One Life …
... many lessons. Many, many lessons...
Like seasons pass, one moving into and through the other, depending on the previous the coming will unfold, accordingly. That is the rhythm of nature. We too, have a rhythm, that creates a symphony.
Sounds like karma. We don't have to believe in past lives to believe in it (although doing so may make life a bit more interesting). Karma is in action, at all times, in all areas, always. Do you know what this means? It means, you can't hide, (neither can i), and there is always opportunity to learn and change the course of action. The law of karma is twofold, divided by a magical semicolon. Part one goes: As you are, so shall you (re-) act ;
So my understanding, very much influenced by my teacher Ravi Ravindra, has a bit of a turn from conventional ways of talking about it.
We sometimes speak of karma, as a being this deterministic thing, unchangeable, rigid, maybe even a bit mean. But there is a part of this law, that we often forget about, or don't quite notice.
And that is, the second sentence, following the semicolon, creating the whole difference.
Imagine yourself making small, teeny, weeny changes in everyday life, even if you essentially didn't want to. A little divergence from the status quo, a small disruption in the routine, you do it intentionally for a week, a month, a year. As you look back, what would you notice, standing where you are now? Who have you become?
The second part of the law of karma is: as you (re-) act, so shall you become. This is where we are called to act. The whole creative process is in that semicolon, offering the opportunity for freedom.
Our practice, is to go from reactivity, to response. From unconscious conditioning to communicating with awareness from a place of purpose and intent. The intention requires action. The thought doesn't count. And even the smallest of conscious efforts, will be noticed by the world around you, and you, you will change in respons to your actions and words reflecting back to you the lessons to be learned and those that have been learned.
We may think, that the way we are, is the way we shall be. Nothing is static, not even our history. Everything may change, and will change, and we may change everything. Life offers us, with every action a lesson and we learn in accordance with the being we become.
Live, learn, love. That is the mening of karma, it is to grow and to serve. May karma serve you the lessons that allow you to unfold beyond them.