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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:

Character

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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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Ken Wert December 27, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Beautifully said, Christopher!

Growth and discovery, evolution of thought and ideology, openness to the new and the possible are all such wonderfully exciting aspects to truly living. You’re right that we have the option of “hunkering down” and turning off the lights and putting down the blinds and locking the door to the new and the challenging. But such surrenders to a state of growthlessness is a terrible waste of the God-given potential that is each of us.

Thank you for the kindness and thoughtfulness and the comapssion that are always such a part of your posts.
Ken Wert recently posted..The Sexiness of Happiness

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Christopher Foster December 28, 2011 at 10:38 am

Ken, I don’t know what to say. You overwhelm me with your generous-hearted support and encouragement. I’ve always felt agreement is one of our most precious gifts or opportunities in life, and in this regard, I’m so thankful for the agreement I feel with you.

Look forward to share closely with you in whatever lies ahead in 2012. Blessings.

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Susan Minarik December 27, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Discovering your blog was definitely one of the highlights of 2011 for me, Christopher. I so appreciate your gentle wisdom and graceful style. Thank you for enriching us all with your words.

Wishing you and yours a joyous New Year.
Susan Minarik recently posted..The Golden Song

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Christopher Foster December 28, 2011 at 10:30 am

Thank you for your kind words Susan. I was just at your blog reading The Golden Song. Oh my. What a beautiful message. Happy indeed to have met up with you and wish you a wonderful New Year.

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Christopher Foster December 28, 2011 at 11:19 am

Thank you Susan. I was just at your blog reading The Golden Song. Oh my. What an exquisite message. So very happy to meet you and a joyous New year to you.

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Paula December 27, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Hi Chris,
What a beautiful poem. Well said!
Thank you for your inspiration!

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Christopher Foster December 28, 2011 at 10:23 am

Thanks so much Paula. Your kind words much appreciated.

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Mike Stewart December 28, 2011 at 1:20 am

Every poem has a story to tell and to be learned. And this is one of them!
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Christopher Foster December 28, 2011 at 10:21 am

Thanks Mike. Best wishes to you.

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KevinTrucer December 28, 2011 at 4:07 am

This is very usefull post. Anyway, it was quite hard to find it – maybe consider doing some SEO for your blog?
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Christopher Foster December 28, 2011 at 10:18 am

Kevin, I appreciate your thought very much. I’m weak on SEO, I know it. In fact it’s a bit of a mystery to me. I was curious how you did find me in the end, was there a particular phrase that did it? I think there’s a promising New Year resolution for me here.

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Arthur December 28, 2011 at 5:12 am

Growing old? It doesn’t feel like that inside, does it? Somewhere amongst my collection of scribbled notes I have one which reads something like this: “Why am I staggering around like an old man?” and then, realising the truth I added, “because I AM an old man!” and this brought an uncontrollable belly laugh like that of the Buddha.

So sometimes I stagger around like an old man – it’s different, and it’s fun.

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Christopher Foster December 28, 2011 at 10:16 am

We should get together sometime Arthur and enjoy staggering around together a bit. Might be fun to see who could come up with the most convincing stagger?

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Sal December 28, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Hi Christopher,

I love your website and visit often. I just turned 62 years young on December 22nd and I must say so far I have been enjoying the aging process, even though it makes my stomach tight just to type about it here ..

I’m seeing how having a bit of wisdom helps me make better choices and life is meant to be enjoyed because it is a gift. But I still have a certain amount of terror about aging because for the first time in my life I’m confronted with my mortality, the idea that I don’t have all the time in the world to do what’s right for me and the world.

The way I see it, purpose isn’t about some lofty grand thing; it’s rather about bringing the best I have to offer into each day for myself and those around me. It’s all the tiny things that matter, to be present and experience as many nows as I can.

Truly a life well-lived today provides a future that will take care of itself with no regrets! I have enjoyed my family, my two sons, their wives, my grandkids, my friends and coworkers this holiday season more than I can remember in the recent past. I try not to let any opportunity to love go by without using it for the good.

There is never enough love in the world so each of us adding to that which exists is for the good of all. In my daily journey I try to remember that the ultimate goal is to leave the world a tiny bit better than I found it!

