| 2016 | The Year of Acceptance, Compassion and Right Action |

If there’s a thread of gratitude that we can pull from 2015, it’s our increased level of awareness. Through the media’s focus on violence, fear, anger and confusion, we’ve become aware of issues that for years have been swept under the rug or ignored.

Together let’s coin 2016 as the year of acceptance. In order to change and address what we’ve opened our eyes to in 2015, we must first accept the way things are rather than rejecting or ignoring them.

Awareness is the gateway to acceptance. Without awareness, there is nothing to accept, we are completely unaware of the issue itself.  Through acceptance, we can open the door of understanding. Once we understand, we can develop compassion and identify or “see” the source of the concern. After seeing the source, we can find a resolution and discover the right action that should follow.

In other words, to bring change one must…

  1. Become Aware
  2. Accept things as they are
  3. Come to a place of understanding and compassion
  4. Act responsibly or rightly

We can approach life with what Zen master Suzuki Roshi called “beginners mind” by addressing situations with an openness, eagerness and freshness and setting aside our preconceptions.

Acceptance doesn’t mean that we encourage the world to give in and have an attitude of “oh well, this is just the way things are”. If we become aware that something needs to be addressed and ignore it or act as if it shouldn’t exist, we are cutting ourselves off from the possibility of change.

Acceptance is simply seeing the way things are, nothing more, nothing less. Think of acceptance as the opening in our hearts that allows the truth to flow in.

Change will never come to a world where we see suffering and approach it from a place of ignorance or rejection. When we don’t accept things as they are or understand them, we try to force things to work. Suffering cannot be alleviated by force.

We need communication, awareness understanding and kindness in 2016. Let’s carry over our awareness from 2015, accept what is here, start to understand and take actions that support the well being of all people. By helping the world, we are also helping ourselves.