Friday, December 26, 2008
In 4 days, (on 12/31) I'll turn 40.
A birthday on the last day of the year always fills me with deep reflection on the past year, and contemplation for the next. As this birthday also marks a major milestone, it's become a time of confusion, frustration, questioning one's decisions, and deciding what needs to stay and what needs to go. (Literally and figuratively)
2008 was an outstanding year for me, but it also faced me with a number of difficult challenges.
I learned more about myself as a person- on how to grow and keep growing, than in all previous years combined.
I broke free from myself on numerous occasions and tried my hardest to "leave blood on the floor." (And damn if it didn't feel great!)
I took chances and destroyed harmful patterns in 2008 because no one achieves anything they truly desire by playing things safe.
I was ready for more, I asked for more, and it was given to me.
So now, entering into a new year as well as a new decade into my life, I am again ready for transformation and am certain, that 2009 will surpass 2008's level of excellence. And with each challenge that comes my way, I will review it with a clear mind and act accordingly, taking whatever action is necessary to continue moving forward.
Thomas Ashley Farrand's book, Chakra Mantras: Liberate Your Spiritual Genius Through Chanting led me to the following mantra:
Gate Gate Para Gate Para Sam Gate Bodhi Suvaha is a mantra (known as the "Prajna Paramita" or "Heart Sutra") "to develop bodhicitta, the mental desire and state of readiness to receive higher knowledge and enlightenment."
This website states: "Use the mantra of the Prajna Paramita to take you beyond. Let it take you to the other shore. Allow it to awaken you. Let it remind you of your becoming. Let it carry you away without your leaving."
I think I'm finally starting to understand just a tiny little bit about life. It's not enough to just exist. Life is about transformation, and life is about continued evolution. It's about listening carefully when a lesson is being taught, and to freely give that information away to those who need it.
Life is about being sensitive to the needs of others, but also to your own needs as well. It's about being a good person with no hidden agendas.
2009 will another great year of my moving forward.
Of knocking down walls and building anew,
If you wish it, may it be the same for you.
*Note - Gate is pronounced "Ga-teh.", and I have taken liberties with the spelling of "swaha" or "svaha" by spelling it "suvaha" which is how I've heard it spoken.
**Note - If you are familiar with mantra, I don't typically sing them in the traditional sing-songy way. I sing them in whatever way suits me. For this heart sutra, I sing it fast, like someone singing tabla poetry, but with a syncopated feel. Whatever works, right?
My watercolor was created on Arches Hot Press paper. Daniel Smith/Holbein/Schmincke watercolor paints. Mantra written with Sennelier China Black ink with a Cretacolor dip pen. (Drawing Nib)