Wishing you a prosperous and content New Year Christopher!

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Christopher Foster December 29, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Your attitude is beautiful Sal. Thank you so much for sharing these very tender and touching thoughts. You speak for many, certainly for me. I especially love what you say about purpose, and how it comes down to a very simple thing, bringing the best we have to offer into each moment and circumstance that arises.

It is truly heartening to share your report about how deeply you were able to appreciate your family and friends this festive season. So much magic in our “little” moments. So much need and opportunity to love, as you say, to bless and forgive and really see what is around us and before us. It’s a real joy to share life’s journey with you. Blessings to you Sal and stay strong.

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Angela Artemis/Poweredbyintuition December 28, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Christopher,
I love this wrap up of your year. I also love that you embrace change! I honestly think that is the true secret of remaining young at heart.
I wish you a wonderful new year!
Angela
Angela Artemis/Poweredbyintuition recently posted..Lessons Learned and Gratitude for 2011

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Christopher Foster December 29, 2011 at 12:20 pm

And a wonderful new year to you too, Angela. Getting to know you better has been one of the highlights of the year for me. Thank you especially for your warm support and encouragement. Be fun to see what lies in store for us in 2012 won’t it?

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Arthur December 29, 2011 at 7:35 am

It is a “staggering” suggestion you make there, Christopher because, unlike you, I am not a world traveller – I’m still here in Blighty, never having felt the need to be further away from this bit of dirt than the Isle of Wight, Isle of Man, Anglesea or Northern Ireland, plus crossing invisible borders into Scotland and the Principality of Wales! ! ! With seven lifetimes I would never see enough of England.

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Christopher Foster December 29, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Arthur, have to tell you your words remind me how much I too love England. My father outlived my Mom by quite a few years, and lived in his latter years in a ground floor flat in Pevensey bay, Sussex. It was strategically placed just across the road from his favorite pub, The Moorings. Dad had been a reporter all his life and loved people with a passion.

For quite a few years, until he died at age 95, I used to visit him there fairly regularly, and got my English “fix” that way. But I agree with you. Seven lifetimes wouldn’t be enough to see enough of England. Best wishes to you Arthur and have a wonderful New Year. (By the way, where in Blighty do you live?)

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Tess The Bold Life December 29, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Hi Christopher,
I really don’t have any resolutions but I chose the word “Create” for 2012. It’s the year I’m leaving my mark on the world…in a positive, bold, and amazing way. Happy New Year! xox
Tess The Bold Life recently posted..Take This Fear and Shove It!

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Christopher Foster December 29, 2011 at 7:26 pm

What a beautiful word to choose as you set sail for the coming year. Create. Tess, I’m with you 100 percent.

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Hiten December 29, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Nice post Christopher. I think as we get older its important to keep a playful attitude towards life and allow the inner child to come out and play.

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Christopher Foster December 29, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Thanks Hiten. Great to hear from you. Yes. I’m so happy it’s never too late (and never too soon) to let our inner child come out to play.

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Arthur December 30, 2011 at 3:28 am

Stoke-on-Trent, “The Potteries”, but I’m not a potter as I worked in a drawing office. My Mum was though, as a paintress and my current partner was a gilder. Dad was a railwayman after being in the Royal Engineers during the Great War.

Apart from his love of his family, like many of his generation his newspaper, the pub and football were his life and he could direct you anywhere by which pubs you passed along the way! He never raised a finger let alone the strap or a slipper – a look was always enough for us kids to stop what we were doing.

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Daria December 30, 2011 at 7:51 am

I am simply pleased I discovered this web page. Maybe you would like to place my banner on site? How can I contact you privately? You got my email!
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jack foley December 30, 2011 at 4:11 pm

You are an inspiration Chris…

You remind me of Jim Rohn – a person who will never stop learning..

Congrats on your wisdom and thanks for sharing..
jack foley recently posted..Diversification-So-Important-In-Investing

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Christopher Foster December 30, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Thank you so much for your kind comment Jack. I much enjoyed perusing your blog, and also, looking into the life of Jim Rohn a bit. I hadn’t heard of him but what an impressive story. Blessings and best wishes for a wonderful new year.

