Saturday, January 1, 2011

Endings & Beginnings

Endings and beginnings are inevitable. They are what our life is all about - transitions from something old to something new. Sometimes these transitions can be mysterious and exciting, and at others they can be fearful and regretful. Yet so often they are predictable and even boring. Saying goodbye to the old and hello to the new is a time for celebration. This is a time for learning, a time for introspection.

As I reflect back over this past year, I see so many transitions have taken place in my life. Most notably has been wearing the new and unfamiliar costume of a published author. Looking back, when I submitted the final version of my manuscript to the publisher I was overcome by a certain sadness. It was as though I was parting from an old friend. One who had been a source of much solace through all those years. I would sit down to write while having my morning tea and then stay up late into the nights working as I lay in bed. Now it was complete and would belong to the world. I could relate to the experience of postpartum depression that many mothers feel after giving birth. Creating the manuscript was so much a part of me and then, as if in a flash, it was gone.

Still, I had no time for nostalgia. I had to focus on the book release and my upcoming book tour. Thanks to countless dedicated volunteers who believed in me and in the message of the book, I was soon to embark on a fourteen-city tour. Surprisingly, after being a teacher for so many years and training others in public speaking, I was at a loss for words. I could not speak at my first event. Although I was able to pen down my life story, I felt uncomfortable articulating it publicly. To find my voice while standing before a crowd felt like something of an ordeal. I was so conditioned to sharing knowledge in a particular way, I wasn’t sure how to speak about my own journey.

I was in a mini crisis. Yet it wasn’t unfamiliar to be in this situation. I realized that once again I had to let go of something old to embrace something new. Of course I was able to move through it. I learned to be more intimate, open with the audience, and at the same time teach and inspire them.

Reflecting on all this as the New Year approaches, I see there is a false sense of security in clinging to what I know or what I have done. Unless I let go of the past, I’m unable to move forward and allow new gifts to come. In this spirit, I would like to invite you to share what is happening in your lives. Maybe you’re thinking of some resolutions to uplift yourself or those around you. What are your plans for the New Year? What are you holding on to that you need to let go of? What do you need to do to help yourself grow?

Wishing all the best for the year to come.