Begin Again

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1 January 2019

It’s January of 2019 – can you believe it? We blinked and December turned to January, the days are getting longer and the promise of a new year is upon us. What will you do with the blank pages? How will you make 2019 your best year yet?

It’s a brand new year – what do you hope to find? Like the first pages of a new notebook, the smell of a new car or the feeling you get when unwrapping a much awaited gift – it’s here. Today, 2018 is officially in the past and the future right in front of our eyes. I’m not one for official resolutions, but I fully believe in looking back on the year that’s gone, dreaming big for the one ahead and taking stock of it all. Whether it be your personal, professional, political, or positively possible perspective – it’s all important.

What do you want to do more of this year? How do you want to change the world for the better? What do you want to learn? How do you want to better yourself? Where do you want to volunteer? Who can you help? Where can you make a difference? What do you want to experience? Where would you like to explore? What are you passionate about? How do you want to feel?

These are only some of the types of questions to posit daily. Each and every day we get the chance to begin again. Whether it’s stepping on a yoga mat, dropping off kids at school, sharing a meal with a friend, making a phone call, listening to a loved one and waking up each day – no matter the act, we get to choose our attitude every moment. Can you make your outlook a bit more positive today? In the mornings, can you notice three things for which you’re grateful? Can you listen more intently, love more fiercely, employ more empathy, and hug more deeply? Where can you make a change, how can you implement that change and what will you notice from it all?

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We’re never too old and it’s never too late. There are new paths on which to meander, roads to take and mountains to climb. There are dreams to discover, plans to make and risks to take. There are comfort zones to blast open, people to help and lessons to learn. And through it all – all the bumps, bruises, twists, turns, roundabouts, setbacks and roads less traveled – there’s gratitude.

I recently heard a lecture on gratitude and forgiveness. It took on the notion of Steve Maraboli’s words, ‘If forgiveness is the medicine for the soul, then gratitude is vitamins’. Perhaps there were choices we made or events that transpired where we need to forgive ourselves and give ourselves that leeway to begin again. Perhaps we had expectations that weren’t met, relationships that didn’t pan out or things we’d change if we got that chance to do it again. Whether we’re forgiving ourselves or someone else – we all need that extra love, that extra hug and that extra shot at the do-over. In order to get us there, in order to get us to that point where we can see a lesson in everything and find that silver lining in even the grayest of clouds – there’s gratitude. For years I heard it bantered around, but until moving to California, I’m not sure I truly grasped the magnitude of the concept.

Trust me when I tell you, it’s a game changer. You know what – don’t trust me, try it out for yourself and see. The changes in your outlook, demeanor, body language, health, mindset and more are almost instantaneous. It takes practice, patience, persistence and perspective – but the reward is life-changing. In yoga classes, we often hear, ‘it’s yoga practice, not yoga perfect’ – gratitude is the same. It isn’t always easy, there are times when it’s elusive, there are days when that response isn’t what we’d like it to be and it takes work – but in the process of getting there (wherever there is), we change, we grow and find that gratitude. It really is the journey.

What will your journey be this year? Write it down, make a note, grab a journal, set an intention, create that reminder, tell a friend – whatever works for you…set those goals and start today. Jump in with an open mind, open heart and endless spirit – 2019 is waiting for you.

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