I feel really blessed, and not because it's always been and is 'all good', but rather, because it's quite real. The last year has brought a lot of change - I found more clarity in my purpose, I gained and I lost, I turned to look at the Shadow, and I fought to use tapas - internal fire, zeal, intention - to create positive change, in myself and in others.
I was fortunate to grow my community, to create new bonds and to deepen already existing ones. I had to walk away from some relationships that weren't going to proceed and prosper and I've worked to revitalize some relationships that I allowed to dwindle.
On a more physical world level - after five years on the market, and three tenants who disappeared into bankruptcy, we sold our house in Michigan. I loved that house, we built every part of it to work specifically for us (as in, totally idiosyncratic and no resale value versus investment) and we had a blast there. But, to be truthful, it represented a different portion of my life.
I was lucky to be successful in my career and my investments... so, when it came time to remodel the house, and 'live the life', I fell for excess. Joyful excess, and not necessarily detrimental - our house would've been able to be LEEDS certified, but it was a party house. And, we were the "Americans". We had three cars and three couches for two people; 2,900 square feet of luxury living for two people and two dogs. I'm sure we were comfortable, and I'd love to believe it wasn't braggadocios, but who knows.
Five years later, I've paid off six-figures of debt, sold that house, sold a car, sold a couch. We live in under 1,000 square feet, share one car most of the time, and are still as much or more comfortable and in love. And happy, and healthy, and blessed.
I'm on this, because a good friend from Michigan messaged me today about my birthday and in our dialog, this is what he said....
"Never felt better and had less!"
And, in full disclosure, having all of that money with those expenses and investments was a joy for a while, then a huge burden when the market crashed. An anchor to my ship of dreams, a bitter seed of regret in my garden, a reminder of my folly... something to let pass and be done with.
So, I close that chapter, I honor this year, and I move boldly into a world where I am not shackled by debt, nor lured by needless acquiring... my needs are met, my world is sustainable and I'll continue to move in those directions. Creating real liberation from the cycle of struggle, attain, disenchantment and repeat.
I'll close by offering this video - breaks my heart (yes, at 47.99 with no shame, I cry at the internet and at the TV often). I'm a sucker for sweetness and happy endings. But, view this linked video as a metaphor (sorry for the advertisement, the video is worth waiting for); the story beneath the story as I see it.
Remove the blinders - those you've been given and those you've taken up - and you will begin to see clearly, to become more inquisitive and joyful and more willing to confidently explore your world!
Then, do it - as you give thanks and praise!!