Leala Martin is a poet, actor, vegan, tiny house creator, and yogi who you might recognize from Stay Wild where she works. She ended 2020 with a beautiful reflection that she gave permission to repost here.
January 1st 2020 my mantra was decided: “Your life becomes a masterpiece when you learn to master peace.”
Every New Year, I set a quote to hold onto, to remind myself what I am yearning to learn.
I have heard how 2020 was ‘a shit storm of a year’ and I understand why this is our initial reaction to the last 12 months. I am unable to speak for anyone but myself, but I feel 2020 was a turning point for humanity and full of profound and difficult teachings.
I lost two relatives during the pandemic and my Dad suffered a scary battle with the virus. It hasn’t been an easy year by any means, but easy doesn’t mean that the battles we have faced came to no avail.
For me, 2020 was the year of humility.
I learned truths about the world that broke my heart and told me it was time to be quiet and learn from others.
I felt ashamed that I was unaware of the depth of systematic racism in the world because I had and still have never experienced it.
I learned my privilege as a white person and I also looked at the world I have called my home and realized I knew only a glimpse of the suffering that takes place for POC (people of colour).
The injustices that took place for this to come to the attention of the masses is harrowing, shocking and vile, yet with a heavy heart I hold hope that an indelible change will be marked upon the majority of humans as it is in my own heartmindsoul.
I have learned the absolute importance of taking care of your own mental health and how many of us are susceptible to sickness in the mind from being aware of the pain all around us and never being taught how to deal with it or given tools that guide us to nurture and love ourselves and each other. We have misguided and archaic systems, this needs to change.
This year has taught me to be autonomous with my emotional life and how putting my anger and pain on others isn’t healthy and it isn’t fair.
We don’t master peace by only meditating, we learn of peace from overcoming, we earn peace from understanding, we may never master peace, yet as living beings it is our duty to do all we can to shape ourselves, our children and our planet into a masterpiece that is worth surviving this ‘shit storm’ for.
And meditation is a great tool!