Today is my birthday and I’m reflecting on the last year and setting my intentions for the year to come.  Previously I’ve shared 32 things that I knew to be true on my birthday and my lesson last year: It’s never about what it’s about.  It’s always about you.

Yesterday I was sitting down to write my birthday post and my mind went blank.  I know that I’ve learned so many important lessons this year but I couldn’t find the words.  After some time staring at the blank computer screen (and watching Homeland) I decided to step away from the computer and trust that inspiration would come.

I opened up A Course in Miracles for my daily lesson and decided to turn to lesson 34.  Boom.  Inspiration received.

I could see peace instead of this. Lesson 34, A Course in Miracles

Nothing sums up the last year better than this lesson.  This year has been a combination of really high highs and really low lows.  There have been days when my practice was rock solid and days major doubt.  And many opportunities to come home again.

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This powerful affirmation is an incredible reminder of what is really true: I am in control (and so are you).  In any given moment, I get to choose peace or I get to choose fear.  And sometimes I choose fear.  But the amazing lesson I’ve learned is that I am the one choosing fear – it is not choosing me.

I used to feel cursed – doomed – and totally out of control.  My mantra was: The universe is out to get me.  And that is a hopeless place to be.  Feeling like the cards are stacked against you, that the world is conspiring to make things hard for you, and that there is nothing you can do about it.

While I’ve worked hard over the last several years to see things differently, these thoughts still linger in my bones.  I’ve been going through it lately.  And my fear-based thoughts have left indentations and when things get stressful I relax back into the grooves of my old ways. There is comfort in the familiar – even when the familiar sucks.  And I really went there.  There being a place without hope.  A place filled with fear.  A place in darkness.

But the light finds a way back in.  And I am reminded that I can see peace instead.  And over time the grooves are being filled in with love and peace.  And the darkness isn’t quite as dark as it was the last time.

Live in the light with fleeting moments of darkness.  Don’t live in darkness with fleeting moments of light. – Gabrielle Bernstein

This year has taught me that every moment in an opportunity to choose again.  It doesn’t matter what choice I made a second ago.  I am not defined by my previous choices and my future choices are not written in stone.  Right now – in this moment – I have the amazing chance to choose peace.  And that is what truly matters.

I’ve returned to my breath and this affirmation time and time again this year.  This practice extinguishes the flames of fear, lack, anger, sadness, stress, and ego.  It brings me true peace.  And it’s a lesson that I am so, so grateful for.