Who will you be this year?

It's that time of year to reflect on the year behind us, and set intentions for 2019. Who will you be in 2019? Richer, stronger, healthier?

I heard this lovely Zen story recently and it reminded me to be grateful not only for the wonderful experiences to come in 2019, but also for the struggles we will face and the hardships we will endure. For they are the real treasure - the opportunity to grow and learn and become better than we are today.

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded.

After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.

The peasant learned what many of us never understand:

“Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition."

Recently I listened to Oprah interview former Catholic nun, world-renowned religious scholar and author, Karen Armstrong. In our “perilously divided world,” we need to live more compassionately now more than ever, she says.  Karen outlines simple practices anyone can do in hopes of making a lifelong commitment to creating a more harmonious world.

In Qigong we learn that the world around us is a mirror to world within us. My new years resolution is to be more compassionate, not only with all the beautiful people whose lives connect with mine, but also to look inward, and be more compassionate with myself. What's your resolution, who will you be in 2019?

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