As 2020 comes to an end, I continuously hear or see comments on how we just need to put 2020 behind us. I have heard some calling 2020 the year of fear, or even the year of horrors. However, before we label it as that and shove it all in the past, I think there is a lot for us to contemplate. In spite of all of the challenges of 2020, I believe that if we stop, even for just one second, trying to run away from it, we can find many gifts in what this year brought.
In order to be able to do this effectively, though, we need to be able to engage the Sage part of our brain. As you may remember from my prior blogs, the Sage brain is the part of our brain that reflects our true essence. It is where our intuition and wisdom live. It is born of unconditional love for ourselves and others and holds the perspective that anything and everything in life can be converted into a gift or opportunity. Before even trying to contemplate on the gifts or opportunities that 2020 brought your way, though, I suggest doing the exercise I posted in my last blog to activate the empathy circuitry in your brain, which creates a pathway to bring forth your Sage. Again, take a few minutes to center yourself, calm your breathing, and then bring to mind someone or something that you love unconditionally. Allow your body, mind, heart- your entire being, to be filled by this love, compassion, acceptance, understanding, joy, etc. Lean into the sensations that these emotions bring into your body and let them all wash over you. Once you are feeling that sense of calm, gently consider the following:
- What are some of the gifts of 2020 in my life?
- How will these gifts help me as I walk into 2021, and into the rest of my life?
7:59There are three ways in which these gifts can manifest themselves: 1. A gift of knowledge (i.e. learning something that will help you step closer into being the best version of yourself or will allow you to make a better decision in the future-bring you an even better outcome), 2. A gift of power (i.e. the circumstance forces one to grow one of the Sage powers- empathy, explore, innovate, navigate or activate, and so the next time you are faced with a situation you can not control, you will be better prepared) and/or 3. A gift of inspiration (i.e. the circumstance inspires the person to commit to doing something that will bring about something useful/good to them or others. For example, at the beginning of the pandemic, my husband was inspired to decide to make his health a higher priority. So, he began intentionally making time to exercise and eat better instead of just leaving it to chance or “to when I finish my work”. The pandemic made it clear that “finishing my work” was not a reality, so he had to do something different, and now he is in the best shape he has been in in 24 years).
Sometimes recognizing or seeing the gifts on the first attempt can be challenging. Especially if you have been holding on to the belief that 2020 has been a “bad” year. However, you can seed your Sage brain with the question and consider how your beliefs might be keeping you hostage. Additionally, Naomi Remen wrote, “Reclaiming ourselves usually means coming to recognize and accept that we have both sides of everything. We are capable of fear and courage, generosity and selfishness, vulnerability and strength. These things do not cancel each other out but offer a full range of power and response to life”.
As Naomi Remen believes that there are two sides to all of us, I believe there are two sides to everything. There is a side of hardship, pain, and loss to 2020, but there is also a side of growth, opportunity, and love. Let us reclaim ourselves and the gifts to our being in 2020 before we shove it all away and lose the opportunity to do so. As you reclaim who you are, what you have accomplished, and what you are capable of, you can reclaim your choice. You can choose how you want to BE this coming year. This choice can never be taken away unless you give it away. Let 2020 be The Year of Reclaiming!