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“Notice the thoughts that inspire warmth and conviction. Make them as familiar and natural as your breath. Think of those thoughts … to come clear on what is already true.”

Rev. Dr. Edward Viljoen

December 11, 2020

 

Thoughts become things, so expect good things. I expected good things for 2020 and those personal milestones were actualized. Like all of us, 2020 was a hard, bizarre departure from the flow and grace of Life we’ve taken as a given. Yet, for me, every scary twist and unexpected turn had a silver lining. After accepting and grieving the loss of some joys I anticipated, it was still a year of unceasing gratitude and faith.

 

In early March I sold my home of 25 years and moved 3.5 miles away to Rossmoor; 1st 2020 milestone achieved. Move-in date – March 16. California COVID-19 shutdown – March 17. First silver lining. On April 1, I returned to contracting as Herriford Consulting, still in community college workforce development for the Bay Area Community College Consortium, Regional Director, Employer Engagement for the ICT Digital Media industry. Those changes were 2 more 2020 milestones; back to being an independent consultant and doing work that taps into all my gifts, experience, and passions. When the world reacted in solidarity to the murder of George Floyd, leveraging my work in inclusion and unconscious bias became the action I could take, facilitating conversations on antiracism, facing systemic racism, and counteracting unconscious bias. In this case, the silver lining led to the next 2020 milestone – getting back to this work that I know is imperative to change. The final 2020 expectation was a return to my best health. August 2020 marked a year using the Noom app, which I can testify is more than just a weight-loss app. I’ve lost over 30lbs and my fitness is back to what it was 10 years ago. Another milestone aided by a COVID silver lining; more time to exercise and prepare healthy meals.

The unexpected good of 2020 was golden! Reconnecting with long-time friends, talking more frequently with those I only see a few times a year, and doing regular family Zoom visits. Childhood friends I grew up with in Compton, close friends who knew me in my twisted twenties, co-workers from the best company I ever worked for (Tandem), and all the friends Jesse and I are missing due to our self-imposed stay-at-home travel ban. BTW, Jesse, my companion of 28 years, is doing well, staying safe, and it’s that joy we found together – live music, outdoor festivals, hanging on a bar watching sports, and travel to places we love, doing these things we love – that we miss in common. Yes, COVID and 2020 has been hard, but there will be so much to appreciate about 2021.

The gift of 2020 has been the affirmation of life practices like the one above – expect good things. I’m grateful for all of them that helped me realize the year I’d been expecting for a decade – honoring relationships, applying one’s gifts in service, developing unconditional compassion, and committing to my passions. All reminders that I, like every human being, am here do something that has never been done. Big or small, it is mine to own and do.

A decade ago, I was in life circumstances like many impacted by the pandemic today. Virtually no income for close to a year, on the brink of losing everything. Looking back, I knew it would work out if I just continued to expect that I was in that space, time, and situation for a reason; that if I stayed focused on the good outcomes I expected, the Universe will do the rest. It did.

I hold a vision for 2021 and beyond of more and more people becoming aware of this power we have to create a Life in which miracles, big and small, are the norm. We can recognize and lean into challenges or obstacles for the lessons, know it’s temporary and not our fate, and realize the expectation of good things.

Peace, blessing, and joy in 2021!