A Look Back at 2020 with a bit of numerology.
2020: A year that began as a hope for 20/20 vision and clarity through an open-hearted ("4") stance, powered by relationships (the "4" by way of double "2s" in "2020"). "4" relates to the heart and a balanced, neutral mind. "2" connects to the source of our creativity, our emotions, our protective energy, and relationships. (Side Note: There are people who have studied numerology far longer and in-depth so this is my personal interpretation of the numbers and, truth be told, reading their work over the years informs mine and self-interpretation allows me to embody and hold the meanings with a simplicity and clarity. I hope this lands for you-- as always, take it or leave it. Trust in yourself.)
As I reflect back the year on this day, 12/31/2020, I notice today is an "11" (1+2+3+1+2+0+2+0). A significant, yogic number that makes the Truth discoverable for all with no judgment nor limits. It is a reminder that Trust in and Surrendering to the Divine Will of the Universe will lead to Truth. Yoga is the union of our Individual Consciousness and Universal Consciousness. This Universal Consciousness is within all of us. We are all connected. As one. What affects you, impacts me. What affects me, impacts you. In allowing Truth to unfold, without judgment, we are all touched by what is Universal and Divine. And so I surrender to what unfolds today.....
Alot of yogi gobbledy-gook there. It means alot to me now but it didn't always. More in "everyday human language", I see this anticipated year of vision and clarity through open-heartedness and powered by relationships as somewhat of a twisted joke. But really, it has held to its promise. Just not the way anyone could've imagined.
Let's be honest. The year was filled with Grief: sickness, loss of loved ones, cancelled plans & celebrations, disrupted accomplishments, separations and isolation. Grief comes from change; and sadness shows us what's important. How does that bring Clarity? How DOESN'T it bring Clarity? In its seemingly backward way, the loss, separation and disruptions allowed us to value more deeply our relationships and "our work". It also allowed us to become more creative so that we can GET those things we abruptly "lost".
This year was also filled with charged polarities of light and dark-- of goodness and opposition. The extremes were so extreme that, again, we ask: How DOESN'T it bring Clarity? It does. It gave us exaggerated views that sparked strong emotions in each of us. It carried deep and loud emotions that shouted at us: "Look! Look! What Do You Think?! What Will You Do?!" It tore us apart but also brought us more together. Relationships. Clarity. Vision.
Nature got a reprieve. We spent weeks to months keeping our cars parked and planes grounded. Thanks to the entry into our Summer (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), we walked and connected with nature more and benefitted from the change in pace, along with our green friends. We had another gift......
Last but not least (and maybe there's more), the year gave us Space. Space to process, to grieve, to get clear on how we feel....even if we haven't fully formulated all of it yet. We now know what is important to us, we know we can be creative in working within self-imposed and outside-imposed boundaries, and our vision has been shaped or has begun to be more clear. Powerful. Space of time is also a message to get quiet with ourselves. In the Silence, we feel our answers. What may have been 'discomfort' becomes Gratitude. It's good to stop the noise every once in awhile-- more often and longer if possible.... daily. We can breathe. (The irony of this statement amidst the BLM movement is profound).
My teenager had this to say: "This year kinda sucked but it was also kind of necessary because everyone needs to realize they/we have major issues". Harsh and hilarious. Not untrue. Approach with self-compassion.
A Tiny Look Ahead
I think the new lens of 2020 is one we can all wear into 2021. Like a superpower.
My superpowers? Mental telepathy and cosmic empathy is strong in me-- between me and my Soul. Sounds hokey but how's your communication with your True Self? Are you rid of and/or at peace with your inner conflicts and fears? Truth is my armor, cape and sword. It's like the Force. Even the dark side has Light....once it accepts Truth.
More on 2021 in 2021. Happy New Year, Everyone!
Today is December 31, 2020. What a famously wild and unpredictable year it has been! Filled with extreme "bad" and extreme "good". The polarities of dark and light somehow converging to create a crisper picture....Vision.
A Reflection on Boundaries
Just like any day, this day is no different. Except..... It is a largely-recognized "day to note", as are major holidays, the solstices, the equinoxes, and other specially-noted days. For me, these are days for reflection. What is the symbolic significance of this day? What does it mean to me? In a way, it sets a symbolic boundary for us. A bookend to a year of unbelievably heart-wrenching and touching stories alike.
In general, I've often struggled with overwhelm and a sense of "free floating" (not in a good way). As a creative --which, by the way, we all are-- I've come to understand that setting our own restrictions around a project, a practice, a goal, etc. is important to the process. These are not limitations of the Self but healthy boundaries that keep us rooted and stable, and from which our ideas and creations can emerge and flourish with an amazing sense of freedom.
I've also come to understand that the tools we've picked up through lessons of life-- intentionally and by chance --are part of our personal boundaries. As babies and toddlers do, we use our senses and our will to feel and test the boundaries. What are the limits? Where am I comfortable? Where do I (ad)venture to push across those lines? What do I do if what I thought was right for me, in and out of my boundary (or comfort zone), actually isn't? And when you feel yourself looking at other people's boundaries-- and/or perhaps feeling judgment on yours --breathe and honor the feeling. Then find a way to let it go. Feel your inner fire burn it up and, like a phoenix, turn the ashes into a radiant bird of self-love. Bottom line: your boundaries are personal.
