May 2020 bring you hope! I rather like the number 2020. There is a rhythm and equilibrium to it which somehow makes me hopeful. Twenty...twenty. I recently listened to a mindfulness podcast which shares my optimism. It invites us to envisage 2020 as the beginning of a new decade when more people choose to practice mindfulness and cultivate a “20/20 vision” or clear vision. So often the vision of ourselves, the people and the world around us is distorted by our own beliefs and emotions. When we see life through the prism of anger, resentment, shame or fear, our emotional reactions often keep us locked into patterns of reactivity and suffering which can be difficult to break without a clear vision. But 2020 reminds us that the practice of mindfulness ultimately enables us to see clearly.
Early in the new year, I had such a moment of clarity when I became acutely aware of my mind asking me to constantly do things - to remember this, to do that, to tidy this, to organise that, to text so and so... For a moment I saw clearly how relentless my mind was. No matter how hard I tried to satisfy its demands, it would come back asking for more. But in this moment of “in-sight” as it were, came an inner knowing. Not from books or from hearing other people’s experiences, but a knowing from seeing clearly the working of my own mind. For a moment, I felt empowered. I felt able to notice this endless stream of demands and not act on it. I was able to let go.
Now each time I hear or write down the year “2020”, I use it as a reminder about my intention to practice clear vision. Of course we cannot will moments of insight like the one I have just shared with you. We can’t make them happen, they just arise from their own accord. But 2020 can remind us that the more we pause and notice, the more we become able to let go of reactive patterns that no longer serve us. And with this comes hope - hope for ourselves, for the people in our lives and ultimately for the world we share.