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Welcome a New Year, welcome a New You

I wish you a Happy New Year. Such a special opportunity we have at this time to consider how we can change our lives — and perhaps the lives of others — for the better.

Life doesn’t ask for much, but it does ask that we participate with life in making all things new. It asks that we cooperate in the process of change that is at work constantly in our little corner of the universe and throughout the entire cosmos.

We don’t HAVE to participate in this process of course. We can dig in our heels and hunker down in the supposed comfort of old ways and opinions.

But as I continue in the aging process I realize more and more vividly how enjoyable it is to consciously invite change in my life.

It’s fun to express myself in new ways that perhaps I didn’t realize even existed in an earlier phase of my life. To be more playful, perhaps, for example. Or even, once in awhile (I love surprising JoAnn with this) to be more succinct.

It’s fun to open myself to new perspectives and embrace new attitudes. It transforms everything. It even transforms how I experience aging. My goodness, what’s not to like?

As 2011 draws to a close, and we cross the threshold into 2012, by all means let us make some New Year’s resolutions. I’ve made one or two. But whether we make resolutions for 2012 or not, what will truly ennoble and change our lives in the coming year is to give increased expression to the beautiful qualities of our own true character.

Qualities I did my best to encapsulate a few years back in the following poem:


An ancient song stirs in my memory like wildflowers shouting on a hill, and it says: “Not a leaf astir upon the tree, Not a ripple on the surface of the shining pool. Silence is the cornerstone of true character.”

I guess the mountain thinks so as it breathes out its majesty with every breath, and the prairie also, stretching forever beyond gray city walls.

Yet there are times when silence is not true character, and life makes a strong wind blow on the prairie or in the human heart. It demands that a human mouth speak, maybe yours, maybe mine, and say the thing that must be said if truth and love and kindness are to have their way.

What is it, this thing called character? Only my heart knows, as it turns to a light so close and yet so illimitable I’m not sure it really has a name.

Thank you for your interest and support and I wish you a beautiful, truly fulfilling New Year. Any thoughts you’d like to share? Please send them in. God bless.

Photo credit ken berg

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