“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” -Carl Jung

The dawn of the decade, 2020, has always had some mystical energy. It was predicted to be a time of great transformation. Just the numbers themselves are symbolic in many ways, but the most common is a measurement of perfect vision. Everything is in balance, and your perspective is clear. We excitedly toasted this year as a gift.

And yet, this year has been anything but clear. Vince and I were talking about the REM song, “It’s the end of the world as we know it.” Indeed, it feels that way right now. We had such high hopes that 2020 would be a coming of age, and something better than the path we have been going.  Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it.  We weren’t expecting to be living in challenging times of pandemic, quarantine, and everything we thought we “knew” in question. In the absence of definitive timelines and answers, fear can creep into our hearts.  

And yet, pushing past the clouds of unknowing, there is a new vision emerging…if we are willing to see it.  

The vision is one of the human spirit rising and finding the answers within us. We hear about singing across the balconies, scaremongering being transformed into “caremongering,” reaching out to neighbors, and communities creatively coming together virtually. There is a new awareness of just how beautiful this life can be. The things we took for granted, like each other, are all of a sudden incredibly important. Despite all our emphasis on political issues and opinions, perhaps it is time we realize we have so much more power than we are aware of when we work together in our common humanity.

We have to do some introspection as we move together through this. Consider the ways we have been living. Maybe we have not been conscious and took simple things for granted. The culture we live in is radically being altered right now. We see limits like many never have before. Institutions that were central to our lives have closed. Bare shelves are something we aren’t used to in our stores, and yet this is something other parts of the world and different generations have had as their reality. Our world is abundant, but only if we work together to make sure everyone has the opportunity to get what they need. 

There is a marked change on the planet. Birds are singing. Did you always notice this? Climatologists already see the benefits of less travel and human activity. Would this have happened voluntarily? I think we can admit it became necessary when confronted with our collective survival, and yet for years, scientists have been telling us we are in danger of extinction. Perhaps we can finally see what they were saying. The blinders have been removed. The world, as we know, has indeed ended. We cannot move forward without adjusting our vision and our behaviors in the world.

Possibly most significant is our vision for our own lives. Three of the major questions we have been discussing this year at the Little Barn of Big Ideas are:

  • Who are you?
  • What are you passionate about in life?
  • What does this mean to your relationships with the people in your life? To the work you do? And how to spend your time?

I think we all have quietly confronted some of our fears in this crisis…one of them may be our mortality and that of those we love. None of us have any guarantees to be here tomorrow–ever. This moment in time, hopefully, will sharpen our vision that life is a blessing and is short. This day is the day to set your vision of what your life means. Tomorrow may never come for any of us.  

Let us see this crisis as a blessed opportunity to clarify areas where we would like to improve in our lives and in our relationships with those we love. We miss coming together like we used to. We now realize the sacredness of the healing touch and the profundity of a hug. Take time to send messages to those you love. Let them know they matter…and keep that going beyond this instant.

In my family’s tradition, this is the season of reflection and reconciliation before we come to celebrate new life. Spring is a turning point when that which is in the darkness arises to light. We can continue an ancient ritual that carried generations through the night. It is a time to look deep within and be still. In that place, we realize where our real power resides. Feel it. Unpack all that you are carrying and release the fears one by one so that you may experience a new life.

2020 not about something transforming outside of us. What is to be transformed and re-awaken is US! This awareness is the greatest gift we can give…to truly see who we are and then spend the rest of our lives sharing that with our world. We have incredible power when we work together to make a better world, and we don’t have to wait another moment to start. We are more than our stuff, our jobs, and our routines. We are held in an infinite grace that will guide us through this. 2020 is the dawn of a new era…it is a gift and it is up to every one of us to see it with fresh eyes.

Photo credit: Vince Moro, Chadds Peak Farm. 2020

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