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Did you get a raw deal in 2016? Are you ending the year upside down, wondering what happened?

Maybe you’re on the other side of the spectrum. At last, your turnaround moment arrived. You’re thinking, “Finally! Everything came together!”

Guess what? It’s ok either way.

Seeing this year with a steady, clear eye and letting it be ok – being content – is our focus in the December series, Gold to the Soul.

The times when life doesn’t go according to plan isn’t the point to throw in the towel. It’s when having a spiritual practice is more important than ever. Zenju Eartahlyn Manuel at Still Breathing Zen Meditation Center put it this way:

Many of us have been practicing Buddha’s teachings or walking a spiritual journey forever and preparing for every moment of our existence. We are ready and have been waiting for this time. Our rage, pain, and anger are to be exposed if only for us to transform and mature with it.

In Buddhist practice, we say, “Congratulations!” because now is the time we have been practicing for. No more just practicing the dance. We must now dance.

And this is not a dress rehearsal.

Again and again this year, we’ve come together to say “Now is the time.” Now is the time for spiritual principles. But more importantly, it is time to come down from the mountain top, to step off our meditation cushion, or simply get off the couch. Now is the time to take these ideas out into the world.

not-where-i-used-to-be

Let’s review the challenges we’ve talked about each month, and how spiritual ideas address them:

Coming all the way through the year continuing a spiritual practice is its own kind of success. The concepts you’ve learned can help trade a painful chase for happiness with the wisdom of being content. You may not have experienced perfection, but you’ve made progress. As Joyce Meyer likes to joke, “I may not be where I want to be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be!”

This week, take one glance back at 2016. Make peace with what worked and what didn’t. In fact, take one more action. Pat yourself on the back and call it Good.