A New Year

“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.

Riner Maria Rilke

I send you a soft hello today, 
Not a shiny ‘Happy New Year’ as I have sung out in previous years. Simply a gentle greeting to ask how you are.  Quietly. Waiting to hear your answer.

You there, and me here—obviously we are still standing.  In relief or perhaps bewilderment. Too many are no longer with us. Too many in pain or fear. You can hear the world’s deep belly sigh knowing that 2020 is finally closed.

How did you occupy the last days of 2020?  Did you find deep rest? What did you create? Discover? What simple joys did you ignite? 

For some, this year realigned values. You cherished what is important, letting the rest softly slip away. For others, it has been a year of holding on for dear life.

How is your heart doing? 

Are you finding ways to thrive in this continued suspension of isolation?

“But your solitude will be a support and a home for you, even in the midst of very unfamiliar circumstances, and from it you will find all your paths.” 
Rainer Maria Rilke

I flopped into the holidays with arms outstretched. I craved doing nothing. Slept, read, exercised, took hot saunas, walked, cooked, ironed, cleaned closets. (If you know me, those ‘ordering chores’ elevate me into a contentment almost reaching pure bliss.) 

Long open stretches without news or opening my computer felt good. (I know, I know, emails arrive via phone too, but I didn’t bite.) So, by the time I reluctantly peeked at my computer, there were some 6 thousand junk emails to erase – spammers found me along with pesky ‘phishers’ offering a million dollars. Sadly, junk emails always tuck around important ones – many good ones were missed in a most untimely fashion.

When I was in my 20’s with three small sons under four, one of my dear Wheaton friends often included Rilke quotes in long, handwritten letters from her desk in the White House West Wing. When I finally bought a volume of Rilke, I was devastated. I couldn’t penetrate his meaning. I felt small, inadequate.

There are no shortcuts to wisdom. It is essential to grant your heart and mind the time required to explore the deeper thinking and meaning of your own life. 

Life is a journey. Understanding is like climbing a steep mountain. Rilke’s work took me a long time to embrace as I had a lot of living to wade through first. Finally, I reached a place where Rilke’s words could sing to me, comfort me. Instruct me.

These few Rilke thoughts might illuminate your path as we gingerly step into this new year.  If his words sing for you – good. If they don’t – it’s all good too.

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
                                                                                    Rainer Maria Rilke

Women sometimes ask if it is ‘too late’ to find their purpose and align their life to that purpose. Again, I quote Rilke:

“You are not too old, and it is not too late to dive into your increasing depths where life calmly gives out its own secret.”
                                                                                    Rainer Maria Rilke

At whatever point you are in your life, now is the time to move forward. Now, more than ever, we need your light to bravely shine. Even the flicker of one candle dispels darkness.

You know what I learned this year from women all over the world? We all struggle with the same needs: the need to love, and the need to be loved. And a hidden fear, that at some point rears up, is that, often, we do not feel worthy of love.

I am deeply grateful for the women in my life, and for the women in my Roundtables. When we give ourselves permission to be honest with each other, and are willing to unpack deeper issues, the powerful outpouring of generosity and wisdom is overwhelming. 

Even though we are isolated, and at times constricted with fear, we can still connect at deepest levels from tiny Zoom boxes. The heart cannot be restrained. With Rilke I would say,

“I live my life in widening circles that reach out across the world.”
                                                                                     Rainer Maria Rilke

Thank you for all the love you have shared with me. Thank you for your generosity and humour. Thank you for the simple acts of courage you live that are often not witnessed by anyone else.

As we step onto this new year, I promise to do all I can to make sure you are supported by the work we do. I know you will be there for each other, and for me. For that, I am most grateful. 

With love and gratitude for each of you in my life,



Nancy

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Think8 is an international Business Design Firm in Montreal dedicated to helping businesses and people realize their full potential to achieve meaningful success on their own terms creating a dynamic whole for life and business. We use a dynamic system of 8-steps that, when applied in sequence, allows you to bring everything you know, have lived or ever dreamt of living into focus and alignment.

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Nancy

I am a professional woman who loves being a woman, who loves working with women and who loves challenging the status quo to help other women speak up, stand up and thrive.

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