While reading Medha’s most recent post, it was a booster shot to my system. With seven days left today until the end of January, I wondered if some might have faltered on the promise of becoming a better version of themselves.

Oops! I was one of them!

I had commented on one of Medha’s previous posts that I was taking stock of 2020 and looking forward to my new 2021 goals, one of which was to write at least one post a month on os.me. So, here I am! I can joyfully say that I’ve kept my promise for the month of January, Whoop! Whoop!

It’s summertime here in Mauritius and the temperature of the garden pool is like a natural, hot spring. It’s 6.30 p.m. as I let my gown slip to the floor and enter the water. I float light and free, comforted and warm. The golden rays of the departing sun subdued by water add a shimmer to the shade. I look to the garden, so pure, green and lush, the grasses lifting their irregular seeded heads into the warm, soft breeze.

Birds fly home to roost, making way for the bats who own the night to swoop past. These strange, yet beautiful creatures that hang themselves up like an old rag to sleep upside down, are now in silent flight overhead, wings expanded, reminding me of an open canopy of a charcoal-black parasol against the sky of a myriad evening hues.

“Divine Mother, you truly are the greatest artist, thank You for the beautiful painting I’m witnessing,” I sigh in gratitude.

As the creatures of dusk dart around the trees and glide over my head, I notice the huge, Royal Palm tree swaying its outstretched leaves as if it too lives in surrender to the Mother of the Universe.

I marvel at the 12 years it has taken for this palm to freely reach its magnificent height of 15 metres. I take in its elegant form and ponder: If it’d had an internal voice re-playing the same old record of, “If you dare grow this year, you will fail, you will crumble, you can’t do it, you’re not good enough… blah blah blah,” it very likely would have remained at root level, yes? It never would have expanded into what it is today.

How much energy would it have had to consume to prevent itself from growing and expanding into its tallest, most bountiful form? Can we even imagine the force that’d be required to repress its growth, to go against Nature? And how sad would it be to look at a magnificent Royal Palm that had never reached its potential and instead remained a pithy, diminutive version of itself, right?

I reflect upon it and think about how the world too needs us voicing our self-expression to our fullest potential and development.

What if we tapped into our hearts and our inherent goodness, and let go of all the repression, all the blame, all the things that limit our growth. What if we stretched to our maximum capacity and grew tall just as the Royal Palm, if we all dared ourselves to not give in to the blame games, excuses of fear, guilt or any negative syndromes collected along the years. What if more people in the world could come to this realization, it would create a ripple effect of positivity around our planet and the universe.

For years, I had listened to this internal dialogue of destructive self-talk that paralyzed my own growth. I heard constant whispers of fear, I played the victim, full of anger and more that was blocking my growth.

If I had known better, I would have become the best version of myself that I had always wanted to be, sooner, much sooner. Instead, I was frozen like an ice cube, stunted in my own, inane self-chatter.

But as I float, free and buoyant in the water, under the marbled sky, I thank the palm and bid it a good evening as I smile.

I smile because, like the tree, I know I am growing. I have shut the door to that useless chatter; I bade it good-bye and I said YES to a new life! A life that flows with Nature, not against it, a life full of joy, happiness and gratitude, all with my Swamiji’s tools and grace. And if at times I forget I am held, and I feel I may drown, I will remind myself to say, YES!

This is what I need from all of you reading this post to say. Say YES! Let’s all say YES to a new self-expression for 2021.

Let’s take full responsibility of our emotions, our actions, and of our lives. Let’s feel the power within, and with kindness and gratitude, lets generate even more goodness!

I choose to engage with life without strong likes or dislikes, taking responsibility of every experience I want to create by constantly shifting my focus from a negative thought to a positive one: remembering that I have the power to say no to what doesn’t serve me anymore.

Let’s listen to our hearts and really hear what it has to say, let it have a voice that everyone can hear, even in silence. Let’s become more visible to everyone, even in the dark.

By applying Swamiji’s teachings with the determination to understand myself, I experienced growth and an increasing level of love, acceptance, joy, peace and happiness. It is through that self-expression that the feeling of wholeness becomes palpable.

We have probably heard it all before, but the difference is that today I am hearing it coming from the depths of me through my own voice for the first time.

The music sounds different to my ears as it’s a new form of self-expression driving me to keep going, to keep growing, to keep becoming a better version of myself so much so that I was able to ignite my self-expression and reach my January goal. So hear we are! Happy 2021 to you all! Grow tall like the magnificent Royal Palm. Float free, held safely by the Divine Mother.

Can you hear the new melody in your new form of self-expression? What does your heart say to you today?

 

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Chantal Om Espitalier-Noel

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