For the past two weeks, I've been thinking about what insights and lessons this unusual year has offered me. It turns out, that despite being mostly at home, being riddled with anxiety, suffering through poor health, carrying out care-taking responsibilities and staying busy to the point of exhaustion; it has been a rather positively transformative year! As I wrap it up, I wanted to capture the key lessons I'm taking with me into my onward journey.

I've captured these in the form of quotes mostly by authors and teachers I follow, and whose work and teachings I will forever be grateful for.

(*Note: I took the liberty of changing some words in some of the quotes to better reflect how I understand them.)

I. Impermanence is an essential truth of life on earth. It is not impermanence that makes us suffer. What makes us suffer, is wanting things to be permanent when they are not. ~Thich Nhat Hahn

Impermanence is an essential truth

II. Suffering is a universal human experience. Instead of spending life dreading and preventing what we most fear, we must learn the art of suffering well. ~Thich Nhat Hahn

No Mud, No Lotus

III. To flourish and keep evolving, we need to know how to make peace with the truth of uncertainty. ~Tara Brach

Accept uncertainty & move through it

IV. You are not your mind. You are not your thoughts. To know yourself as the being underneath the thinker, is freedom. ~Eckhart Tolle

Still your mind, what is left? The observer.

V. The things that matter most in our lives are not fantastic or grand. They are the simple moments when we truly touch one another. ~Jack Kornfield

Simple joys

VI. We're not meant to be anyone else but ourselves. We all face the challenge of living the life we have, not the life we imagined having, the life we wish for or the life we are quite certain we deserve. ~Harriet Lerner

Own your story

VII. The human capacity for endurance is like bamboo- far more flexible than you'd ever believe at first glance. ~Jodi Picoult

Remember your capacity for resilience 

VIII. I may be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it. ~Maya Angelou

Write your own story

IX. Shame is the birthplace of perfectionism. It says - "I am what I accomplish & how well I accomplish it". Perfectionism is unattainable and self destructive. It's an illusion. ~Brene Brown

No one has ever been perfect, you don't need to be either

X. Knowing something is one thing, practising it is another. Knowing something does not mean you have mastered it. ~Master Choa Kok Sui

Keep Remembering & Keep Practising

So here's a kiss goodbye to 2020 and an open hearted welcome to 2021! Let's make it a better one. :)

All illustrations in the post: Created by Chitra, Our Culture Cafe. (The illustrations are ones I created in my attempt to learn making art this year. By no means my original designs - I created them by following online tutorials mostly by Lisa Bardot & Teela Cunningham.)

Cover Image credit: Denise Karis on Unsplash

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