Updated: Jan 21, 2021
2020 is a year of great awakening, whether we were ready for it or not. There have been many prophecies that predicted the dawn of a new era around this time in history, a Golden Age for humanity. But most agree that things have to get worse before they get better. Boy, did the Universe deliver! Overnight, the veil was lifted, and the world as we knew it was over.
At the personal level, the loss of our physical freedom has forced us to be present with the here and now. Stripped of the usual distractions and the old ways of coping by external means, we are made to look within ourselves to understand who we are, what our purpose is, and what’s truly important. Like a snake shedding its skin, the process is uncomfortable but absolutely necessary for our next stage of growth. We may feel a lot of emotions that we never allowed ourselves to feel. And some of us have to acknowledge that the life we have worked so hard to build is like a sandcastle – when the tides come, it’s swept away, leaving no trace that it ever existed.
At the collective level, we see old structures crumbling. How we have placed our trust in social and economic systems that were never intended to be fair. How we were taught a history that was never accurate. How we were raised to pursue upward mobility and success as defined by others, often at the expense of our own health and wellbeing. Our complicity in living by the norms that perpetuated widespread injustice. These certainly feel like really dark times, as we witness the unraveling of the fabrics of our society and everything we thought to be true.
As an eternal optimist who is trying to find lessons in every challenge, I’ve been reflecting on the positive significance of 2020 in this moment of our human history. 2020 has brought to us a level of awareness unknown in recent times. In many indigenous traditions, our day-to-day “reality” is considered an illusion, a creation of our egoic mind. 2020 certainly woke us up from this collective dream, where for centuries injustice, greed, separation, and lack were normalized. Now that our eyes are open, we are being given the opportunity to create a new fabric, one that honors and uplifts all of humanity and our planet. So, where do we begin?
Discernment is our ability to distinguish what is false versus what is real, what we have been conditioned to believe versus what the highest part of us knows to be true. Our collective evolution depends on our ability to see with discernment and clarity at the individual level. It starts with each one of us questioning everything we have learned, seeing critically, and consciously choosing actions aligned with our own truth.
2020 has certainly accelerated my own personal growth and spiritual evolution. It’s as if the Universe has given me a pair of glasses after I had been seeing blurry my whole life. What I used to internalize and accept can no longer be tolerated. People I used to put on a pedestal turned out to be mere mortals. There was a distinct moment in March when I suddenly woke up from what felt like a long dream, one in which I eagerly drank the Kool-Aid believing it was an elixir for longevity when in fact it had been slowly poisoning me all along.
In an unexpected way, a couple of months of strict social distancing allowed me to get in touch with my natural state of being, without being affected by the energy of the people I surrounded myself with in my pre-COVID life. Immediately, I was able to notice how a lot of my daily interactions drained my energy. For instance, I noticed who in my life were constantly seeking validation, who were spreading fear or judgment, and in turn my own role in perpetuating these dynamics. As an energy practitioner, I was able to release what didn’t belong in my energetic space, transmute it back to neutral energy, and return it to where it belonged. Not being around people gave me a level of clarity and neutrality that was surprisingly refreshing.
As a woman of color, I spent most of my life deferring to people in the dominant groups, and readily accepted other people’s opinions as superior to my own. As a former people pleaser, I learned to be agreeable as not to ruffle any feathers. But with my magical new glasses and the resulting 20/20 vision, I see how much I have abandoned myself by playing small. Understanding the forces in my life that led me to these unconscious behaviors, I now realize it is my lesson in this lifetime to trust my inner guidance and speak from a place of personal truth and authenticity, regardless of what people think.
As I’m developing my coaching and healing practice, I often get advice, whether paid or unsolicited, from coaches and other entrepreneurs. Along the way, I have been told by coaches that I should tone down my woo-woo language because it’s going to scare away clients. Or I should forget about working with a particular niche that really resonates with me because they’re not going to be able to pay me for the work. In the old days, I would have admired these coaches for their acumen and followed their guidance with no questions asked. But this year, I simply listened and noted the physical and emotional sensations that came up as I absorbed their advice. I noticed which ideas made my chest feel expansive, and which ones gave me a heavy feeling in my stomach. I paid attention to the energy behind their words – which ones were meant to elevate, and which ones had the effect of diminishing my power. Something shifted when I was able to tell the difference between what is true for myself versus what is true for someone else. After all, I can only find meaning in my work if it’s coming from a place of authenticity and passion, and no else is a better expert of me than me.
If 2020 teaches us anything, it is that we cannot place our trust blindly in anyone or any system. The only thing we can rely on is our own intuition. “Experts” will sell you what is “tried and true,” but what has worked for someone else doesn’t mean it will work for you. And what worked in the old capitalist paradigm will not necessarily work in this new Golden Age. This period has not only pushed me to truly step into my own power, but it has also taught me to be a better coach and practitioner. Once again, I’m humbly reminded to leave my ego at the door. I’m only a Sherpa who will walk with you, but not for you. My clients already know where they want to go. All I need to do is to guide them to trust their intuition, their inner GPS, to help them get there.