Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year, 2009!


My chocolate prince, my little powerhouse,

This is that wonderful time when the Christmas spirit embraces us all. All around the world, the festive season is on, with Diwali and Dussehra for Hindus, Id for the muslims, Christmas for Christians, and Hanukkah for the Jews. Christmas is supposed to be the day that Jesus Christ was born. A major part of our life and time is spent remembering and celebrating beginnings of cycles. The old year ends, a new one begins. Festivals, fasting ends and feasting starts. Birthdays, you stop being 12 and start being 13. Academic years, you were in class 5, now you are in class 6. Hold, hold, I am getting ahead of myself, which probably explains the books I get for you, and invite strange looks from people!

You have cycles that are longer than yearly too, like decades, and centuries, like the childhood years, teen years, adult years, middle age, etc. You also have shorter cycles that allow us to experience this end-beginning idea. You have seasons, and you know one morning looking out at the light haze in the air and the goosebumps as you touch the tap water, that autumn is gone and winter is here. You have months, and the bill collectors smile at you as you open the door. You have weeks, Sunday night is always followed by Monday morning. You have still shorter cycles, like the day, the sun setting to let you snuggle into your covers and sleep and dream and awaken, stretching, into a new dawn.

Even in the day itself, as our beautiful blue planet turns a full turn on its lopsided axis, there are cycles, you have mealtimes, you feel full and happy, and then you feel hungry. You have times of high energy, and times of reflection and rest. You also have things to do which are also ends and beginnings, you stop playing and you start picking up your toys, you stop coloring, and start reading.
The beauty of the cyclic end-beginning is that it repeatedly gives you an opportunity to mount a fresh departure, to create anew, to experience that which you have never experienced before, to build on your failures a castle of joy and success. It gives you a choice -- what will you do now? Will you create consequences that will become the foundation of your inner strength and happiness? Or will you allow your ego, your greed, and your foolishness to drag you further down into the whirlpool of misery? All that one is today is the result of the actions taken in the past, and each action is a beginning, a birthday of sorts. Some people believe that these past actions can transmit across lifetimes, and some of them can create consequences that are impossible to eradicate. These beginnings can also serve as launchpads for acquiring greater momentum and intensity in our efforts to become who we were meant to be.

At a personal level, we have cycles too, which we can use to continuously propel ourselves towards becoming sources of peace and happiness to the world around us. Our lungs fill up with air, and then when it cant fill any more, it rests for a moment before letting go, breathing out the toxicities from within, somewhat like a factory spewing out dirty and smelly smoke and water. And with the next breath in we are again sending the lifeforce or prana to our organs so that they can celebrate life fully. You have the left-right-left of your feet as you walk, your thighs striding, calves and feet flexing just right for you to be carried forward, a most complex piece of coordination, balanced out by the swinging of your arms and twisting of your trunk. You have the beating of your heart, the lub dub of the muscles contracting and the valves closing and opening, and oxygen rich blood going off to feed your different organ. You have the moment of rest between contractions before the heart starts it work again, for the heart that interval is like the day and night.


End-beginnings are a wonderful time to make a resolve. Resolves are inner commitments that are like seeds, you sow them and put in your effort to make them germinate, water them, protect them from the elements and pests, and wait for the right time, the right weather for them to turn into the expression of your dreams. I resolve this year to become a beacon of hope for all who dream impossible dreams, to make my life a shining example of faith, courage and wisdom. What are your resolutions?

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