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Photo by Masaaki Komori on Unsplash

I often glance back at my Facebook Memories feed to reflect on what was happening on this day in previous years, along with posts I’ve shared from this blog. Most of the time, I still agree with what I wrote then, and sometimes I totally disagree with my Self for various reasons! Perhaps I’ve learned something that changed my perspective, or perhaps I have journeyed a little further on the subject matter and now view it from a different perspective. 

And I see that change in perspective as a good thing. We grow, we change, we learn,  we unlearn, we progress, we let go, we awaken  — and we come to view the world from a different perspective as we weave our way through life’s journey.

Today, I paused to reflect on what I had written a few years ago on recognizing happiness:

“Sometimes we don’t recognize happiness — or joy or success — because it looks different than what we have imagined or how we have chosen to define those states. Our conscious filters simply reject what we don’t recognize, or what is outside of our definition or experience. Conscious thoughts can be limiting; our unconscious, our Wise Self, can see so much more! When we are mindful, connected to that Wise Self, fully present, we open up to wondrous possibilities, and can fully experience everything around us, and perhaps recognize that happiness, joy and success can manifest in so many ways.”

My musings then were inspired by these words from Thich Nhat Hanh:

“Our notions about happiness entrap us. We forget that they are just ideas. Our idea of happiness can prevent us from actually being happy. We fail to see the opportunity for joy that is right in front of us when we are caught in a belief that happiness should take a particular form.”

Perhaps not coincidentally, my 2021 word of the year is conscious in all its permutations, such as conscious, consciously, consciousness, hyperconscious, preconscious, subconscious, superconscious, unconscious, etc. This gives me a lot to play with, a lot to consider when it comes to my relationship with the quality of being conscious.

I agree with what I wrote before, but reflecting on my experiences in the past year, I ponder on what else we might not see due to the pre-existing definitions of our conscious minds, not just in our own lives but also those of others.

How much do we reject, dismiss or simply not recognize because it might be beyond what our definitions — a summation of our filters, privilege, perspective, myths, conscious thoughts and beliefs —  allow us to recognize or acknowledge? 

And what have I not seen or understood because of the privilege I have — and not had the opportunity to experience because of the privilege I do not have? 

Now more than ever, I am questioning and re-evaluating my definitions and preconceptions of most things, and what has to change.

What is it to be free? To be equal? To have privilege? To be a steward of the Earth? To be in right relationship with Nature, with my Self, with others? Can I experience or enjoy happiness, joy and success if others do not… or can not? 

I feel I am at a crossroads. There is an awakening, a shifting. I am vibrating differently, and seeing the world differently, as though I were walking through a different landscape entirely, one I’ve seen before but now see in such a different way.

But I embrace the unknowingness, the liminality of my existence at this time. I trust it. I step into this moment and will let it unfold in its own time. I will listen to my heart and my Wise Self consciously as I move forward guided by my instinct — and these words from Carlos Castanada:

Look at every path closely and deliberately, then ask ourselves this crucial question: Does this path have a heart? If it does, then the path is good. If it doesn’t, it is of no use. — Carlos Castanada

I feel that I am not alone in sensing the undercurrent of change, both within our selves and in our culture, our societies. What will this new world bring? We can choose to be part of its creation.

As for me, I am committed to being a conscoius part of the change that is resonating with so many of us. I will continue to work for an egalitarian conscious mindful society that offers all the same opportunities, rights and responsibilites, and which serves to protect this planet and all who live here. Let us collectively hold the light for a better tomorrow.