On this first day of the last year of my thirties, I have come to embrace certain truths about my self and my life. First, I know what I am not. I am not defined by the story I or others have told, do tell, or will tell about my life. I am not my illness. I am not my pain. I am not my body. I am not my achievements. I am not my failures. I am not my job. I am not my financial footing. I am not my relationship status. I am not my physical appearance. I am not my intelligence. I am not my follies, faults or vices. I am not even my good deeds alone.
What I am is one face of the Divine Spirit, which is in me, which is in you, which is you, which is indeed us all. And while we are truly One, in this physical embodiment of the personal self, born into this flash of a cycle of life, each of us have been bestowed with a unique gift; a special and singular facet of the Sacred (which encompasses and embodies all). It is our duty and responsibility–while truly also our honor, blessing and pleasure–to recognize, embrace, use and thoroughly enjoy this gift, which are eventually called onto share with others. It is the greatest blessing to be able to inspire others by what has inspired us.
What is this gift, we may ask? First, we must take the time and consideration to explore what triggers our passion, our excitement, our bliss. What is our burning desire? As Wayne Dyer said, “Find that inner candle flame that no one can put out, no matter what is put in front of you.” Behind the ego that clings to all the labels of identity, we will find that truth of self and what we were placed on this earth to do.
In truth, I have known my purpose–my calling or dharma, if you will–from a very young age. Before life’s hurdles embittered me and put up blocks of pain, worry, fear, worry or hesitancy, I heard the calling crystal clear. There were times in my youth when I felt such a vibrant, direct line to the Divine, which is the true Source of my passion. Before it scared me, it thrilled and inspired me. I was simply a willing and eager vessel for its pure and beautiful expression.
Over the years, however, the ego created separation from the sacred. Fear and doubt set in. Societal mores, obligations and expectations eventually drowned out the Voice that told me plainly and truthfully who I was and what I was here to do. But I never truly forgot.
The internal struggle I have felt for so many years has been from knowing my purpose but allowing life’s hurdles, setbacks and disappointments sidetrack me from what really mattered. I’m not saying those hurdles didn’t truly seem insurmountable at times. Despite all the physical pain and torment, I fought long and hard to keep my spirits alive, to cling to my passions and to pursue my calling. However, there were days when fatigue, despair and resignation snuck in and settled. No more, I say; no more.
My past does not define my present, nor does it dictate my future. At any given moment, I have the power to shape the direction of my life. In the present moment, I can choose whether to take actions that keep me stagnantly treading the same, worn path or that cause me to keep looking back and falling behind or that allow me to keep my head up, my eyes facing forward and my mind, body and spirit forging ahead. I choose to keep moving forward. Step by step. Moment to moment.
Thus as I embark on my last year of my 30s, I make several commitments to my self and my dharma. I commit to saying yes to what my body, mind and soul truly desires. I commit to saying no when my body, mind and soul desires it not. I commit myself to making my whole self my biggest priority–from my art to my relationships, from my pursuit of knowledge to my physical, mental and spiritual health. I dedicate myself to following my dreams, to creating achievable goals, to showing up every day to work toward them, and to truly holding myself accountable to doing the challenging, yet rewarding labor. I commit myself to being a fully present, compassionate, supportive, generous and loving human being. I commit to sharing my voice in a myriad of ways, to voicing my opinions, even–especially–the so-called scary ones. I commit to being honest, true, authentic and loving to me, myself and I. I dedicate myself to being a woman of my word, keeping my promises and keeping true to my commitments. I have no doubts that this year can truly be the greatest year of my life. I truly believe in the good things coming as I grow closer to living the life I was born to live.