The new year approaches on the heels of Christmas. Christians celebrate Christmas as the birth of Jesus, the long-awaited Savior. Other religions acknowledge the Christmas season as a time to travel within, to rest, recharge, let go of old patterns that have not served well, set intentions for the coming year, and prepare for a new direction or expansion in spiritual growth. How we celebrate the dawn of a new year is personal, individual, and speaks to what is within as we journey with God.
Many like to begin the new year by making New Year’s Resolutions. Usually, resolutions center around losing weight, getting more fit, getting a new job, some measurable outward sign of progress and change. My annual go-to resolution is to lose weight. I mean, who doesn’t put that resolution at the top of their list whether there is a need to lose weight or not? Most of us eat our way through December; it’s hard to avoid the cookies, candies and treats saturated in fat and sugar everyone brings to the office or door, am I right? At the very least our bodies feel sluggish, weighed down, and overburdened from massive amounts of carbs and sugar. A change in eating habits for the new year starts us out fresh, clears the toxins.
Do I need to lose weight? Not according to my doctor. She recently said, “you are a good weight for a woman your age.” Really? Did she really need to add the qualifier, “a woman your age”? I interpret that to mean I crossed the magical line from youth to the nursing-home-is-looming-on-the-horizon age. Visions of gripper socks, four-wheeled walkers, comfy polyester clothing and sensible shoes dance in my head. I get where she is coming from, but does she need to point it out?
Digging a bit deeper than the expected, I resolve to make meditation a priority. Meditation, prayer, whatever one chooses to call quieting the mind, has always been a challenge. But, the reality is tapping into Divine wisdom residing within requires we quiet the voices from the world. Life is far more complicated and noisy than it used to be. We are forever competing with cell phones, emails, and all manner of electronic gadgets and gizmos vying for our attention. Yes, even people “my age” are subject to the cacophony of an electronic world. We live at a devastatingly draining pace God did not intend and we desperately need the time spent in quiet meditation. Meditation or prayer helps us to center, recharge, and keep our journey in focus. If we cannot tune into the voice within because of the outward noise we will become lost and wander aimlessly about.
Hearing the voice of wisdom needed to guide our journey is difficult when our minds and spirits are cluttered. Many of us carry the weight of damaging personal experiences, destructive patterns of behavior, and negative thinking. Recognizing destructive patterns and damage may be only half the battle in ridding our minds and spirits of clutter. Fear is usually lurking in the shadows, as well; fear we don’t measure up, fear of failure, fear we have nothing new to contribute. I am all too familiar with paralyzing fear. Just as we peel away one layer at a time on an onion, ridding the spirit and mind them of clutter and fear is much the same.
During the winter solstice full moon, I released patterns that have not served me well, in fact, held me captive. We all carry patterns working against our higher good. Some are easier to see than others which is another reason meditation is important; we more clearly see the less obvious destructive patterns in our lives. Releasing old patterns of thought and behavior cleanses and frees us to live more fully, authentically, and purposefully. A toxin cleanse for the spirit, so to speak. Looking forward, I also set my intentions for the coming year. Setting intentions gives us direction along the journey. We need to have a destination and a plan to get there, do we not? All of this fits into the category of inner work; cleaning up the spirit, in other words. Inner work provides the foundation and clarity of becoming who we were meant to be and what we were born to do.
The new year is the perfect opportunity to begin anew, dig a little deeper, set our sights a bit higher, and live fully, authentically and purposefully.
Thank you to all who have read my posts, shared, and commented this past year. I look forward to a successful year ahead. Please visit the Bridging the Divided Facebook page – and have a safe and prosperous New Year!