Signing off on 2012

January 1, 2013

While I don’t usually write a synopsis or “Year in Review” for the 365 days that have passed since the last New Year, I think there’s some value in reflecting on the major milestones that marked the potential turning points my life has taken in 2012.  When I consider each of these choices or experiences, I realize that without them, my life could be very different than where I find it now had I made a different choice or missed a given opportunity.  Therefore, the emotion that I find most appropriate on this New Year’s Eve 2012 is gratitude.  Would I call 2012 a perfect year for me?  No, but what year could ever live up to that expectation?  A year is far more than a sum total of days or experiences. To use a somewhat overused phrase, “It is what it is.”  The value of a calendar year is a subjective experience.  It’s an interpretation based upon who we are as individuals and how the passage of time relates to our personal dreams, hopes, expectations, or fears.  We give meaning to each year as it goes by; without us, a year would be empty pages on a calendar.

With this in mind, I choose to look at this past year in appreciation for those whose lives have touched mine, for those whose lives I’ve been able to touch, and for those experiences and people that helped make me a better person. Some of the more memorable moments include: the loss of Chopra Center Co-Founder and Medical Director Dr. David Simon, who will always be remembered as an amazing teacher, gentle soul, and lighthearted kindred spirit to his beloved Hafiz; attendance at the Chopra Center’s final SynchroDestiny course in February which sparked some amazing coincidences, the effects of which are still being felt to this day; becoming a certified Hardstyle Kettlebell Instructor thanks to some great instruction by Franz Snideman; seeing the successful launch of an after work meditation class that to date has helped introduce over 100 WDW Cast Members to the transformative effect of a meditation practice; teaching 3 Primordial Sound Meditation Classes and sharing the practice with several friends such as Laura and John Giancarlo and Christopher Gayle; having the pleasure of completing 3 years of teaching Yoga to my students at the Orlando DRC; re-launching my website with help from my good friend, Andres Handschy; beginning to train in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu with my wife Dana; also cheering for Dana as she continued her amateur running career and successfully completing her 11th half marathon; getting to spend quality time with my family over the summer as my brother Matt and I helped my parents lighten their load of archival toys and relics from their attic in Pennsylvania; experiencing the unparalleled beauty and magnificent cuisine of France for 2 weeks with Dana; attending an Action Strength Certification course in Boca Raton with Harinder Singh Sabharwal and tapping into a new understanding of functional strength training and JKD; getting to hang for several days with longtime buddy and soul brother Marc Pfeifer; witnessing the turbulence and anxiety of one of the most divisive presidential campaigns I can remember; sharing a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family at my brother’s home; watching with interest as the world didn’t end on December 21*; and spending the Christmas Holidays with Dana’s family in chilly Philadelphia.

For each of these experiences, I am grateful.  Even for those experiences that might be perceived as negative or upsetting (some unlisted here), I choose to be grateful. Each person, each opportunity has been metabolized into who I am.  This is true for each of us.  No matter what 2012 has been like for us, it’s imperative not to lose sight of the fact that the circumstances of our lives are not as important as how we respond to those circumstances.  Life is what we make it.  Knowing that, reflect back on this past year and recognize that while what happened may not have been your choosing, the meaning you give it will rest with you alone.

                An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. – Bill Vaughn

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I close out this interesting, amazing, challenging, thoughtful, sometimes painful, uncertain, and always transformative year with heartfelt thanks to my family, friends, students, and teachers who have helped me grow and inspired me to keep going.

May 2013 bless the world with infinite peace, harmony, laughter & love.



* Just for the sake of argument, I’m not one who thought the world might self-apocalypse at the end of the Mayan 5124 year cycle.  I do, however believe that December 21, 2012 does mark the end of one world age and the beginning of another; one hopefully that is heralded by a shift in our global consciousness for the better.  Ritam…

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