The definition of karma: The concept of “action” or “deed”, understood as that which causes the entire life cycle of cause and effect. Our actions, both good and bad, come back to us in the future, helping us to learn from life’s lessons and become better people.
I’ve often wondered about karma. Some say it’s a bitch… Personally I’ve always lived my life according to the theory of what goes around, comes around. Or what you give out, you get back. I guess you could call that karma?
Is it the same as “making your own luck?”
As much as I have held onto these beliefs for a very long time, I’ve never really consciously acknowledged any particular event in my life as an action of karma. Until now…
2013 was what I like to call, my year of awakening. It was a tumultuous year, full of physical, spiritual and emotional challenges. Plenty of highs and a few lows with a good dose of everything in between.
It began like any other. I was full of hope and expectation and a certain amount of confidence in the direction I was headed. That’s what you do at the beginning of each year, right? A few New Year’s Resolutions thrown in for good measure and you’re on your way.
Now I’m by no means saying that 2013 was my worst year on record. Nothing will ever compare with that year, losing my first born daughter back in 1987, at 4 months of age. I’m merely saying that 2013 could be mistaken for a tough year, especially to those on the outside, looking in.
In some ways it was…losing a job I loved, slammed me pretty hard and left me reeling. All of a sudden I was on a whole new path and I never saw it coming, but this is where my awakening began.
The unexpectedness of life’s twists and turns can often take their toll on one’s resilience but it can also strengthen that resilience, if you let it.
Up until this particular point in the year, I had been busily fundraising and preparing for a trip to Kokoda in October for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service. Happily immersing myself in the world as I knew it, and all the while assuming I’d be doing what I was doing for years to come. Then bang….I am unemployed.
I realise I’m no Robinson Crusoe here, plenty of people have been, and are in this very position today. In fact I’d been there before, but it was different this time. I was older, perhaps wiser and certainly more aware of my response to the situation… After moving through the obligatory phases of “grief”, I came out the other side in a very different space. Somewhere I’d never been before.
I haven’t quite worked out why it took me so long to reach this space, but I’m grateful for all of the events of 2013. On reflection, I did everything I set out to do (and more) from 1 January 2013. I raised over $20k for charity, got myself fit enough to successfully walk the Kokoda Track, experienced my annual pilgrimage to Byron Bay Bluesfest, took a sneaky trip to Tasmania, volunteered for various other charities, made new friends and spent much cherished time with family and old friends. The things that happened but weren’t in the plan, are turning out to be the most interesting..
So what’s inspired me to write this particular blog post?
I’m now fairly certain it was the culmination of all of the events of 2013 that has led me to be sitting here, thinking about the amazing experiences and people I have met along the way and enthusiastically planning the year that is about to unfold.
Being nominated as a finalist for the Hunter Hero Awards, is most definitely a highlight. An absolute privilege to be considered amongst so many other Hunter community warriors…..and then I lost my wallet.
But this is where I think karma steps in.
So without even knowing that I had lost my wallet, I woke up one Saturday morning to find a Twitter message from the Newcastle Herald, telling me my wallet had been handed in to the police station. It was an amazing chain of events that lead to that tweet and I wrote a letter to the Herald Editor, thanking everyone involved, but they decided to do a story on it. You can read the rest here.
This small act of honesty and good faith, shown by this fellow (who I still haven’t been able to reach by phone to thank) would have to be the piece de resistance of the year for me. Call it coincidence, a stroke of luck or whatever it is you’d prefer to make of it, but I’m convinced there are higher powers at work.
The story doesn’t stop here either. There’s more to be told, but I’m leaving that for the next post…