Path to Peace: 2013 in Review

In the past several days and weeks, I’ve had conversations with numerous people who have commented on 2013 being a year of significant challenges. Losses, major transitions or a cumulative stress from multiple transitions, relationship disruptions, sickness, and deaths have been part of the memories and experiences of 2013. Such events certainly leave their mark on us, and at times may even overwhelm and consume  us. But what else? Where did Spirit show up in your year in unexpected and blessed ways as well?

As we end this year, it may be of value to glance back over this past year and remind ourselves of the goals and dreams we were working toward throughout 2013 At the outset of this year, I personally  completed my own Wisdom’s Way to Living JOY-fully workbook and my ‘spiritual focus word’ for 2013 revealed ‘inner strength.’ Looking back over this past year, and all that I lived, I realize that I have learned and re-learned some great lessons and anchored some soul wisdom.

The first question that came to me in my reflections about what this spiritual focus has taught me and what it now means to me is ‘how did my inner strength increase my love’? Although I could write many blogs on what I learned, here are some key points:

  1. When life offers me big challenges, remember to play. Carlie, Rayna and I went sledding this weekend – it was Rayna’s first time. Can you spell FUN? Just a break in the day to go and do something that only required me to be happy in my heart.
  2. When life offers big challenges, go it ‘with community’. Ask for help. My inner strength called me to ask for help from those who love me and want the best for me. Why in the world would I want to ‘go it alone’ and bear the burden alone? Never again.
  3. Cultivate laughter. Recently, I had to have some very difficult conversations over the period of a weekend. However, we both intentionally shared some fun and laughter even in the midst of our pain.
  4. Be more than the ‘pain or the strain.’ These conversations above were interspersed with walking in Nature together, reading a great book together, preparing meals together, talking ‘shop’ and sharing some dreams of what we wanted in between the moments of these difficult conversations. Inner strength meant I could stay in the conversation and find my love to create outcomes I never anticipated going into the conversations.
  5. Let my ‘inner strength’ seek where love is. Of course love is in my heart. Yet, we all know the adage that the longest distance one can travel is the one from the head to the heart. We all are seeking love. We only need to go to our hearts. This journey to my inner heart required my ‘inner strength.’
  6. Let Grace guide you. A colleague and I have led several Peace Circles this past year and our motto became, ‘let Grace guide you.’ Grace is big enough to show up anywhere, anytime in any situation, regardless how challenging.

I have lots of love in my heart.  My ‘inner strength’ helped me to find more love in my heart which opened the path to experience great love coming from others’ hearts. That is the real gift of the Immanence of the Divine.

We are entering into the Season of Lights in many traditions and as a society celebration. We are about to end this year and begin another. Take time to reflect on this year and what you have learned. Who have you become because of your spiritual focus? Where are you now? What are you doing here that is different and new? How has your love increased?

End this year with class. Take time to contemplate on your blessings, your lessons, your fond memories and honestly acknowledge to yourself what brought ‘pain and strain’. We will be offering the 2014 workbook shortly so you can take your lessons and strains and gains and begin to intentionally create a peaceful 2014. Wishing you the best!

Namaste and Infinite Peace,

Shirley Lynn