As we come to the end of 2020, like no other year we have endured, and we look ahead, what are we to make of this experience? Is it a review of what happened and how we responded? Is it a time to make promises that next year will be different? Or better? Could it be an opportunity to dig deeper, take time to consider that which goes beyond resolutions or promises? I would not presume to tell you what you might do or what you should do for that’s up to you. What I can tell you is that you have choices available to that you might not have thought about or considered before now.
I have enjoyed numerous readings, conversations and gatherings this past year that have focused on developing the inner life, not as a work/life balance process which I believe is a myth, but rather a look at how we might evolve into more of our humanity. The reason I believe work/life balance is a myth is because it is life with work as part of life and to believe you can achieve a better relationship between the two is thinking of them as two separate entities. Do you think there is a work life and then all the rest, including relationships? No, there is one life and if you are not satisfied with it as it is, then yes, you can make changes. Creating space and setting aside time for change making is the beginning.
First of all, what kind of changes would you like to pursue? What questions are you asking yourself about your continuing growth and development? What areas or topics are most interesting and appealing to you? Why do you suppose that is and where does that originate? If you did not take time to respond to each of those 4 questions, go back to the beginning of this paragraph and ask yourself each question again and then take the time to respond and make some notes. This could be the beginning of an important exercise.
One of my commitments for the coming year is to continue the conversations about the inner life, work with others to increase my own understanding and discoveries, and, assist a few people in a pursuit of their own learning, growth and change. There is much to learn and numerous resources available. A structured and disciplined approach often helps facilitate this process that, like the topic itself, is an evolving dynamic.
Here’s my paraphrase from Fr. Richard Rohr – “Some form of contemplative practice is the only way (apart from great love and great suffering) to rewire people’s minds and hearts. It is the only process that dips into the unconscious and changes people at deep levels—… Only some form of contemplation, reflection and action changes people for good and for others in any long-term way. That is what sustains and deepens the short-term wisdom we learn in great love and great suffering.”
Two final questions, for now, have to do with the starting point. Where do you consider yourself to be on life’s continuum? Each of us is where we are as a result of all the choices we have made previously. Where are you now, in this moment in your evolving history, and where would you like to go from here? What new choices would you like to consider? This may be a good time to create a new road map, destination unknown. Maybe we can set few waypoints on our inner GPS. As we look ahead, this is the conversation we can have with ourselves and one another.