backs great again. Who are we, with no spine? What would a country look like if all of its citizens lacked a back bone? #Wetoo, can stand tall, like the trail blazers, and refuse to submit to the repetition of harmful habits. We must first learn to recognize them, and call them out for what they are.
We can begin with the way that we think. As Mahatma Gandhi famously said:
Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words.
Keep your words positive, because your words become your behavior.
Keep your behavior positive, because your behavior becomes your habits.
Keep your habits positive, because your habits become your values.
Keep your values positive, because your values become your destiny.
May 2018 be a year of great health. May it be the year of happiness and fulfillment. May we all become freer in our bodies, more thoughtful with our actions, and may this be the year that we make our back great again.