My dearest friends, near and far, 2020 is over. The whole year, I was exclaiming, "Oh my, what a year!"... Mostly out of terror, with some glimpses of hope and enlightenment. The past 365 days brought many changes into my life and led me along an unpaved, unplanned path. For me, the unknown is extremely invigorating and as someone who feels the weight of the world with a lot of negative reactions to our current society and culture, major change felt like the revolt I dream of, yet find impossible to achieve in this reality. I found cancelling plans and becoming a homebody, for longer than expected, brought out my introverted side and gave me a lot more time to focus on myself, to hear myself, and to be with myself. Let's be real, that isn't always easy, because while our main focus may be to love ourselves unconditionally, more stillness and quiet time than "normal" can really expose our insecurities and aspects of ourselves that we are able to avoid when constantly on the go. This space added, subtracted, multiplied, and divided both unsurmountable pressures and overwhelming feelings of contentment and in some bizarre way, sort of balanced the experience of what it is to be a human, living, here, now.

I like to be on the run. It's comforting in my life to plan the next thing or have something big to look forward to. So being slapped in the face with cancelled plans and a worldwide virus that spreads like wildfire, I must admit, I suffered through many feelings of loss. But throughout the moments of loss, I have found myself sitting quietly in the middle of chaos. Here, experiencing a sense of security, in more ways than one. I have started to become comfortable with this new, distanced lifestyle and have a hard time imagining going back to "normal".

Pandemic or not, as a grad student, my feelings are often conflicted. Life is way less hectic than the years of undergrad and life itself is a little more daunting, but I am grateful to still have a lot of the benefits of being a student: summers off, long winter breaks, decently flexible schedule, all that stuff... paired with no full time job, little to no income, massive amounts of school induced stress... alllllll. of. that. stuff. too. I've found this provokes a lot of stagnant energy and questions if what I am doing is the "right thing" or if I am stuck here forever. Part of me feels I rock the student lifestyle super well and another part just wants to know when I am going to grow the hell up... As graduation approaches and I do things like secure my first big girl job, possibly move far away from home, and all the big life changes that come with that, the pressure and anxiety of it all alone is pretty intimidating. Now, topped with a global pandemic, struggling economy, and a socially distanced/distracted/insane world. This part of the unknown tries to tear me (us) down and I am constantly reminding myself that the more I (we) lean into it, the more it will all make sense.

2020 involuntarily changed my lifestyle during a period of time that actually needed some change. However, when those things are forced because of government mandates and restrictions, it makes life slightly more scary and takes away a sense of control that I crave to feel "on top" of it all. I think that kind of worry sends me into intense spirals of questioning the future, when all I NEED to be doing is soaking up the now. This year I've worked through and am still experiencing a lot of emotional pushes and pulls, balancing fight or flight feelings, and just trying to regulate and balance the mixing sensations. I have opened my heart to my honest truth and while that kind of exposure is scary, I have never felt more confident in the saying "the truth will set you free." Jumping into this new year, I am embracing the anxiety, unfamiliarity, and unknown... we all feel these things, differently and collectively. Most of my goals for the upcoming days are a reflection of regulation, enlightenment, and joy-- working from the inside out to equip myself with the stability I need to catapult into a life after school, after a global pandemic, after a Trump Presidency... to put it candidly-- after being scared shitless of what the future holds.

When the clock struck midnight and I kissed my lover for a happy new year-- I drew an archetype card for the year ahead. "The Storm" revealed itself and my gut reaction was fright. Haven't we been through enough? Can't we be finished with the chaos? But the deeper I dive into the meaning behind the storm, the more I understand the implications of what is coming.

"Possessing an energy much like the tarot's Tower card, the storm undoes all that is. Everything that was solid, known, and relied upon is stripped away by the winds of fate. The ground becomes the sky, the sky becomes the center, and then the center disappears. The storm is a great equalizer-- no matter how far we've come on the path, no matter our age, wealth, or wisdom-- we can't hide from its savage winds. Their disturbing howls stir anxiety and make it impossible to see and think straight. You must wait it out. If you try to fight The Storm, you will lose. A better option is to seek temporary shelter and a reliable friend. When all else fails, go within. There, for a moment, you settle into the eye of The Storm."

For me, with all of the chaos and upheaval I have been experiencing has frankly been the start and progression of The Storm... I have been working with this card for a while, as I drew in a very powerful moment back on October 1st, 2020 when I asked my deck "Where?" The setting for the journey I am on, the backdrop or stage in which my story exists, the energy that surrounds my situation. In that moment, The Storm made perfect sense. Seeing it show up exactly 3 months (on the dot) later when turning to the deck to forecast the year, was a glimpse of magik in itself. 78 cards to choose from, and I was dealt a signifier that I am still on the path, still flowing within larger forces at play and learning to surrender to the abrupt changes that comes from it all. While the implications of being in the eye of a storm are scary, when light, The Storm delivers meaningful obliteration and annihilation.

I pulled one more card this night, to pair with The Storm. Out of my immediate fear reaction, I was grasping for some sense of security. Following The Storm, I drew The Stone and so it goes...

"As an archetypal object, The Stone holds psychic and literal weight. Its energy is one of permanence, concreteness, and reliability. The stones ability to transform is nearly imperceptable to us, as it changes ever so slowly over countless human life spans. A single stone may see thousands of generations come and go, therefore it contains an ancient and eternal presence. The Stone is best used to anchor our wild side, so no matter how far we roam, we can always find our way back. The stone tethers us to Earth, helping to ground and connect us to stillness, quiet, and peace. When this card appears, it is likely The Stone is a remedy for what ails us. Humble and easily unnoticed, the power of The Stone balances the frenzy of our world."

Chills huh? As the anchor and the rock in my internal imagery, I perceive The Stone as base-- it becomes the place both within and beneath me that keeps me here as The Storm is the place, the action, surrounding me. The insanity and chaos of The Storm is met with the stillness and permanence of The Stone.

I am eager to trek through 2021, discovering the wildness of the whirlwind and trusting the eternal to support this journey, to help me gather a sense of peace, even in the craziest forms. I look forward to diving headfirst into scary life changes and finding new ways to create happiness. With the power of intention setting I have listed some quantitative and qualitative goals to conquer in 2021, while always coming back to my stone in the middle of this storm.

In 2021 I will:

-Start EVERY morning with movement + meditation before touching my phone.

-Continue showing up for therapy, sorting through my lifetime of trauma and use it to create a better me for the present and future.

-Listen to the full 92 hours of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib and further my journey in Sikhism.

-Publish a piece (pieces) of literature, celebrating my passions at the intersection of movement, media, meditation, and music.

-Complete both of my Master's Degrees.

2021 is a big year! Bring on graduation, turning 25, and stepping further into my power!

What are you doing in 2021? How can you turn your fears and pain into resilience and gain? Are you excited for The Storm? It's stirring whether you like it or not ;)

Onward, my friends. It's only up from here!

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