We are all feeling the immense weight of the year in some form or another. It has been unlike any other, pushing us further and further into the unknown. I suppose every year is like this, we truly never know what the future holds. And still, 2020 feels significantly different. We have been asked to evaluate ourselves, whether we choose to or not, this is what is happening. We have been called to seek truth, connection and value in a whole new way. And this process has only just begun.
As we enter a new year, I feel wildly optimistic. That's not to say that it's all going to be easy, on the contrary, I believe we face some of the biggest challenges of the century in the coming years. There will be social and personal issues that rise to the surface, the things that have been simmering for a while may finally reach a boiling point. There will be chaos, misunderstanding and loss, we must not become ignorant to the aspects of the shadow that have been brought to the forefront by the events of this year.
And yet still, oddly enough, I am optimistic. We are witnessing the death of an era, literally watching it decay in front of our eyes. In one way, the events of this past year have quickened that process. And in the wake of the events, many constructs are crumbling, falling to the ground. In 2021, in one last ditch effort, these institutions will try to revive themselves. But the tools that have used no longer work, the tactics they try, outdated. As with all innovation, there will be many who are unsatisfied, left behind in the process. I would suggest that it is time to leave the old establishments and institutions behind willingly. It is time to forge a new path, a level playing field where all can participate and share in the bounty.
2020 was the end for many things. The end of free data with blockchain technologies on the rise. The end of currency manipulation, banking fraud and inequality. The end of huge corporations like Ytube, IG and FB owning, controlling and profiting from our time, energy and resources. They are in the final moments of their fame, slowly being taken down by the actions they themselves have made. Their business models are outdated, unethical and historic. One day, we will laugh about these things.
2020 is the end of the great illusion, harkening in time of radical self responsibility and social accountability. Those who will profit, are those who are working for the collective, not manipulating it. How can you participate in this new paradigm?
Paul recently told me about a meditation he had done years ago after a series of yoga trainings. This meditation has been passed down through generations and is used when one is meditating on the peculiar and exciting emotion of fear. This primal feeling we all experience, one could argue daily. How do we integrate fear as a flowing current, another human emotion and feeling that we can wield rather than yield to?
In the meditation, the seeker envisions a great tiger. He is beautiful and majestic, a top predator in the prime of his life. With the glimpse of his eye, you realize you are his prey. The great tiger is going to consume you, and you must let it. The tiger inches closer, closer and closer to you. An astounding fear floods your body and still, you sit. You wait. You surrender to the fear and its inevitable end, death. You let the tiger rip the flesh from your body, the meat from your bones. You experience all of the sensations, all of the feeling, all of the emotions. But you do not react.
In the second meditation, the seeker envisions the great tiger. He is ill, dying, withering away in his enormous and powerful body. With the glimpse of his eye, you know you must heal him even though you know he will in turn, consume you once more. You cut your wrist and bleed into his mouth. Your blood nurtures him back to life, to the vibrancy of his pure predator nature. The tiger rises, attacks and consumes you once more. And you do not react.
I've pondered this meditation for some time now, about death and fear, will vs nature. Fear is one of the most primal feelings, an emotion for survival. It is one that we have used throughout time to evolve, and in most cases, to simply survive. It is the talisman of our ancestors, passed down to an incredibly materialistic culture who has no idea how to wield it.
The exercise of this meditation is a powerful way to experience that primal fear and to learn from it. How do we employ our primal fear with discernment? To identify what is real verses perceived threat? This meditation asks one to surrender to the emotion of fear, rather than acting on that emotion. Follow it down, down, down, as far as it leads you. In this space, one can identify fear, in all of its truths and follies. Let us not forget that fear and hope are two sides of the same token, one can easily get lost in hope as in fear. In the tarot, fears and hopes are expressed in the same card, a perfect example of how intertwined these two seemingly opposite emotions truly are.
One might ask, so what does all of this have to do with skincare? The truth is, skincare isn't separate. Nothing is. Your skin is yours and yours alone, expressed by your DNA and the genetic heritage of your ancestors. You skin is affected by where you live and what you consume, both internally and externally. You skin hears your every thought, it is connected to your nervous, immune and lymphatic systems. You see, even the skin isn't separate from the body.
We have created the illusion of separation, naming each thing and putting it in its own little box with a word. We have lost so much of the mystery of life with the invention of the idea of the individual. We place the needs of one over the needs of many, and we are all guilty.
This thing we call GARA Skincare is more than what we sell. It is a community, a place where I feel free to share ideas, creative endeavors and yes skincare, with you. It has become a form for my own personal growth and creation, an expression of my life. And that is why I am writing here today, about fear and about love.
Our intentions for this new year are:
- To flow with the seasons, honoring each stage in nature both internally and externally
- To do work for the good of all, the earth, air, fire and water, ourselves included
- To continue to share, to grow our community, welcoming all with open hearts and ears
I encourage you to create a new year ritual. Honor with gratitude and humility the year you are leaving behind. Take aim in the new year and fire your arrow into the unknown. Work diligently day by day in the coming new year, with love and tenderness in your heart. Be gentle with yourself, take care of yourself and share your gifts with the world.
Blessings to a new year, working with the element of AIR. Ride the currents, let the topography of the mountains inform your direction. Find the thermal, ride it upwards and onwards, propelling you into a new current. Listen to the wind, the gentle cleansing wind.