The end of 2012 does seem to be a particularly challenging time for many of us. I think there is a sense of ‘unresolved’ issues making appearing in our lives.

Perhaps an outdated belief is fighting for centre stage or maybe a niggle or argument is resurfacing. It may be that you are directly experiencing the old stuff once more or sometimes it is emerging with a different nature but a familiar essence. For example, you felt isolated at school and now you find yourself in a similar situation at work or your hang-ups about your relationship with a parent are now manifesting in an identical form in your intimate relationship.

Whether you attribute it to the economic hangover, energetic shifts or just pure coincidence, there does appear to be a generalised sense that something strange is occurring. Have you felt it too?

Maybe we are at the mercy of the growing pains of evolution. The world is changing and with it will come a collective maturity as we enter a new phase. Those problems that we thought we could side-step or bury are now making themselves known. Sometimes we experience the gentle nudge or whisper of a more infinitely wise presence in our lives. Other times, we are getting a disturbingly loud and intrusive wake up call. One day happily bopping along and then our world comes crashing down. Hasn’t our Divine self heard of manners?

The truth is that we are on the cusp of magnificence. And anything that will keep us from fully immersing ourselves in this new era is showing up. It’s all happening as it should. Isn’t that pretty cool?

We don’t need to embark on some kind of evolutionary analysis of ourselves and our lives to work out what needs to be different in order for us to take that quantum leap. Rather than seeking change as we have done over the past decade, now transformation is finding us. Every challenging situation, every argument, every negative feeling is showing us the way home.

So I guess we should be feeling excited right? If this message isn’t bringing you an overwhelming sense of joy, you are not alone. Living with these challenges is less than easy. How do we handle the issues whilst remaining at peace? The two seem to be mutually incompatible.

The solution is also the path. One stand-out characteristic of the new era is to live in this world whilst not being dominated by it. It is the ability to be aware of the challenges without letting them define you.

Let’s take a fairly generic problem, that of being in conflict or disagreement with someone close to you.

The old way is usually one of two approaches . You might tackle the problem head on and ‘fix’ it as soon as possible so that you can put it behind you and move on. You rely on your determination or stubbornness to get to a solution that you want. Or perhaps you hide behind ‘niceties’ and use your ultra-polite and seemingly caring influencing skills to direct the conversation your way. (I have become increasingly aware of the number of times I have unconsciously tried to manipulate circumstances in this way.)

Strategy two is the ostrich technique. Bury your head in the sand and hope that it will just go away. Sometimes we use a combination of these approaches, ping-ponging between trying to control the outcome and hiding ourselves away. Again, this is offered without judgment as I recognise my own patterns of behaviour, always done with the best intentions for myself and for others.

If we don’t fight, we don’t freeze and we don’t flee, what other options do we have? What if there was nothing to do but to bring your awareness to the present moment? Can you sit with someone who is unhappy with you and stay at peace, without the need to justify or explain? Can you let someone blame you for their pain and suffering and not try to deflect or defend? Can you hear someone tell you that you have made a mistake or got it wrong and not try to prove your rightness?

When you get present to the moment, the gift of the new era will begin to reveal itself in your life. Peace and love will permeate your heart and flow into every aspect of your existence. You will have solved the mystery of the ultimate quest — how to experience heaven whilst you are here on earth.