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jack foley December 31, 2011 at 11:58 am

Yep he sure had an impressive story but so do you..

a person who consistently wants to seek out new knowledge..

The essence of life is growth..

you embody this Chris..

Happy 2012..!
jack foley recently posted..Diversification-So-Important-In-Investing

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Galen Pearl January 2, 2012 at 8:30 pm

Love that sweet panda picture. When we were in China, we got to hold a baby panda at the panda reserve. Okay, I know that wasn’t the point of your post, but it brought back great memories! Happy New Year to you!
Galen Pearl recently posted..Word of the Year 2012

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Noch Noch January 3, 2012 at 2:47 am

is that a baby panda Chris?
I’ve lived in China for 2 years and still not gotten around to it. ONce I’m healthy enough to travel around again that’s first thing to do!!!
Just wanted to share, that for 2012, I just want to “be me” – who I am inside, know who I am inside, and not be afraid to be me. I guess that speaks to our characters
I think unless I’m comfortable with my own skin, I can’t really completely get out of this depression thing
2012 will be good. I can feel it
Thanks for being here 🙂
Noch
Noch Noch recently posted..crystal nemo’s new year revelations

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Christopher Foster January 4, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Thanks so much for this comment Noch. Yes it is a baby panda, it really is adorable isn’t it? You absolutely must put it at the top of your to-do list.
You’ve been making wonderful changes Noch. As you say, that’s all you need to be aware of, the simple pleasure of being you.
I know from my own experience it takes a lot of persistence, patience and sheer courage to move all the way through depression and come out the other side into the sun again but it is sure worth it. You will be a new person. It’s my experience that a great blessing is contained in what we call ‘depression’ and while some think of it as “something bad” that is not actually true. It can be a door to freedom. So stay with it. We can trust Life. We really can.

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Noch Noch January 12, 2012 at 12:47 am

Thanks Chris – I will continue to trust in it. Actually, I’m now able to see depression as something “good” – if we really must classify it… it’s allowed me to know much more about myself and be in tune with who i am inside!
THank you depression!

And yes – panda trip is on the calendar for mid april for my birthday and bridal shower!!! 🙂
so excited!
Noch noch

Dr. Robert Doebler January 3, 2012 at 7:24 am

Wow. Reading this post inspires me to invite changes in my life as well. I mean, I’m not that kind of person who embraces changes. Sometimes, i feel awful changing my habits but now i’m enlightened that it’s necessary to change oneself for the purpose of being successful in business and also in life in general. Thanks for sharing Chris!

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BeccaMoteevates January 27, 2012 at 10:12 am

Christopher makes a great point about the “supposed comfort” of the stable, the unchanged. This comfort merely an illusion, a trick of mind that makes us believe we are in control. So how can one be motivated to make the changes needed?

http://www.MOTEEVATE.com is a social network designed to help you achieve your goals, no matter how big or small. Create a profile and join an extensive community of experts in varying interests, invite your friends, track accomplishments, and collaborate with fellow moteevators to inspire and be inspired.

Go be great, moteevate!

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Christopher Foster January 29, 2012 at 11:17 am

Thanks for sharing Becca. Best wishes and good luck.

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Gina February 17, 2012 at 5:35 am

Good post. Some parts are hard to understand for me, non-native english though… Do you know any good translate plugin for WordPress?
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Christopher Foster February 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Gina, thanks for writing. You bring up a great point. I’ll look into it and see what I can find out.

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Deryll April 3, 2012 at 6:37 am

Do you have, or used to have another blog, Chris? I’m sure I have read post on similiar topic long time ago, but this one is far more comprehensive!
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Smith September 1, 2012 at 12:41 am

Hi Chris, I like your blog. I’d like to subscribe to your newsletter if you have any.
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Graham April 14, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Fascinating. It was so long time ago…
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Christopher Foster April 17, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Thanks Graham. Good luck and God bless.

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Christopher Foster January 17, 2012 at 1:22 pm

What you say is very interesting Noch. Have you heard of “The dark night of the soul,” spoken of in many places in literature? I’ve read in a number of places how it’s actually great good fortune — a blessing from our Creator — to go through this “dark night” — because of the light and truth waiting for us as we emerge from this period of trial and challenge.

But I do so agree with you. No need to classify anything!

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