This year was a soul accelerator year. It was far less about external, outward accomplishments, though those victories should be celebrated. The victories I found worth celebrating all took place internally. So many lessons were not just learned, but by force, immediately integrated into life. My heart expanded. My awareness arose. My appreciation exploded. My clarity and focus emerged. My soul accelerated. Yours probably did too.
With COVID came quiet. A quiet I personally needed. A quiet that I deeply, intensely craved. And I had no idea how to find it in the never ending spiral of running a business, raising young children, keeping social obligations, hell, even grocery shopping. I had no idea where to look, how to cultivate it or why I needed it. I just knew. And then, it was here, like a rudely awakened giant that promptly gobbled us all up. And I was gratefully gobbled.
It seems only appropriate that masks didn't just help us protect others and ourselves, but the symbolism was a perfect analogy: Stop speaking, start Listening with a capital "L." To those who have been quieted for too long. To those we've discounted for centuries. To those who've been telling us all along that their experience is real and valid and needs massive overhauling. To our own souls, who've been waiting for us to stop doing so much and start being a little more. To the quiet voices that tell us everything we need to know, but that we've silenced through consumption, escape, denial, willful ignorance and fear.
Not everyone Listened—we have free will after all—but many, many of us did. I believe enough of us did to not only accelerate our own souls, but helped those around us that were on the cusp. A rising tide effect, if you will.
I spent a long time listening this year and it's still not enough, but it is a start, and a practice. It's one I'm investing in for the rest of my life as if my very soul depends on it. Because it does.
This is not to deflect from sorrow, challenges, tragedies and darkness that have befallen many. Death has reminded us it still has a 100% conversion rate. That we're all very limited. That none of us have any real control over much, minus the internal dialogue of the very important organ that lives inside our heads. That learning to tame and take responsibility for our thoughts, and thus our beliefs is probably much more than half the battle, it's the key to just about everything in life. But it's also one of the hardest lessons to live and we'll likely never master it fully. But where's the opportunity for growth when you master something? If the Universe never stops expanding, why should we?
Here's to a speeding up of all our souls, an improvement of your internal world (and mine) so we can build a better external one that serves all out of love and doesn't exclude any out of fear. Cheers to 2020 and the accelerator we didn't know we needed.