“If you don’t get lost, there’s a chance you may never be found.”
– Author Unknown
There comes a time in one’s life when some kind of an experience: a death, an unwanted change of home, a job loss, an unexpected health issue, come as such a jolt that we lose touch with who we thought we were. Everything seems out of place and the certainties which made up a part of our identification of self, are no longer there.
We feel lost.
Who am I?
What is the meaning of my existence?
What is happening and why?
This is a moment that necessities “holding” and “calm abiding” and no matter what, not giving up but finding a way to trust something much larger than imagined.
In time, a beautiful sunrise will appear on the horizon.
The adage of “losing oneself to find oneself” or of “letting go” may become an unexpected reality.
Of all the things that the Dalai Lama has said, the one I love the most is: “Never give up”. Those words are a little boat that carries us across the great waters.
“Ring out the old.
Ring in the new.”
“All great beginnings start in the dark, when the moon greets you to a new day at midnight.” Anonymous
The birth of a new year is a “great beginning” and each person celebrates it in her or his own way.
A rousing party.
A meal with friends.
A long walk enjoying nature.
A few moments of thoughtful reflection.
There are endless modes of celebration. Being an independent soul, any advice that may be given at this time of year, never seems right. And resolutions, which may have their place and serve as momentary reminders, can be over-ambitious. Yoga would suggest targeted focus on being present to one thing which is the “task” at hand.
January, is represented by Janus, the Roman mythological god. He is two-faced and looks in both directions: ahead (to the future –beginnings) and behind (the past – endings and passages). He was unique because he had no specialized priest to assist him and carried out all sacred ceremonies by himself. Is there a message? If there is, it appeals to me!
The photo I have chosen to represent 2015 is unusual because there are three faces.
The face that looks behind is to the past, the one looking ahead is to the future and the third, the one that is looking at you, is the present.
May you have a very Happy New Year.
This is a letter that Fra Beato Angelico, a famous Italian painter, wrote to a friend on Christmas Eve in 1387. His words ring timely throughout the centuries. I have translated and abridged his letter.
There is nothing I can give you that you don’t already have.
The sky cannot reach us until our hearts find peace, now, in this very moment.
Therefore, take the sky.
Peace is not to be found in the future because it is contained in this brief present moment.
Therefore, take peace.
The darkness of this world is only a shadow. Joy is found directly behind it –therefore, it is within our reach. In order to see it, you only have to look for it.
Therefore, please look.
In everything that we experience as painful, a trial, suffering or a duty, believe me, close by is the hand of an angel. This invisible presence is a wonderful gift.
Life is full of endless ideas and beauty and the earth is its repository. It covers the sky.
Take courage, therefore. Reclaim this. That is all.
We are pilgrims, traveling together through unknown countries. They will lead us to their homeland .
On this Christmas day, I send you my best wishes, not in the usual way, but with a prayer:
May your days remain luminous and may all shadows disappear now and forever.
Signed Fra Angelico da Fiesole 1387