I gave up making New Year’s resolutions long ago. Instead, I choose “one word” to focus on every day, all year long, one simple word that summarizes who I want to be and how I want to live my life.
Those of you who read this blog regularly might recall the word I chose for 2020, “nurture.” Thanks to the coronavirus, nothing about 2020 turned out the way I expected it would; but having that one word in the forefront of my thoughts empowered me to make choices that, although difficult at times, served to keep me physically healthy and mentally strong. Now I have made what might at first glance seem like an odd choice for the year ahead. My “one word” for 2021 is “surrender.”
The word “surrender” is most often associated with weakness and failure. And while there are times when it is appropriate – even necessary – to fight the status quo, often we have more to gain by simply accepting what is. That was certainly the case for me in 2020, when so much was beyond my control. By making the mental shift from resistance and struggle to gratitude in the moment, I was able find peace and serenity in the midst of turmoil and uncertainty.
Back in 2018, I wrote and recorded a solo piano piece called Surrender. First appearing on my 2019 album The Presence of Wonder, it will be released again on January 29th as a single, with orchestration added by my colleague and friend Deborah Offenhauser. Composed when a global pandemic was something I didn’t imagine in my wildest dreams, Surrender is now my soundtrack for 2021: a musical representation of the process of surrender: the transmutation of ego and self-will, the purposeful and loving release of that which no longer serves, and the tranquility and transcendence which follow.
Please help me make this release a success by pre-saving the orchestrated version of Surrender on Spotify (click HERE). Meanwhile, I invite you to check out the solo piano version – on Spotify, on Pandora, on Amazon Music, on Apple Music, or wherever you listen – and that it will bring you some measure of solace and serenity during these challenging times.
Here’s wishing each of you a healthy, fulfilling and prosperous New Year!