|My fearless flyer. My teacher. My daughter|
Time is a natural part of this human life. We live in the now and at every moment we leave behind a past and move into a future. Every second can be used as a time to reflect and to change. The new year brings a great opportunity to reminisce on the year that has passed (where did it go?) and how we would like to shape the year ahead.
One year ago I stood under stark florescent lights in a long line of hungry, suppressed and struggling people. A man in front of me stood barefoot, smelling of urine, weed and oppression. The two guys behind me bantered about their latest stint in prison and the crack they had smoked that morning. I stood in my middle class white clothing holding my baby and asking myself what the fuck I was doing here. Why had I let my family get to this point of being so broke we had to collect emergency food parcels. Tears sprung to my eyes and then I felt something shake inside of me and break open like an earthquake splitting the earth apart. An enormous amount of courage and determination burst out of my brokenness.
This was the last time I ever allowed my family to get to this place. I prayed to God for change and a pathway out of this. Something shifted. A calm flowed over me and I knew what I had to do and what was ahead.
The sun is streaming through my new little apartment, casting light into dark corners in the City of Angels today. Fresh produce is stacked up in our fridge and my family is happy, healthy and for the moment at peace. A year on and life is very different. It has been a long road, with a lot of hard work and sacrifices have been made. I think about standing in that line often, as it reminds me of where we have come from and what can be achieved with a shift in your mindset and some self education. Every single moment in life can be either met with "woe is me" or "teach me". Every emotion can be fought against or we can be kind to ourselves and take a quiet space to nurture those hurts and breathe compassion and love into them. However, some shitty, cruel and relentless suffering happens in this world. I would like to acknowledge those who have very little choice and have been born into war, unfathomable poverty and who are at the hands of broken, evil humans. I will never understand the pain and suffering that these people must endure. All we can do is look to those who are trying to carve out change by rising up against the warped ideas of power hungry individuals. It's the Nelson Mandelas, the Gandhis, the Malala Yousufzais, the foster parents, the environmentalists and all those wonderful souls who are working towards a better, more peaceful world.
These inspiring people got me thinking about what my word for 2015 would be. I have decided it would be COURAGE. To have the courage to take risks, to go against the norm and be fearless when it comes to going after my dreams. To have the courage to be honest with my family and ask for their help when it's needed. To be courageous and speak up more for myself and those who need a voice. Courage is deciding to step off that cliff of uncertainty and fall into an undiscovered ocean of challenges and opportunities.
What is your word? What will you be threading into your year?
Wishing everyone, all six billion and something souls on this earth, on this damn beautiful mess of a planet, a happy, loved up, COURAGEOUS and blessed new year.
Love Astrid xx