2020 – the year that upended our lives. It turned me topsy turvy, and landed me in a new state, both figuratively and literally. 2020 hit us as we were off doing other things, unsuspecting, adrift in our small stories. There are big dramas; why did the dinosaurs disappear? Sometimes I feel like a blink in the life of the universe.
Yet my blink is worth a lifetime of growth, glory, gibberish, grief, and a little about God. The gibberish that floats around in my head can be annoying, but I accept that it is part of how I grow. I grow mostly through challenge; when I fall down or “fail” (we are almost always our own worst judge, right?) or when I am pushed into something unfamiliar. And it is not comfortable. Well, 2020 was not comfortable! A lot of grief, growth, gibberish, and a little about God.
In Light on Life Shree B.K.S. Iyengar used “God” as an acronym for generate, organize and distribute. Somewhat akin to the Hindu trilogy of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. In the later case, Shiva is also the destroyer or transformer. 2020 brought change that will continue to reverberate for years to come.
In 2020 we recognized the importance of leaning in to support one another, it was essential. To survive entire communities had to pivot, and the zoom room was waiting. We generated a new reality.
My community, YogaWorks, had to reinvent itself; to prune down to its bare essentials, the teachers. It had to shed the beautiful glossy studio vibe and close dozens of what were, to some, temples of yoga practice. We grieve the leaves that we lost as the teaching faculty had to be trimmed. While the feel good of hearing a class chant “OM” together may be over for now, ultimately yoga was meant to be an intimate experience, self with self or perhaps a small group. Now, we each have a sacred space in our homes that is our yoga space. Thank you YogaWorks!
We were confronted with unimaginable tragedy. I remember last January, my husband and I went to the Sundance festival. Our last hurrah! Incredible fun! Then, Shiva waved his trident and the world shut down. We heard about animals roaming vacant streets. We read about the environment, free of our decadent excesses, clearing up. We worried about Italy (first lockdown), then New York (trucks becoming refrigerator morgues!), then about going back to school, and if unemployment would continue. We worried about first responders, we worried about the fires, and the election. Shiva waved his trident again and the United States reeled under the Black Lives Matter movement. We learned new words: woke, ecoanxiety, information bubble, covidiot, social distancing.
2020 was the year that upended so much that I took for granted. Now, amidst the uncertainty of what lies ahead, I slowly turn towards a light that I know never fades. It is the light of hope. The light of love. It is the light of remembrance, and the light of that smile that I sense right now in your heart.
Thank you 2020, and good riddance. May we lean in, lean in towards the light, and welcome 2021.