2.5
December 13, 2013

The Memories of 2013 read Something like this…

The evolution of the past year has brought in a symphony of worldly and societal events that catapulted us into a new way of thinking.

Every morning and evening while in the midst of doing the daily dance of life, I noticed that just about every human being has changed in some way.

Not just my friends or acquaintances, but the masses. People became conscious. People became aware of their stuff. People made efforts to change what they could for all involved in their own world. People salvaged thoughts and feelings to harbor a new energy for 2014.

People were kind and empathetic. People altered their viewpoints and it made a difference. People just woke up! Sure there were spoilers to the overall party, but rarely does a year measure up in a series of highs and lows that created so much awareness. A successful year depends on eyes wide open, and 2013 had a plethora of popping moments!

The memories of 2013 read something like this:

1) Politics—Beyond the obvious obstacles in governmental policies, we as a collective decided not to sit back and take the bullshit anymore. We decided to stand up, speak out, sign petitions, storm capitols, fight for rights, and take back whatever we could in the name of truth and justice. Basically, we could smell a lie if there ever was one. How freeing it has been! We have a Congress that is currently dubbed “the least productive and worst Congress in history”, so it’s no wonder policies get turned upside down and spit out with reckless abandon. No one there seems to care. We do though, the people. Let’s keep this train of shaking-up-our-government rolling into the future. After all, we elected our leaders and they need to listen to us. No more taking it with our heads stuck in the sand. Period.

2) The Induction of Pope Francis—The Time Magazine Person of the Year, this humble soul is revolutionizing the Vatican with peace, his concern for the environment, a leniency with respect to old conservative religious traditions, and he also truly appears to be a gentle sincere person. In a short amount of time he is turning around the Catholic stodgy religion into one of more amiable and accepted measures. His demeanor and openness to politically controversial topics has gained him wide appeal. We celebrate who he is and we adore his tactics of realness.

3) The Healthcare Debacle—The Affordable Care Act (aka. Obama-care) had begun to show cracks in the administration. It just needs time to shake out the kinks, but the public has grown weary of political snafus and hiding pertinent facts about who’s in charge. I’ve had to educate myself on the whys and how’s of this newfound rule of government health worming its way into my life. My own personal standard is to err on the side of prevention. Taking care of what goes into my body from the get-go, eating nutritious foods, daily exercise, and getting an annual checkup just to make sure the pistons are firing, these are the basics of living. Relying on healthcare to take care of our most grounded needs is the problem from the onset. The message seems to be: take responsibility for your health, and it will take care of you. The Obama-care healthcare debate isn’t going away any time soon, so better to understand and deal with it for now.

4) Soul Mates—What a year this has been to connect with someone who resonates with who we are. Whether you thought about a soul mate, were searching extensively for one, or happily found one, soul mates were all the buzz of 2013. Everyone wants and needs love. It is the human experience. We break up, bust open, reconnect, entrench, fulfill, and move on into the world together, and often apart. But it was the awareness of soul mates and the meaning behind this dynamic that has captivated us in this particular year. Going the distance with someone in a mindful way is the theme that will carry over into 2014. The Age of Aquarius is asking souls to come together, finally.

5) Yoga and more Yoga—From faraway retreats to apparel controversies to inappropriate sexual measures within the Bikram society, to naked yoga, to patented yoga, and all else related, yoga is what people gravitated towards in 2013 for their deepest answers. The Buddhist enlightenment of yoga taught us (as a whole) that sitting in meditation, moving through our bodies with breath and silence, and alleviating conditions and illnesses with practices and poses was the salvation of our souls. Yoga works. What this year showed is that if you do yoga for your own healthy reasons it fosters a whole new way of life and learning that will stay with you forever. If not, it will manifest in some karmic fashion and not serve you well (I think Lululemon deserves a nod here). Yoga is the celebration of hearts, minds, and bodies, and is never going away. Thank a Higher Power for that.

