8 spiritual lessons to take into the new year

In the wake of 2020's unprecedented challenges, HolyTV founder and entrepreneur Mona Bijoor shares key tips to heal the soul that she gathered from experts during her recent virtual event, "HolyTV's Faith United."

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Mona Bijoor (photography by Ana Gambuto)
Mona Bijoor (photography by Ana Gambuto)

After a challenging year, many are ready to turn the page and head into 2021, hopeful for more certainty, comfort and peace of mind. 

HolyTV recently hosted a group of 10 distinguished faith leaders and spiritual influencers from around the world for a Facebook Live event and these are the lessons they shared to inspire resilience, compassion and healing in the new year.   

1. Faith can overcome fear. “The scriptures say God did not give us a spirit of fear; he gave us a spirit of power, of love and of sound mind,” said Pastor Logan Gentry of the Lower Manhattan Community Church, reminding us all that God has empowered us with a sound mind to tackle every challenge we face.

2. Cope with anxiety using R.A.I.N. Tara Brach, whose teachings blend Western psychology and Eastern spiritual practices, offered this acronym for dealing with overwhelming situations: “R” to recognize you need a break, “A” to allow it to happen, “I” to investigate all your feelings, and “N” to nurture kindness towards yourself. 

3. Quarantines have a biblical history of inspiring personal growth. Rabbi Daniel Bortz reminded us that Noah was among the first to quarantine with his family on the ark. As we all continue to battle the feelings of loneliness brought on by the pandemic, Rabbi Bortz recommends using this time to grow and build a better world going forward.

4. Don’t shy away from painful emotions. In a year with so much sorrow and pain, transformation expert Tara Nicholle-Nelson suggests that we should accept feelings of grief and use them to help us change for the better. Honor your feelings instead of packing them away and be open to transformation.

The HolyTV 25, honored at “HolyTV’s Faith United” event.

5. Lean into compassion. The Latin root for “compassion” is “suffering with,” shared activist and theologian Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza. With no shortage of loss, now is the time to use compassion to bridge our differences. 

6. Accept uncertainty. People who can accept life’s uncertainty are 60% less likely to develop clinical depression. With this in mind, Stanford University’s Dr. Rania Awaad encouraged us to control what’s actually controllable, like hand washing and social distancing, and rely on God’s grace to get through the uncontrollable.

7. Change starts with gratitude. Author Monica Berg, Chief Communications Officer of the Kabbalah Centre, said that, often, people fall into the paradox of desiring certainty and avoiding change. But change is the only constant in this life. Her key to creating change is expressing gratitude everyday.

8. Hope is the key to a better future. Virginia Rosenberg, an astrologer for social change, said that, astrologically speaking, 2020 has been a year of major collapse. That said, 2021 is conversely a year of rebirth, so prepare to find your new awakening. 

While we’re all eager to put 2020 behind us, there is so much we can learn from the past nine months. Take these eight spiritual lessons and apply them in your life to help transform yourself and lift up those around you for a better, brighter future. 

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