A fresh, unblemished new year yawns out before us. What will we do with it? I like to set an intention, not make resolutions. Don’t we all hate rules? We set them up and when we cannot follow through with them we beat ourselves up. Let’s be kinder to ourselves this year.
I’ve been thinking about what my intention will be for this year. Part of it is to increase the amount of joy in my life. Last year was so heavy and turbulent it held many moments of happiness at a low simmer. I’m glad to lay 2016 down and move on. There is still much work to do. I won’t roll over or hide my head in the sand. Supporting causes I believe in is necessary. It is also important to take time to experience things I enjoy and enjoy the things I experience.
Late last fall I attended a woman’s retreat. Early one morning I trudged across the frosted hillside to the labyrinth. After a prayer for guidance, I moved along the narrow pathway thinking about joy and where I was in my life. It’s everything I could hope for. Everything I worked for. The things I didn’t achieve were okay, too.
As I walked along I began to feel all my ancestors walking with me—the people whose shoulders I stand on. The ones who laid the foundation of possibilities for me, struggled in their own lives, came to America penniless—farmers, a builder and a housekeeper. Also, those who stayed in the “old country," as my grandmother called it. I felt their strength and support as I placed one foot in front of the other.
That is how we make our life—step by step—all of us going through trials and successes, stumbling backwards, pushing forward. Along this journey, what we learn blooms inside of us and cannot be unlearned. Oh, we can squish it down for a while, but the truth will not be silenced. So, we change, growing into the person we are meant to be and building onto the foundation for those who will follow.
With a silent prayer uttered below a sliver of the moon in the azure sky, I left the labyrinth. In the lodge, I stopped into the gift shop. A polished stone caught my attention. Etched into it in tiny letters was “be still.” Its other side finished the verse “and know that I am God” Psalms 46:10. That little stone sits on my desk. My intention for this year will be stillness. My mantra for this year—Be Still and Know. Know that we are not alone. Know that we continue to grow stronger. Know that we can choose faith over fear. Know we have much to be grateful for.
And gratefulness births Joy.
I wish you all a year filled with Joy.