6) Startups and Entrepreneurs—this genre of young and old continues to shake up our world. Every moment of 2013 someone is starting a new business that is sure to make a difference in some way. Technology, art, music, theater, books, internet site launchings, online media outlets, consulting services-startups are the “it” thing to do. We are breaking rules, and doing it in a way as to intrigue people to usher in a tremendous generation of creative beings. Career shifts took place everywhere. Aligning more with a purpose was the highlight. It is awesome the amount of people following their heart and passion and seeing possibilities. If the entrepreneur didn’t emerge into the limelight the moment they launched their product before this year, it sure did catapult them into being known in 2013. Kudos to all who made a difference with their work!

7) Same-sex Marriage—Change was the grand message here, and many states jumped on the bandwagon of allowing couples of the same sex to betroth their love to each other and have it be recognized. This has been a long time coming, and it’s about time that many states decided to make it legal and bonding. No man or woman who loves one another-regardless of gender-should be banned from the same rights and legalities as heterosexual couples. It makes no sense to me and falls back into the category of politicians determining who can love whom. Not cool.

8) Legalization of Marijuana—A significant passing in our history happened in 2013. Marijuana isn’t simply for those suffering from illnesses and needing a reprieve from chronic pain. As an illegal drug for years it took mavericks of each state to recognize that the more we have a “war on drugs”, the more people will gravitate towards purchasing and using. It’s psychological rebellious common sense. Take a look at Amsterdam. They have the lowest rate of drug use and drug-related crimes in the world, and every hallucinogen is legal there. America will continue to watch how the legalization of this mind-altering plant will affect those states who can safely use it, and those other states who may never get on board.

9) Notables who left us—Nelson Mandela, Lou Reed, Roger Ebert, Margaret Thatcher, Sylvia Browne, to name a few. Every person who lost their life this year due to illness or old age brought more than their fair share to the table of talent.  These were some weighty people in their field who made a difference in our world, and their work will always mark a poignant time forever. As with any other year, it is with gratitude that we remember those who made an impact on our lives, in one way or another.

On a personal note, 2013 was a year of conundrums, obstacles, revelations, achievements, and love beyond my wildest dreams. I bared my soul and became a better person for it. If there was ever a year for personal and partnership transformation, 2013 might be one for the record books. Even when we all have been on different trajectories in friendships and life, the oneness ultimately pulls it back together.

Believe in yourself. Remain hopeful. Thrust forward in your pursuits. Surrender to the Universe. Stay in your heart and in your spiritual center. Be grateful for all of your abundance. Love big. And by all means, never give up.

Happy holidays!

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Editor: Rachel Nussbaum

Photo: Pixoto

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sabine Dec 15, 2013 7:39am

Thank you for this. I thought I was alone in my experience and noticing these big shifts in 2013 and I am so happy to see someone put it all into focus so eloquently.

Linda V. Lewis Dec 15, 2013 6:48am

As Mandela makes his final exit, it's good that there is a new, seemingly genuine Pope who has stepped onto the world stage enacting the Christian virtues actually taught by Jesus. It is refreshing even for non-Christians to see this. Perhaps he would even be so bold as to have dialogues with the Dalai Lama. I can imagine the 2 gentlemen would get along "famously"!

Dec 13, 2013 2:11pm

I will miss the year 2013, but look forward to a year of new beginnings in 2014!

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Gerry Ellen

Gerry Ellen is an author, freelance writer, and wellness consultant. She recently launched her own gig called *8 Paws Wellness with Gerry Ellen* which combines all of her passions (outdoors, yoga, strength, meditation, writing, dogs, fun!) Her first novel Ripple Effects was published in March 2012. As a regular contributor to elephant journal, Be You Media Group, Light Workers World, Meet Mindful, Tattooed Buddha and Rebelle Society, she also balances incredible friendships, heart-centered connections, and sharing her experiences of life and love. These are the things that matter to her most. Her second book A Big Piece of Driftwood, published in April 2014, is also available on Amazon.com.