The end to another trip around the sun. I suppose every day is the completion of another 365 day cycle, but I love the many opportunities during the holiday season to contemplate growth, gratitude, and intention, and so I’m happy to honor this one as well as a touchstone and a reminder to pause and reflect.
Reflecting on the last year gives me a broader perspective on my life and its evolution. As I remember the highlights, the major events, the disappointments and the successes I add depth and interest to the portrait of myself today. How has 2013 shaped and changed me? What lessons did I learn? What do I want to take with me? What am I ready to leave behind? These are questions I can ask on any day, applied to any moment–yet on an annual scale I begin to sense how my daily decisions add up to the sum of my life.
Setting intentions for the coming year grounds me in my values. What do I want to create in my life this year? What do I want more of? What would make the biggest difference for me? Allowing the time and the freedom to dream, to see our lives outside of the stories we tell about them, gives us energy and fertilizes our efforts. New Year’s Eve reminds me to be mindful about what I create this year.
Take a moment right now to engage in the experience of gratitude. Close your eyes and just feel grateful. Don’t turn outward, casting about for things to give thanks for. Remember, it is not an emotional reaction to the blessings you can count; it is an energy you stir up with you that is causal.
I believe that the enjoyment of my life is directly related to how much I recognize and appreciate the good in it. Using holidays such as today to reflect on this gratitude is one way to stay conscious of it. Starting off a new year with an overflowing heart makes us poised to create an abundance of good in our own lives and others’…it really is contagious.
Take time to stir up some gratitude. Spend a moment with your eyes closed and your heart open, and let the gratitude come trickling or flooding in. Discover your own daily gratitude practices, and watch your life change.
Choose one word
My cousin, Alisa, introduced me to the tradition of claiming one word as an intention for the year. At the end of my reflection I like to tie everything together with this one word. This year I have learned a lot about filling myself up from the inside, and am ready to leave behind the need to control people and circumstances in my life in order to be happy. I am ready to embrace what life brings me, to claim responsibility for my own happiness, and to trust that all of it is here for my own good. My word for 2014 is embrace. Embrace the lessons, embrace those I love, embrace the good in every situation–even when it’s hard to see. Embrace whatever choices I do have, embrace the contribution that is mine to make, embrace the uncertainty and the mystery of it all, embrace the love that flows to me from millions of unexpected places.
Thank you for being a part of my 2013. I look forward to all that 2014 has for us.