A Paradoxical Blessing for the New Year

Act always as if the future of the Universe depends on what you do, while laughing at yourself for thinking that whatever you do makes any difference. – Buddha

This sums up the year beautifully for me. It is the quintessential paradox for my life, an inescapable infinity loop that is always at work as I move between knowing the universe depends on me, and then move to the other idea of perhaps nothing I do makes any difference. This past year I have tried to ignore it, destroy it, run from it, laugh at it, searching for the “either-or” answer, and yet other times tried to embrace it understand it, love it, accept it, seek it, question it, or just be with it in the silence, which is really a paradoxical Sabbath if you will.

This Sabbath is my prayer, my blessing and my fervent hope for the year – for myself and for you. May we experience a sabbath, sacred rest, may we know the rhythm of life and rest in its heartbeat. I know as I write these words there is so much more to resting than one might first imagine. Ultimately, it means leaving things as they are, not turning one thing into another, knowing that inherently, at its core, life is fine, things are good.

I look back on what I have just written and already I feel the urge in me to say, “NO!! Some days things are fine! But other days we need to step forward and create something better, to co-create a world that works for all! Sometimes we can’t leave things as they are!”

I close my eyes and feel the energy of each idea… leave things as they are… this brings peace in my body. Yet my mind and heart begin to tug, and tension emerges as I sense this is not always enough. I lean into the notion of creating something better… there’s excitement, aliveness and passion… I let me body, mind and heart breathe into each seemingly opposite vision, and the image of the infinity loop emerges, with me riding that wave. And there it is – Buddha’s paradox.

My Sabbath is to live out this paradox, to hold the mystery of the space in between, to be sometimes pushed and sometimes pulled by the energy of this enduring, infinity loop. My life depends on this cycle, and I how I relate to everything in it. Do I recognize when it is time to leave things as they are? Am I honoring the tug when it is time to create, to be in action?

Am I awake and conscious of the vital pulse of paradox that IS my life? Can I hear, feel, see, taste and touch the heartbeat pounding out the message that tells me how small a part of the universe I actually am? AND in befriending my infinitesimal smallness, can I hear it whisper gently that I am unique and unrepeatable, and everything about my life here matters? I am the same as you yet a whole unto myself, and part of a greater whole that keeps the Universe in motion.

My new year’s Sabbath is to live the tension of opposites that is the foundation of all life, for in being delivered through all these uncertainties, these seemingly opposites that are constantly emerging in life, I become more vulnerable, more beautiful and a greater expression of goodness. So here is my New Year Blessing for us all…

May you know that no one can live your life for you, that you continue to discover who you truly are, and do so by needing others, by sensing your wholeness through the sweetness of belonging.

May your eyes gaze upon people you love, as well as those you don’t know, seeing each face as precious and unique. And when you feel alone, when it’s dark, and there is no light, may you continue gazing with your eyes closed and heart open, seeing us as one and the same.

May you always listen in silence, with the intention to understand rather than to reply. And when your wisdom tells you the silence is complete, may your spoken words come not from you, but through you, knowing they will lead you once again to listening in silence.

May you know that things will always break apart and others things will come together. And with every breaking apart, I wish you the presence of mind to know that only you can midwife what is waiting to be born through your suffering, which opens you to be a greater expression of beauty, joy, love and comfort for the world.

May you feel at home in your body and mind, and when you stumble and fall and feel that divine discontent, may the humility and discomfort lead you into the unknown, only to discovery your passions and unlived and unloved parts of yourself awaiting expression thereby giving the world a fuller and wiser sense of yourself.

May you have certainty in seeking what is true for you, all the while knowing that the same conviction alive in you, is also alive another soul seeking something different that is true for them. This is because what we yearn for may be different, but what makes us reach out and what our heart desires, is the same.

May you know that the mysterious opposites in life need each other, just as I need to breathe in as well as to breathe out, in order to have life, love and wholeness. If you find yourself wanting “either-or,” may your introspection awaken you to knowing “both-and,” which is the hallmark of health.

May you know the Sabbath of 2013 that is the gift of life, and see it mirrored in nature, which is quiet in the wintertime, but will once again be given away in the spring, only to be withdrawn again when autumn approaches, as we know it will.

May you know the great paradox of receiving a gift – you keep it alive by celebrating it, reveling in it, laughing with it, tasting the savory sweetness, and drinking it into the fullness of your being. And when you find the juiciness beginning to wane – you keep it alive by giving it away.

The Sabbath of 2016 is to honor every gift given – pain, joy, curiosity, awe, peace, confusion, loneliness, love, silence and song – not by clinging to it, but by knowing preciousness of every gift lies in having given you roots for your solitary journey, and then by you giving it wings so you might soar through life knowing the unending unity of all things.


About the Author:

Rev. Kelly Isola, MDiv is a dynamic, evolutionary speaker, consultant, author and teacher, well-known for her teachings of living the two-fold path of an engaged spiritual life – embracing the inner path of wisdom and spiritual healing, as well as demonstrating the outer path of compassionate service. READ MORE...

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