My birthday is January 1st, so the beginning of my year of a new age, and the new year for us all have always been one and the same. This always seemed very profound to me.
My brother, who is two years older, has the same birthday. When we were small children, we would both have fleeting moments where we thought we were twins, but then we would remind ourselves that we were two years apart.
Every year when we were in our 20‘s, we would meet on New Year’s Eve and write a list of what we wanted to receive or achieve in the new year. Even though I was an ardent spiritual seeker, I would write a long list of things I felt I would need just in order to survive so I could continue my search.
My lists would read something like this:
I want a washer and dryer. (Weekly laundry for a family of four, when I already had more than a full time job, was quite a feat!)
I want to lose weight.
I want to quit smoking.
I want to be happy.
I want a new car.
I want a better job.
The list would continue and be at least a page long, detailing all of my perceived needs. At some point, maybe around the age of 25, I began adding that I wanted a spiritual teacher. I decided that I needed help on my spiritual path. Even though somewhere inside of myself I knew that this should be my number one request, I would always put it last, or second to last on my list. I would reason with myself that there really was no order in the cosmos and I was just writing everything equally.
Each year, my brother, husband at the time, children and myself would do a prayer with our wishes and then we would very safely and completely burn each sheet in a ceremonial fashion. Somehow, this event felt powerful and meaningful, even though, honestly, most years I only achieved or received one or two things on my list, or maybe none.
Finally at the age of 28, I decided to put the request for a spiritual teacher second to the top. I decided that I did need to give it a higher ranking, as I truly did want help. At the same time, I also believed that it was most probably a request that would never be answered.
At 29, I put my request for a spiritual teacher at the top of the list, and I shortened my list. I decided that in order not confuse the powers that be, I should have a more concise list.
At 30, on the eve of my 31st birthday, in a challenge to the entire Universe, I made my list quickly and boldly. I wrote large and clear only one request:
When I was 31, my whole year had been different. Calmer in some ways and more challenging in others. I had made a new group of friends that were also interested in their spiritual growth. And I was beginning to feel some moments of happiness. On New Year’s Eve, I went to a party with my new friends at the home of one of them. I had shared with my friends about my family’s tradition of the list and they all decided that we should keep this tradition and do it with them at this party.
The house at which the party was held was a very big and fancy house with a large fireplace in the living room. My friend, who owned the home, suggested that we use the fire in the fireplace to burn the papers with our lists once we were done. Each person was handed a piece of blank paper and a pen. Everyone was then asked to write down their hopes, dreams and wishes for the New Year.
I sat staring at my blank paper. I felt an inner emptiness. An emptiness that did not feel bad. I truly had nothing to write. Sure, I wanted a Teacher, I wanted help and I wanted my life to be way different. But sitting there, that night, the most powerful move seemed to be to throw a blank piece of paper in the fireplace. Somewhat of a message of trust to the powers that be, that whatever those powers had in store for me, I was ready to accept.
I folded my paper carefully. My silence was my prayer. When it was my turn, I quietly walked to the fireplace and threw my blank paper in the flames and watched it burn.
Approximately 5 weeks later, on the first Saturday of February, I met the person that would be my Teacher and help me heal my life. All those years of intention, brought about the biggest miracle imaginable to me!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU!
HAVE A BRILLIANT NEW YEAR!