Rather than make New Year’s resolutions, each year I select a single word to focus on in the upcoming year. In 2017 my focus word is Sankalpa—a Sanskrit word that means determination; a practical step to harness willpower. With this resolve I’m going to plant, cultivate, and and nurture three seeds:
HOPE — optimism, joyful expectation
GRACE — the immediate presence of spirit, be the change
PEACE — reconciliation, unity
My practical and idealogical steps to ensure a good harvest include exercising intentional kindness. To build up, not tear down. To unite, not divide. To accept, not merely tolerate. To be better informed. To be transparent and vulnerable, not guarded and closed. And to actively listen, not passively hear what people with opposing viewpoints have to share.
What goes around comes around – The Boomerang Effect
You’ve heard the saying, “What goes around comes around,” on a surface level, that’s one way of defining karma. Often referred to as The Law of Return the Sanskrit word means action. I call it The Boomerang Effect.
There are multiple camps of thought on this topic, but my perspective is that we’re spiritual beings on a human journey; we’re here on a temporary layover in the classroom calledlifefor the specific purpose of learning lessons before continuing on. Some people refer to these lessons as karma.
Enzo, the old soul and canine narrator of Garth Stein’s book, The Art of Racing in the Rain said, “I know that karma is a force in this universe and that people will receive karmic justice for their actions. I know that this justice will come when the universe deems it appropriate and it may not be in this lifetime but in the next, or the one after that. Their current consciousness may never feel the brunt of the karma they have incurred, though their souls absolutely will. I understand this concept.”
The philosophical explanation of karma differs somewhat between traditions, but the general idea is basically the same. Through the law of karma—cause and effect—the result of every action creates present and future experiences, making each of us responsible for our own life and the pain and joy it brings to those in our sphere of influence.
I believe the karmic litmus test is to examine the motive that underlies our present actions. Despite how the past may account for many of the inequalities we see in life, the measure of a human being is not the hand dealt. Rather, it’s how the hand is played. Because we’re all interconnected, our decisions affect everyone.
In many cultures the Sanskrit word “Namaste” is used as a respectful greeting. Translated it means “The light in me honors the light in you;” or “I honor the light within you.” When spoken to another person, it’s commonly accompanied by a slight bow made with hands pressed together, palms touching, and fingers pointed upwards in front of the chest. The gesture can also be performed wordlessly and carry the same meaning; acknowledgement of another’s divinity.
The optical occurrence in certain gemstones such as moonstone, opal, and Labradorite is of tremendous interest to me. It’s known as Adularescence; a distinctive shimmering or glow that appears to come from below the surface, but which is caused by diffraction of light. This phenomenon is impossible in the absence of light. The shimmering only takes place in the presence of light. It is my desire to live in a heart-based manner that radiates the presence of inner light—Divine Love.