The end of the year is always a good time to take inventory of our lives.  The winter season cues us, giving us dark days perfect for introspection.  Now is our time to turn inward, re-kindle our inner flame, so that when we go outward, we have a bright light to share with the people and world around us.

What if, in fact, the world is waiting on us, depending on us to bring forth our brightest light?   What if there are people out there just waiting for us to realize our potential? What if something vital is lost if we do not kindle that fiery blaze in our hearts?

In the article, To Serve, I share my process for how I came to the understanding that serving myself is serving the world.  To fully grasp that wisdom, I had to take inventory, I had to wake up with winter every day even as the crape myrtle sprouted blooms of white outside my window.  I couldn’t control the length of the winter season of my life — I had to learn to trust that within the space of dormancy and darkness, the conditions for rebirth were being created.  In renewing my inner resources, I found myself in new relationship with the world.

The timing and gifts of the seasons can always be trusted.  As we leave behind 2012, much of humanity is relating differently to the world.  On a personal level, we see things in our lives coming apart to make way for the new.  On the global scale, same thing.  We see old systems crumbling, old thinking that no longer serves. We have opportunities to no longer react in the same ways.  We are more and more able to respond wholeheartedly.  Our hearts have been broken open at tragedies of violence, creating a space to experience our connectedness and feel our unified desire for a culture of peace.  We aren’t just at the end of a year, we are, as traditions the world-over proclaim in their own unique ways, at the end of an era.

We’ve all heard about the some five-thousand-year cycle of the Mayan calendar coming to an end on December 21, 2012, provoking all types of apocalyptic fears.  But what if, as we often experience in our lives, an end is also a beginning?  What if humanity is emerging anew, with a global consciousness of connectedness and compassion?  What if the world has been waiting?

This is exactly what the conveners of the BIRTH 2012 movement are putting forth.  Spiritual and thought leaders, social change activists and visionaries see this time as a key moment in human history- a birth of a new co-creative and co-evolving humanity.  Drawing from the life work of futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard, these leaders envision a turning point in which we can interconnect the social, spiritual and technological breakthroughs to create a positive world for all.  December 22, 2012 is day one.

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What could this be the beginning of?  It’s up to us.  The world waits for us to contribute our unique gifts.