Squirrels aren’t celebrating the ending of a year. The distinctions of calendar, holiday and party-time are all human inventions. The last day of the year is just another day. You got up at the time you chose. You did your morning routine. You have your tasks for the day. At the end of the day, you’ll spend time with other people or make it a quiet evening. There’s nothing that makes it special other than your decision that it is a special day.
Today is a special day. It is the ending of a cycle, a time for you to look at what you have done, where you have been and who you are. As a yogi, it’s an opportunity to look beyond the external markers of success, prestige, accomplishment and other people’s appreciation. It’s an opportunity to look in the mirror — are you more your Self than you were last year at this time?
I’m watching a big piece of construction machinery digging a trench in the dirt outside my window, in a construction zone outside the building where I’m staying while in transit from India to the USA. The machine comes growling through the front gate, huffs and puffs, giving off a lot of smoke and dust, leaving an impressive change in the contours of the earth. Shaktipat is like this – opening up something you didn’t know you had.
Then the “every day” kicks in. The openings you have been graced with must be maintained, even deepened. Your practices throughout the year — your meditations, your readings or the courses you’ve taken, your gift of dakshina — have made incremental changes, day-by-day for 365 days. Who are you now?