“The days are long but the years go by fast,” my father said to me as we were walking along a small cobblestone street. This was in reference to his and my family’s arrival to visit me…almost a year later from when they came last. Today marks a milestone for me as it’s one year to the day that I moved across the Atlantic from NYC to a small seaside town outside of Rome. It also marks a year of discovery, personal freedom, self worth, and living in the present without fear of the future unknown. If I could go back in time after living and experiencing both the beauty yet difficulty of what awaited me upon my arrival, I would simply tell myself to stay calm and let things proceed in their natural order. But when in the thick of it and staying calm has no relevance, I would have told myself to remember that change is continuous. What feels bad in one moment can be really good in the next. A year later, it all makes sense now.
1. Dreams, plans, and goals do not come to pass in the way they are imagined.
Without a doubt, the hope of achieving or obtaining something within our personal desires keeps us moving forward in the lives we live. It doesn’t matter how big or small the intention in our heart is. But it’s the mind that convinces us about the way in which we believe “how it should” come to pass along with the “when.” But by eliminating the details and letting things unfold as we take gentle action, it can be far better than what we even thought.
2. Heightened expectations are the cause of pain, feeling of lack, and let down.
Many times we place our needs and wishes on the conditions of others, circumstances, and events in our lives. If someone or something doesn’t conform or support what it is we want, that’s when conflict and at times a sense of suffering sets in. Instead of realizing blessings in our lives, we look to what is missing or what we don’t have. Anytime we’re working on a time frame and thought process outside of ourselves, it takes great patience yet understanding to realize this in the first place.
When it’s internally understood, time frames, thought processes, and the actual expectations themselves can dissolve and become neutral. No expectations and conditions in turn brings less disappointments and upset.
3.) By opening oneself up allows life to open up.
When we keep ourselves closed off, allow fear to take control of our lives, and we become afraid to take risks, we remain with our feet fixed to the ground and resistant to move in a forward motion. We prevent ourselves from personal evolution along with the mere excitement of simply living. By shifting our ways of seeing and thinking to being open, life does the same. We are met with opportunities, encounters, and experiences that can further enrich us by showing up and being ready to receive. Things are more beautiful and authentic when we make the choice to view them through that lens.
4.) Losses and gains only lead to further gains and balance.
Losses arrive through separation of loved ones, deterioration of relationships, dreams that don’t come to pass, and economic impact both at home and on a global level. Although losing someone or something always leaves traces of its void, we can learn to cope and learn to adjust to living life without it. But with great loss actually comes great strength—which is gained. Furthermore, by taking a step back to evaluate “why” the loss happened, it’s two steps forward in dealing with the “what now”. It’s the “what” that brings solution, innovation, and equilibrium.
5.) Nothing is fixed, everything changes.
This is the greatest freedom of all. Nothing is permanent, as every day is truly a new opportunity— rather a gift to enjoy the brevity of life itself, but maximizing it to its fullest. Non attachment, but a greater sense of self-love and love for others is truly the key to making each day open up. And with each passing day that comes and goes, the year becomes that much more worthwhile—through its ups and downs. But it’s simply making the choice to look upwards.