With the New Year comes the proclamation of a new you. This is my 47th New Year and I look back and declare some visible changes. My Taoism remains a vital part of my life; I began a couple years ago with the study of the Eastern philosophy. It has served me well although it does nothing.

I marvel at my metamorphose from arrogant brute to a spiritual being. Some personal characteristics I cherished from childhood have vanished e.g., anger, violence, loathing.

The satisfaction of discovering one’s self without interference cannot be understated. However, it was a painful walk to this point, nevertheless, it continues with brief moments of doubt followed by reassurance at times.

Alone the way, I adopted several spiritual characteristics that were and remain beneficial to my evolution. This list by no means captures all that went into my journey which continues today.

(1) Consciousness

A friend of mine said, “One cannot rise above their consciousness.” Oh, so true, nothing defines a person than where the invisible spirit lay. It’s immeasurable by human tools but describes all actions. Your consciousness is made of many things; four of those characteristics are listed below.

(2) Forgiveness

Anger and resentment destroys the spirit. For when you have an enemy you are looking at yourself. You will become what you hate; there is no way around it, for holding a grudge is like hanging over a volcano by a string. Forgiveness releases you from your self-imposed prison. Forgiveness is self-driven.

(3) Self-Awareness

No greater man than one who witness his own faults. When one lack self-awareness they find their heads on other people’s pillows. The world becomes a fearful and bitter place as we concentrate on the morals and values of contemporaries. Only self-examination and acceptance of what we find in ourselves can render a peaceful spirit.

(4) Empathy

The gift to be able to experience the life of another. A spirit void of transforming oneself into another has limitations. For the people can see swiftly when one does not care. Our intolerance for mankind’s behaviors and subsequent reputation comes at a price. We lose social capital only looking at life through our own vision. How can you really know a person without living in their skin?

(5) Emotional Stability

The quickest descent is being not in control of one’s emotions. Reckless emotions destroy relationships and the internal spirit which they live. Our interpersonal skills are bankrupt and stillborn as we misinterpret the simplest communication. Have a firm hold on your emotions and stay focus on reality.

The Invisible Dragon opens his nostrils.