How to start off the new year with beauty, hope and personal empowerment
Those of you who are regular Shrink Rappers know that this is the time of year when we look at setting goals for the year ahead, exploring the power of intentions (over resolutions), and discovering ways to begin (or continue) a journey of true change—for mind, body and/or spirit.
And while these examinations offer myriad benefits, especially at the start of a new year, a very timely piece came across my desk recently that I’m excited to share with you.
Called, “We Were Made For These Times,” it is written by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, a poet, author and Jungian psychoanalyst. She writes with a passion and clarity about strength and perseverance that I believe offers a beautiful, hopeful, empowering start to a new year.
About the state of affairs in our world now, which has many of us deeply concerned, she writes, “My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people. The hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous is breathtaking. Yet I urge you, please do not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training to meet these challenges.”
You have often read in this column how helpful it is to understand that we are not alone with our struggles, that we are all connected all the time. To see—and feel—the connection we share with each other, and to all living things, is an act of empowerment.
About this Dr. Estes writes, “If we are seaworthy vessels of awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats on the waters with you. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. One of the most powerful actions is to intervene in a stormy world—stand up and show your soul, a lantern on deck, shining like gold in dark times.”
When we come together with both passion and compassion, we help each other defend against despair. Together we can resist depleting our energy—the result of focusing on the negative (which, as we know from the Law of Attraction, would only bring about more of the negative) —and channel our energies toward positive change, toward growth. One small step at a time can make all the difference.
In Dr. Estes’ words, “In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. Do not fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely.”
I hope this inspires you to keep on keeping on, whether for your own internal struggles, the struggles of your neighbor, or to create positive change on a global scale. While it is natural at times to become discouraged, to feel alone or weakened, perhaps, after we’ve had a good cry, our work is to seek out the limitless healthy possibilities.
My wish for you this year: Rightfully proclaim your intentions; awaken that often-sleeping place within, which is the seat of your power; and start walking forward, one step at a time. Perhaps this is the year to shore up our strength, our connection, and most of all, our hope.
Until next time: “When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe. But that is not what great ships are built for.” — Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Dr. Rick Pimental-Habib, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist, author, minister, and educator in private practice in Chattanooga. Contact him at DrRPH.com, visit his wellness center at WellNestChattanooga.com and follow his daily inspirations on Twitter: @DrRickWellNest