Escape from the black cloud that surrounds you.
Then you will see your own light as radiant as the full moon.
Now enter that silence.
This is the surest way to lose yourself…
What is your life about, anyway?Rumi
Northing but a struggle to be someone,
Northing but a running from your own silence.
Starting a new year always gets me thinking of what I need to do. What to make, what to learn, where to go, which skill to hone, how to give. My tendency is to make lists, write goals, reflect on what I did the previous year(s) and how to do more, be more, in the next few hundred days.
Many years of shameless ‘self improvement’ have led me here. That search was fulfilling, in a way, at the time, but I don’t think goal setting and chasing more has done me all that much good, despite whatever New Years resolution self-help articles might say. To me, I’ve come to understand there’s a difference between being organised and ruthless goal setting and chasing. Being organised to me means general preparedness: a physical, mental and emotional tidiness for what might come. In contrast to goals, it’s not outcome specific. It appreciates the unfolding, as opposed to being obsessed about the bloom.
Those beautiful words above, attributed to Rumi, land well with me this year. So much of life since becoming a wife, a mother, a gardener, a landowner, a committed community member, has been about efficiency. Making sure the laundry gets hung up, the dishes done, the floor vacuumed before my son wakes up. Every trip to town must include a shop at the grocer, visit to the library, stop at the market, playdate for the little one, and (of course), some pushes on the swings. Cramming the most into the shortest amounts of time make things, well, crammed and cramped. Often I admire the doers, the overachievers, the workaholics, but more and more I understand they’re often not people at peace.
This year, like Rumi says, I wish to stop running. Sure, many of the activities that fill my days now will continue in the new year, but I wish to find space in them. To recommit to the practices that have created such a beautiful life in the first place: silence, mediation, contemplation, connection, prayer, writing, reading words with substance. Sometimes it feels unfeasible, but it is entirely possible to live a ‘busy’ life that is still calm and expansive, to bring silence with me into communication. This is what I hope for myself for 2022, and what I wish for our beautiful crazy world.