I hope everyone had a joyous, safe, and wonderful holiday season. Here we now find ourselves at the beginning of a shiny new year, in a shiny new decade to boot. The slate is empty and ready for etching, for executing plans and creating trends that we’ll doubtless groan at 20 years from now.
For a long time, I’ve approached New Years as an opportunity to get my goals in place and set a clear path forward for myself for the year. Bless my husband for enduring several New Year’s Eve dinners where I bubbled on about what I wanted to accomplish in the year to come. But for once, that spirit wasn’t there the other night. Instead, I found myself in seated meditation in a dimly lit room, more contemplative than anything.
Don’t get me wrong, that list of goals and the clear path to them will be done in due time, as there is much to do this year. But for me the thing that overarches everything else is emotional and spiritual growth. This is something that is part of all of our training, and as we progress and develop deeper skills, the nature of that growth also changes and becomes more profound. That’s the way of it, once you’re finished with one layer, it’s time to peel it back and reveal what’s underneath.
I had the great pleasure of attending Grandmaster Wong’s Intensive Kungfu Course in Malaysia last month, which was the very first course I’d ever attended in 2006, when I began my journey in the Shaolin Arts with the simple question, “what the hell am I doing?” There was a sense of things coming full circle in a way I hadn’t anticipated. It was just beautiful to look back at that young woman who entered the training hall for the first time 14 years ago and see how far she had come. These sorts of things really are life affirming.
There’s still has a long way to go, that are now the deeper parts of the journey to which I had no access when I was depressed and in pain. There’s so much going on in the world today that is greatly concerning, and it is up to us, the stewards of the Shaolin Arts, to be our best selves and help turn people’s attention to the truth and beauty that is there too. If you’d like to start your own journey to health and joy, our beginning qigong class starts next week, and what a way to start a decade. If you’ve been training for years, then continue to persevere in correct practice. Let your life be an example of what the world needs. Happy New Year everyone.