What a difference one year makes

Come out of the circle of time

And into the circle of love.” — Rumi

editor, Tim MiejanOne year. Twelve months. Fifty-two weeks. Three hundred sixty-five days. Eight thousand seven hundred and sixty hours. Five hundred twenty-five thousand and six hundred minutes. One present moment.

On and on we go, spinning on the surface of this revolving Earth with no sense of movement, and often spinning out of control in our everyday lives with no sense of the stillness that resides within our being. That’s a lot of spinning and a lot of lack of awareness of being still.

As always, it is our choice of what to be and where to go, even if our mind tells us differently.

It also is our choice of how much power to give time. Do we let work deadlines churn our stomach? Do we count the pages of the calendar as they flip by, reminding us of how little we have done, or how far away we still are from our lifelong dream? Or do we count the wrinkles on our face — feeling as if age is an anchor wrapped around our neck, pushing us further into the ground?

With the passing of another year, seemingly quicker than the last, we traditionally focus on external events to witness what a difference one year makes. The news media is quick to keep us up to date. As of this writing, seven hundred and seventy-nine American military men and women died this past year in the Iraq War. An estimated two hundred thousand Iraqi citizens have died in 2006. An estimated seventy thousand men, women and children have died in the Darfur region of Sudan this year. Nearly three million people from around the world have died this year from AIDS.

And the health report for planet Earth this year is very grave. Scientists are charting the unprecedented melting of Arctic ice — and an ice-free North Pole by 2040 is possible. What effect that could have on life on Earth is unmentionable. Scientists also report other global-warming trends related to the continued expansion of man-made industrial waste in the air and the deforestation of the land, resulting in drought and desertification worldwide — not to mention the growing extinction of a variety of life forms due to mankind’s unwelcome footprint globally.

It is sad that our world is in such a state, and that it is filled with war, conflict and disease. It is honorable for us to do all that we can to alleviate the suffering of others. It also is our reality, in this experience we call life, that everything dies. Our soul only resides for so long in these spacesuits we call bodies. We cannot stop death. All we can do is live as fully as possible.

“Today well lived makes every yesterday a Dream of Happiness and every tomorrow a Vision of Hope.”Native American wisdom

Let us intend, in the coming year, to be as present as possible, aware of our eternal spirit and eager to find opportunities for learning, and for joy, around every corner. Let us intend to be in life as we were before our soul incarnated. Is that even possible? Can we remember our soul’s intent in being here now? If not, we can imagine how excited we were to meet with other members of our soul group in the library, exploring possible life paths and reminding ourselves of past experiences and opportunities for growth.

“Hey, did I hear you say that you wanted to be an inspiration for others this next go-around?” Raphael asked from across the table.

“Yeah,” Samian said, “but only if I can overcome my tendency to be so focused on my own issues. That comes up time and time again for me on Earth. As a child, I have these dreams, and then I forget and get caught up with being a big shot. I’d like to find a way to remind myself to stay focused on the big picture.”

“I can help you,” Raphael said, lost in thought for a second. “What if…what if I go into body as your younger brother, whom you absolutely adore, but then I get sick and die at a very crucial point in your life, inspiring you to help others?”
“That just might work,” Samian said. “Let’s see what our teachers think.”

We have the opportunity to do some pretty incredible things. Now. Living present, conscious lives, we can truly create and manifest in ways that we always knew we could, at the soul level. But as I see it, our future no longer is a solo adventure. This is the age of collaboration. We are re-forming our soul groups here on Earth, and it is through these soul connections that we are remembering why we are here. We do that for each other. And in community, we are in the processing of doing the incredible — not only to alleviate the suffering of others and to help our planet Earth, but to inspire humankind to evolve beyond war and the thinking that creates it, and beyond poverty and the thinking that creates it.

By this time next year, let us not dwell upon death statistics to measure the impact of the past 365 days.
Let us celebrate what a difference one year makes by the new friendships we have formed, by the ideas we have dreamed, by the results we have manifested, and by the joy in our hearts. Let us consecrate 2007 the Year of Soul, and let us remake our lives in that image.

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