Lessons Learned from the World Not Ending in 2012
Here we are, it’s finally happened! The end (and restarting) of the Mayan calendar, 11:11 a.m. December 21, 2012. Ironically, there was a while there when I thought frantically about these moments. Seriously, I must have spent hours during the late 1990's and early 2000's, fretting over where I should be for this momentous time. In the Mayan temples of Mexico or Guatemala? On a lush tropical island like Hawaii? Surrounded by friends at a big party, or on a solo backpacking trip?
But in the past few years I realized of course that it hardly matters where I am during this time, but instead matters much more how I am at this time—how I am being, what I am thinking and co-creating. In recent months, thankfully, I've pondered less about where to place my body on the planet, and more about how to be truly comfortable in my body, so I can be grounded and strong to support the unfolding future of the planet. Because I do believe the coming times will command our clarity, maturity and compassion like never before.
There are many ways to measure the intensity of this time, and depending on who is doing the calculating, the future can seem bright or totally dismal. Whatever your metrics, it is truly an amazing era to be alive. So many people I know, folks of all backgrounds and faiths, have shared recent experiences of feeling a potent and personal sense of shift or change. For some it was lots of tangibles; deaths, births, divorces, new loves, losing or quitting a job, the start of a new project or collaboration. For others it was the call of a more a subtle urge to shed old habits, end dysfunctional relationships, clear out the cosmic clutter, and set the stage for something fresh.
In these final days of the year, I had the pleasure of warming my home by burning a box of checks from the account I closed at the big Wall Street bank I broke up with to join my local credit union. I also learned with whom I can be my best self and have taken solace in passing time with them. I don’t know about you, but as the solstice approached I came face to face in a big way with my weaknesses and my most absurd fears and insecurities. Yet, curiously, they seemed laughable—a shell of their former selves— and seemed to dry up and blow away like autumn leaves. I got the chance, in what seemed like a once-and-for-all kind of way, to say a resounding ‘yes’ to some things, and a big ‘basta!’ to others that weren’t serving me. And my guess is that you too, like me, have in recent times been offered substantial opportunities to show up as you really want to be, and finally close in on how you might bring your greatest offering to the world.
Ultimately it seems that Ram Dass was right. Perhaps it does just come down to 'be here now.' Because we have no idea what will befall us in the future, but we can commit to paying excellent attention to how we show up to meet whatever happens next. It somehow seems calming and manageable, even as I set my sights on the future, to be focused on just this moment, and now this one, and now this one.
Can I be more loving now? Can I be peaceful and free of judgment now? Can I be clever, sassy, and strategic in my activism, here, just in this second, and now again here, and perhaps what about again, now over here? Can I model the world I believe is possible in thoughts and deeds now? What about now? Can I, right this second, embody the resilience I know our planet needs?
After all the build up and all the hype I guess it wasn’t about 11:11 a.m. on 12/21/12. It is about right now, and right now, and right now. And how cool is that?