" SpiritofSaltSpring:BC:Canada:GulfIslands:SaltSpring:Salt Spring:

December 29, 2008

Annual Reflection

At this time of year I always think it's a really good idea to take some time to assess the past year and to put out intent about the quality of the experiences we would like to have unfold in the year ahead.

For me, it reminds me of all that has happened. It reminds me of what it is I think I should be focusing on and it provides a space to reflect. It's an excellent artificial milestone for assessing where we are and for revising some of the things we'd like to change.Do not censor yourself. Do not ask how. Just write down whatever comes to mind.

Doing this, I must emphasize is not the same as making resolutions. I don't really like New Year's Resolutions because they don't really work because unless the inner self is ready to make change, it can't.

For some time now I have recognized the importance of consciously reminding ourselves, no matter how difficult it is to really imagine, that we are mortal, that our time here is a gift, and that at any time we may not be here. Poof. Gone.

I think it's a good time to remind ourselves that how we think, our intent and our choices really do play a role in determining the direction of our future - immediate and long term. We have choices. It is imperative to really understand that there is choice. As the saying goes, the choice may suck, but it's still a choice. Without that belief then you have given up and the self fulfilling prophecy that you have chosen to run as a tape in your head will be perpetuated.

My work here - the non writing work - is introducing me to people who may not believe that they have choices. They may not believe it because they are broke and view that as an inevitable, a burden, what they deserve, something that they can't change because of the constraints of this island.

They seem unable to help themselves make the change they so desperately need. Their way of being shaped by their past has led them to the place they are in and they are oblivious to the role that they are playing in maintaining it as if they are zombies in a play that they aren't even aware that they are in; as if they just stumbled across the stage by taking a wrong turn instead of the main character in the only role in the only play that matters right now.

Instead of seeing their role in creating their present reality, they are victims. It's the economy. It's the government. It's the people. They generalize a lot cutting huge swaths of rationalizations as stark as clearcuts to justify their personal landscapes. This is not to say that what they are saying is not coming from a place of reality. But, they are too close to their misery to recognize that if they believe they can't, then they are sure to be correct in that assessment.

When I talk to someone who is feeling that way, it's as if a big mirror is being held up above their head and not only am I seeing them but I'm seeing myself; my past self juxtaposed against my current self and the change in understanding that I know I've experienced in the past 12 years.

I understand what it feels like to be trapped, to feel hopeless, to not consciously believe that it's possible for change to happen, to know that you are getting in your own way more than anyone else.

The difference is that I actually took some steps to make change and I made a commitment to myself to recognize that nothing is more important than self awareness. It might take years of therapy. It might take reading, meditation, yoga, religion, spiritual exploration. Whatever it takes the difference between those who change and those who don't are the people it seems who believe the power to change is solely in their hands first, and then, if a higher power intervenes, so much the better.

When I meet someone who sounds like they have given up and they are telling themselves that the town sucks, people are this way or that, that the only thing anyone cares about is money, it's as if they might as well be saying, blah, blah, blah, blah.

What I am hearing coming out of their mouths is meaningless, a figment of their own projections, and yet to them, it's the most important dogma of their existence. I become super conscious when someone starts speaking like that. I recognize it. I've sounded that way myself. Haven't we all at some point?

It happened today. This job is interesting, not because of what I'm doing. That part is actually quite dull and unchallenging. The interest in the position for me exists because it has put me into a position that I had previously had in my mind when the thought of getting another Communications job was as interesting as watching paint dry.

It has put me into a position where I interact one on one with people and that allows some insights I have gained to be shared for whatever they are worth.

What would you like to imagine about your own personal growth during the next 365 days?


Dave Schipper said...

learning to read music after all these years...



btw... you write beautifully; and I found you because of a common interest in Stan Rogers

Gayle Mavor said...

Ah yes - Stan Rogers! I met his brother in the mid-90s. I interviewed him. That was cool!
Thank you for your compliment. All the best to you in the new year.