by Marcy Heller

We begin this amazing new year first with a beautiful metaphor from Jay Shetty’s book, ‘Think Like a Monk.’ He writes, “IS THIS DUST OR IS IT ME? We are in a storeroom, lined with unused books and boxes full of artifacts. Unlike the rest of the ashram, which is always tidy and well swept, this place is dusty and draped in cobwebs. The senior monk leads me up to a mirror and says, “What can you see?” Through the thick layer of dust, I can’t even see my reflection. I say as much, and the monk nods. Then he wipes the arm of his robe across the glass. A cloud of dust puffs into my face, stinging my eyes and filling my throat. He says, “Your identity is a mirror covered with dust. When you first look in the mirror, the truth of who you are and what you value is obscured. Clearing it may not be pleasant, but only when that dust is gone can you see your true reflection. This was a practical demonstration of the words of Chaitanya, a sixteenth-century Bengali Hindu saint. Chaitanya called this state of affairs ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam, or clearance of the impure mirror of the mind.”

Here we continue to ascend on our path to a New beginning, in the midst of the 2022-2030 Great Transformation, a year that we are ready to commit to healing ourselves from the inside out, where we can work to overcome the illnesses of the soul that infected us and weakened us.

It’s essential for our survival and well-being to now recognize that we are living through an extraordinary time in human evolution. Even though there are unprecedented challenges and social changes, it is giving us the unique opportunity to move forward to create new ways of thinking of ourselves and one another while discovering the brilliant gold mine of resources that are available to us and then embracing the wisdom and guidance from the great souls who have preceded us!

We are moving from the past, the present and the future, into Now, which is one of the aims of spiritual practice. As we stay ‘in the Now’ without judgment, we can feel with more clarity what is happening for us in each moment. Moreover, our drive for taking back our power and becoming more authentic is one of the most noble personal goals. Up until now, the desire for self-empowerment hasn’t always been our first priority. Now it is not only essential, it is mandatory, since our old ways of solving our life issues no longer work!  When having to choose anything, ask yourself, will this dis-empower me or will it empower me? Lorna Bevan wrote it perfectly in this week’s astrology. “Now it’s time to start using the power of your Big NO…NO, thank you.. No way. No more. Just no. Not right now. Never again. Not anymore. What becomes possible when you say NO? What would open up? Shift. Lighten. Crumble Dissolve. Melt!”

Learning to love ourselves and create healthy boundaries for our own empowerment is not a coincidence. It is directly being orchestrated to direct us to discover how truly powerful we are. What’s more, it is happening for all of us to validate that we are all part of the same cosmic soul.

Ascension is not about self-improvement or changing our status. Ascension means becoming awakened to another way of seeing and being. Becoming our true selves. A different person within and without! To wake up and know that we are indeed magnificent!  As Michael Meade wrote, “Often enough it seems better to cling to a familiar pain than suffer a genuine change of state. Even when life begins to feel like a trap and the pain becomes undeniable, the monkey-minded little self will not simply let go.”

In the past, we would prefer to stay in chaos or pain, rather than be our true selves. Especially since one of the greatest difficulties in life is change. For change to happen, we have to let go of what doesn’t work, what keeps us trapped in the prison of our minds.

When we become the observer, the witness of our minds, whatever our intention is in that moment, we can change and up-level into something even greater. We are at the precipice of a huge quantum leap and since there is strength in numbers, the more of us who are awake and conscious on this journey of self-healing, the more we can elevate not only our individual vibration but the collective’s as well. We have made the great shift and now we have become relentless and unstoppable! As the poet Hafiz quoted, “I wish I could show you…the astonishing Light of your own being.”

As we begin this new day, new week and new year, get ready for a reset to undo, unhook, untie and unravel yourself from whatever belongs to the old. Keep allowing and inviting your higher self to intercede, open up and allow the floodgates to open, releasing the fear, the stress, the physical knots created by the energy from what has been truly brutal for many of us. Yes, even though we may still be in between worlds and feel we are still in the dark, that is where and when you can clearly see the Light coming through!

The past is history. Don’t look back – that is not the direction you are going in!  We have never lived a time like we are going to be starting like this one in 2024!

As we take back our power, we can all be so proud that we are standing up, becoming more authentic, showing up and revealing our souls! When we anchor our Light in these shadowy times. it is one of the most profound things we can do, so we can keep reflecting the Light from one other. Moreover, our desire to seek new and different ways for empowerment has far deeper roots than personal development.

When we awaken to who we truly are, our experiences give rise to a new level. We are at our best and the universe mirrors that energy completely and helps us to expand the circle to encompass all of the world and beyond. Remembering too that if we are not resonating with more love, we are resonating with fear. And anything that we fear, just begets more fear!

My prayer for all of us is that we continue to experience the splendor of an extraordinary life filled with infinitely more health, joy, peace, love, abundance, prosperity, courage, resilience, faith, hope and grace.  May we continue to know and access the depth of our Divine Power and continue to pay it forward to create a magnificent, benevolent Universe that plays for all of us!  As William Henley wrote, “I am the master of my Fate, I am the captain of my Soul.”