I feel myself currently riding that edge as I process the revelations that have come to light this year about this transformational yoga I practice and teach. And the concepts connected to it. Like a lifeline for me and many others I know, it has given me the tools to turn judgment into birds of Empowerment, to know Truth where I used to only see lies disguised as reality, causing pain and self-deprivation. Ideas and practices that have been masterfully synthesized by a predator but, in pieces, are not his original work. I know the effectiveness and I focus on what I know has worked. Still, a process to sort through some levels of blind acceptance to get to what is real and right for me. In truth, we blindly accept in many aspects of life where we have given over our power to another-- not in a negative sense but as an awareness. For instance, to our doctors, the farmers, our government..... We can always take this power back.
Akara Numerology is one of those gray areas for me in terms of how it came to be. (Perhaps you, Reader, are familiar and can shed light for me?). In any case, it has always resonated and landed for me, better than astrology. Plus, I love numbers. It is, in fact, an effective boundary for me-- it can expand or look different beyond me but here, now, for me, it is what it is and it's enlightening. I accept its structure and meaning and use it to help me reflect on life. It can create powerful connections to make difficult situations, thoughts, and ideas palatable and, even more, divinely rich in depth and breadth. Such a wonderful tool to reflect on an insane year and contemplate what comes next.......
Aligned with the numbers of 2020, my relationships, connections, clarity on what's important to me and, of course, big open-heartedness highlighted for me "boundaries". Healthy boundaries feel like a swaddle of warmth and motherly love. Truth. A lesson from 2020.
Do you know what I love about winters?
Getting to see the sunrise later in the morning.
Observing the sunrises and sunsets are a random occurrence for me where, when caught at that moment, always put me at awe. When I lived in a high-rise building facing west many years ago, I used to watch the sunsets often. It's only now that I am beginning to seek out the rhythms and rhymes of this amazing universe. Today, a remarkable sunrise.
Did you know that the sunrise happens later and later in the Northern Hemisphere until early January? If I had to guess, I would assume that Winter Solstice was the turning point for the sun to rise earlier. Apparently it is not. The mismatch is due to the Earth's rotational axis being 23.5 degrees off from vertical to the plane of our orbit around the sun, and the Earth's eccentric orbit causing it to travel fastest in January and slowest in July. According to my source for this information, EarthSky, the exact date for the latest sunrise or sunset varies by latitude. The sequence, however, always remains the same-- holding true for both Northern and Southern hemispheres:
Earliest SunSET > Winter Solstice > Latest SunRISE
Earliest SunRISE > Summer Solstice > Latest SunSET
This morning as I watched the dark pink/purplish light on the horizon, I felt a deep sense of gratitude for its beauty and wonder. I checked the time and it was maybe quarter past 7am. Never a joyful earlybird (like the Amrit Vela time between 3am-6am-- ugh!), I appreciate the sun's later rise. At least another week perhaps until it does start to wake earlier. This may be a good week for sun salutations.
Years of shifting to a more meaningful and deeply-connected life, my city-girl Self longs to become more connected with nature's rhythms and lessons. One aspect of this connection is in building meaningful, spiritual rituals to celebrate the shifts in Earth's seasons, such as the Winter Solstice. Especially as a parent creating guideposts for my children, I know such connections to be a healing and magical celebration for the soul. (For this reason, I am eternally grateful to have deeply-meaningful rituals built into their school life for celebrations such as Winter Solstice).
What a wonderful year to truly hone this connection to Winter Solstice-- though perhaps coincidental to fall on the same day.....such is the year of 2020! --with a possibility of seeing the Star of Bethlehem for the first time in 400 years! My mind's eye evokes images of wise men journeying to Jerusalem following that miraculous star and finding the baby Jesus. This is a celestial event caused by the alignment of Jupiter and Saturn-- the two largest planets --appearing to shine as one brilliant star (or Christmas star), that we may be able to witness shortly after sunset, low in the southwestern sky. A bit of kismet to bring 2020 to a close and to kick-off a wondrous depth of spirit that is the Winter Solstice.
Here is my short list of ways I am honoring the Winter Solstice:
Plus, leading up to this day, the yoga studio where I teach spent 11 days guiding our clients to connect with their inner sun-energy, their warmth and extrovertedness, and their inner digestive fire. Movement along with an embodied concept of our own inner fire (through meditation) sparks the warmth and wisdom innately within each of us. "Everybody is a candle, but not everybody is lit". --Karena Virginia & Dharm Khalsa in Essential Kundalini Yoga.
Happy Winter Solstice, Friends!
I would love to hear your Winter Solstice stories and traditions. And let me know if you see the star tonight!
Much love, peace and gratitude for our amazing, natural world!
I am the Essential Soul Mama. I am a mama, a soulful-spiritual teacher, an intentional storyteller, and a lover of stories of all kinds, in all forms. I write about parenting, natural health options, mind-body-soul connections, and anything that elevates our lives.