Why is it that so often people in western society today places the importance of hustle and focus, success and achievement, putting your nose to the ground and working towards your 10,000 hours over trust and growth? Why is obtaining more important than already having? Doing more important than being?
Over the last year I have grown tremendously. I have found presence and rediscovered the quiet stillness of my intuition. I befriended the all-knowingness of my heart and the spiritual compass that guides my every action and my every choice. With deep spiritual growth and a greater degree of presence, I also let go of the things I no longer needed or no longer served my growth. I don’t have many shiny pennies – no “things”, no house I’m trying to buy, or all the stuff that floods our newsfeeds, tempting us to take out a whomping loan for. I always thought I was supposed to want those things, that it was necessary to feel safe and secure with those things. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve learned that joy doesn’t attach itself to success and accomplishment.
I’ve learned that we can take some things and let go of the rest, and we don’t need to judge others for a lifestyle that, while it may not sit well with our hearts, it is the best for them. And that is what matters. With another year of life has grown a more mellow heart, far less judgemental and far more accepting.
While incredibly painful for me at the time, I had to let go of the people and friendships that caused me quiet suffering and icky feelings. I don’t have any debt, but I also don’t own much or seek out the security, stability, the accolades that so many Americans often go out in life in search of. Yet with all the things I let go of, I have never felt more full. I am quietly fulfilled, ecstatically joyful, and softly focused. I am okay with little, and I have never been more joyful, more in love with life. There are, however, always questions the “mind” tries to wrestle with and there are insecurities the mind creates for me day in and day out, but the one thing I sought most after this year and learned was trust.
2018 was the year I placed importance on trusting and surrendering to something greater than me, or rather something of me. It reminded myself to trust others more readily, to naturally see the good of people, to be less skeptical of the world, to accept judgement and criticism more easefully without taking it to heart. It was a year of trusting that everything was going to be okay, that I would survive, no – THRIVE – without knowing the how or the when. There were times of fear, doubt and anxiety. There were moments of uncertainty when Alex and I didn’t know when or if we would be leaving Washington D.C. in hopes to travel and live abroad. There were sleepless nights, where I curled up on the couch journaling and pouring my heart out to my heart, asking questions with”what if”s flooding the tattered notebooks and backs of old receipts. There were afternoons spent in the coffeeshops listening to Abraham Hicks on repeat, scribbling words on coffee-stained napkins, and listening to my gut – the knowing part of me that always, always trusts and joyfully accepts what is.
I trusted it would provide growth, joy and expansion. I trusted it would be something new. Ever-changing. Life-transforming. And even in moments of fear, when Alex and I were about to get married, with a fast-approaching moveout date and still no idea where we would be moving to…I kept trusting. I kept telling myself and Alex that it would all be okay, that the light was just around the corner, that something great was about to appear. Like an Amazon package, you purchased but is still in transit.
This year, I am going beyond trust.
I am allowing.
I am allowing things to unfold as they may, surrendering control entirely, and continuing to only follow the flow and joy in my daily life. Joy is my favorite word, my most important value, and a feeling of true love, compassion, and peaceful presence and happiness with what is n o w. The only thing that matters is the n o w – the present moment, the inhale, the exhale, the “watching.” This year, I will do just that. No goals, no resolutions. I will simply follow joy, presence and watch -and not be in– the mind. (Scroll down to see some of my favorite books on this subject).
I’m looking forward to watching the growth and transformation that my little soul will be on in this beautiful Earthly playground. This playground where we are here to be a child. This jungle gym where we are left here to play, skip, leap, fall and learn. Always learn.
It’s a new year, a new lesson, a new season of growth for us all.
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Callings: Finding and Following An Authentic Life by Gregg Levoy
The Untethered Soul – the Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer
Loving What Is by Byron Katie
The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna
Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives by Michael Newton
January 2, 2019
2016 - 2019 Helena Woods | Helena Woods Portraiture is located outside New York City in Fairfield County Connecticut and travels worldwide for her clients. Helena Woods is New England and Connecticut’s premier family, children, baby and newborn photographer specializing in modern classic custom family photography with a timeless look that's always in style. As a professional photographer, Helena captures maternity, newborn, baby and family portraits in NYC, Westchester, Trumbull, Easton, Weston, and Westport, Greenwich, Darien, Westport, Norfolk and all Fairfield County surrounding areas.