I love new beginnings. The turn of the calendar to a new year always excites me for the opportunity it offers to begin again, to start anew.
There are so many ways to view the New Year. I have tried many. Most often I’d ascribe to the athlete’s approach: setting goals and going for them with initial gusto (especially with eating and exercise goals) and then fizzling out. Even with the best tools, coaching and mindset, my tendency is to over-commit, fail and then feel bad.
Maybe it is because my DNA is so thoroughly creative… my abstract random brain and spontaneous, free spirit has been inspired more by an artist’s approach to my new year’s hopes and dreams. I love seeing the blank pages of the calendar–of the outstretched weeks and months with all its as-yet-unwritten stories–all as a blank canvas. When I began to view this as a time to create something new, it inspired a life-giving energy in me, rather than my previous boot-stap, will-power-myself-through mentality.
Recently, in an effort to develop discipline in my artistic being in a way that honored my creative self, I spent 40 days watching the sun rise. It was not a strict routine, but rather a rhythm that held some flexibility and, most importantly, beauty. I’m very motivated to show up if it’s going to involve something beautiful.
Finding a place was at first a challenge. I became frustrated with the rolling hills and lush trees of our fair city, and the developers who did not organize our neighborhoods around good views of dawn. But it quickly became a quest. I’ve found a few spots that I return to almost daily.
I’ll never forget the first morning. The past couple of years have held a lot of difficult challenges in my personal life. I arrived at my chosen spot while the sky was still midnight blue, but the line at the horizon was turning a cool cerulean color as the sun, somewhere deep below, was making its way up. It struck me then that it was a metaphor for my life. That I was coming out of a long darkness, and soon light and new life awaited. My anticipation and excitement grew. It had been too long since I had taken time to stop and wait for something special like this. The moment the first rays of sunlight pierced my eyes also filled my mind with awe. Filling myself with that anticipation and light repeatedly for a month lifted my spirits more than any practice I have connected with.
It has been a great way to start my days. To commit to deeply appreciating the beauty each new day offers, the chance to create something new, to begin again. Imagine the possibilities as you turn the calendar over and begin your year…all 365 new days of it.