The Beginning of a New Year

nyrefThe beginning of the New Year is seen as a transition for many of us. It’s a time to step back from our life to reconsider where we’ve been and where we want to go. There may be a poignant awareness of the losses and struggles that occurred, as well as an appreciation of our good fortune in celebrating the start of yet another year.

We hope that the changing of the year’s digit will rescue us from past habits and holes that we have dug for ourselves. We dream of changes that will make us happier and healthier. We make a list of resolutions in the hope that our willpower will be strong enough to launch us into a new way of living.

But in moving from one year to the next, take moment to pause. Pause to celebrate. Pause to reflect. Pause to take inventory. And pause to see what you can learn from this past year. Self-reflection is a powerful process. It’s strongly encouraged by many of the world’s great religious traditions and by some of the wisest of our ancestors and has many benefits.

For most of us, self-reflection is a missing piece of our lives. We’re very busy. We’re tired. We look for rest through books, beds, television and the Internet. The idea of spending several hours or more in your living room, sitting quietly and reflecting on the past year, seems strange and a bit uncomfortable. But in the waning hours of the year, we have a wonderful opportunity to excavate our lives and reconsider what we wish to do with the time we have left.

As you reflect on your life, you’ll notice that certain ideas for making changes or doing things differently will naturally arise. You can make note of these, keep them in mind as they can become useful as resolutions or goals.

But for; now, just allow yourself to sit with your life as it is. Seeing our life “as it is” can be more than the foundation of personal change – it can be the basis for faith, compassion for others, and a profound sense that we are loved and cared for more deeply than we have ever realized.

Best wishes as you enter the new year & may God grant you serenity, peace and strength.

Adapted

A Morning Wish

SunriseThe sun is just rising on the morning of another day, the first day of the New Year. What can I wish that this day, that this year, may bring to me?

Nothing that shall make the world of others poorer, nothing at the expense of others; but just those few things which in their coming do not stop with me but touch me rather, as they pass and gather strength:

  • A few friends who understand me, and yet remain my friends.
  • A work to do which has real value without which the world would feel the poorer.
  • A return for such work small enough not to tax unduly anyone who pays.
  • A mind unafraid to travel, even though the trail be not blazed.
  • An understanding heart.
  • A sight of the eternal hills and unbelting sea, and of something beautiful the individual hand has made.
  • A sense of humor and the power to laugh.
  • A little leisure with nothing to do.
  • A few moments of quiet, silent meditation. The sense of the presence of God.
  • And the patience to wait for the coming of these things, with the wisdom to know them when they come.

W.R. Hunt