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  • Writer's pictureErin Chandler

What Today Brings

“For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice.” ― T.S. Eliot

It is now another year, one that does await a new voice, a voice fraught with the knowledge gained from every experience of 2017. The invitation on January 1st to make resolutions, that hopeful ritual of wishing for something unrealized, sending our requests out into the ether of what we would like to manifest in the next three hundred sixty-five days. Never for a second believe that this ritual is not a valid opportunity to refocus our energy in order to more completely have the life we want.

Many people left this planet in 2017. We are still here. This means so much. It certainly implies there is still work to be done. The story of us is not over. When someone passes on to the other side, for better or worse, we see an arc. We envision a beginning, middle and end with various chapters pertaining to each section of their life. Those of us on this side of the veil are still in the process of creating our arc. We still have an opportunity for our souls to grow within our circumstances.

It’s sometimes easy to ignore the responsibility we have to live life to the fullest. No matter how painful, it is often easier to stay the same and let life ‘happen’ to us. Like Aimee Mann sings in Momentum, “I know life is getting shorter, I can’t bring myself to set the scene. Even when it’s approaching torture, I’ve got my routine.” Thanks to music, literature and all of the arts, we have a million examples of human beings examining their lives. We learn alongside the artist. Even if they don’t live up to all they had hoped, they still try to understand events transpired and choices made.

Author, Don Miguel Ruiz says, “Always do your best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment, it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.” That is something to strive for, avoiding self-judgment, self-abuse and regret. Ruiz is right, our best changes. Sometimes it is the best we can do to just get out of bed and brush our teeth. Other times our best is an extravagant package of accomplishments wrapped in good deeds and triumphs.

Penny Calcina is a meditation teacher, Reiki Master and healer in Columbia, North Carolina. She is deeply grounded and operates from an American Indian philosophy based on honoring the land, the different stages of life and the energy that permeates from everything. Penny taught me to view life as a raging river, continuously flowing. There are times that we are in the middle of that river, effortlessly riding the rapids and there are other times when we cling to the sides and wait it out. The times that we pause, wade in the shallow water and cling to the limbs attached to the bank and let the river carry on without us are just as important as the times that we jump right back into the middle of the river, let go and surrender to the flow of life. You must honor both times. That was a powerful lesson. Life does come in fits and starts and the calm is just as valid as the storm.

Whether you are beginning this new year observing from the banks or smack dab in the middle of things, pat yourself on the back and give yourself a hug and a thank you for accepting the challenge of life. Things are going to happen during these next three hundred and sixty-five days. There will be good happenings and unfortunately but inevitably there will be bad. We have the opportunity each passing day, hour and second to look at those things differently, with fresh eyes. We can react more positively and right our emotional ship. Like the saying goes, it ain’t over til the fat lady sings. Or, even more apropos, “Live like you’re already dead, man.” Jeff Bridges says. “Have a good time. Do your best. Let it all come ripping right through you.”

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