Over 15 years, I've made huge leaps. Yet each leap contained countless small steps. My path—from self-aversion to self-compassion, from non-stop striving to intentional being, from anxiety to relative ease—was gradual.
On Thursday, Mark and I travel to a small island in the West Indies. We stay for five weeks in a little cottage by the ocean. Our time is “unplugged”: no Internet, news, TV, email, or screens. We get to the market via bikes, no car. It’s an unconventional life that nourishes our spirits.
I came to meditation, 16 years ago, out of necessity. I was working 70-hour weeks, achieving and striving, yet still worrying and planning. It was a cycle of “finish this project, get this promotion, or write this paper, and then you can relax,” but the “then” never came.
I’ve been reading the great speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I’m moved by his words and his work. And I’m struck by how relevant his message is in today’s world. The injustice he met with love and “soul force” is still widespread.
Often, a new year brings resolutions. Yet meaningful change rarely comes from rigid rules. There’s no requirement to enter 2019 with a self-improvement list. Interestingly, when we accept ourselves just as we are, we’re able to make important changes.And these changes must come from within.