If you are reading this, welcome to 2021. Rainer Marie Rilke said, “And now we welcome the New Year. Full of things that have never been.” The new year really is like a blank, new page, brimming with the potential for awesomeness. Ultimately, you have the pen in your hand, and you help to write the story. What will you write this year? What will we all write together? Edith Lovejoy Pierce said, “We will open the book. Its pages blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” You can find this week’s video here: https://youtu.be/tvE7gSQVgsg
While we think about that, I hope that you had an opportunity to release the things from 2020 that no longer serve you, to think about the lessons learned, to save the best memories of the past, and to set some new intentions for 2021. I love to approach the New Year with gratitude. First, gratitude that I have made it here. I think that each day that we get to do this thing called life is a true blessing, and it means that we aren’t quite done doing what we need to do here, whatever that is. I know people who did not make it this side of 2021 and so will we live for ourselves; we can also live for those who no longer can. For me, I believe that part of why we are all here is to use the gifts that we have been given as service to humanity, and while this does matter, I don’t think that is all there is. We are also here to enjoy life, to relish in the delicious experiences that make us human.
Second, I feel gratitude for the past experiences that have taught me so much—either about my own strengths, or about my limitations. I know when I can give a little more, but I also know by listening and paying attention to what I have learned that there are times when I need to rest and reflect. Finally, I also feel gratitude for the pure potential of what awaits us in the coming days, weeks, and months. Josiyah Martin said, “The magic in new beginnings is truly the most powerful of them all.” We never know how any year will be, how it will ultimately unfold, and although most do bring a mixture of experiences, I can only hope that they next one will be the best one yet. Alfred Lord Tennyson said, “Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, it will be happier.” We can certainly hope…
A few years ago, I started the practice of setting a new word for the New Year—this would be a word that helped me to anchor myself in the experiences of the year, and it would also help to give the year some direction. T.S Elliot said, “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice.” In previous years, I have used the words: balance, flow, vision, growth, love, and so forth. Every time that I have selected a work, the year has given me an opportunity to prove that it really was the word that I needed for that particular year. For example, once when I chose balance, I ended up working and tending to my social life more than taking care of my physical health. I ended up having a situation where I fell down the stairs, twisted up my ankle, and canceling everything that I thought was too important to cancel. I really learned that there is a time for everything under the sun—and that anything done in extremes can be dangerous to our mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Brandon Sanderson said, “Somehow, we will find it. The balance between whom we wish to be and whom we need to be. But for now, we simply have to be satisfied with who we are.”
I think that this year for 2021, the word that I will choose is flow. This is a repeat word, but it reminds me of one of my favorite elements—water, and some of my favorite life philosophies.
Lao Tzu said, “Those who flow as life flows, know they need no other force.” I like that and this quote by Donna Goddard, “Life changes and often we just have to go with the flow not knowing its course. Things can change because there is something better or different for us and if we don’t follow our leanings then that which once seemed fine will start to feel unsatisfactory and will dismantle because it is not right for us anymore. It becomes a burden rather than the blessing it once was. We have to trust that as we were cared for in the past, we will be cared for in the future.”
And this one from Erik Pevernagie, “Let us join the flow of ethereal vibrations when love is at our fingertips and encounter the mystery and wonder of unsuspected instants. Let us dip into the marvel of the budding and the blooming spray of our dreams brightening up our path.”
I have shared a few quotes on the beauty and potential of the New Year, and here are a few more; I hope that they inspire you.
David Bowie said, “I don’t know where I am going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.”
Neil Gaiman said, “I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
To follow up on that, Craig Lounsbrough said, “Packaged inside of every mistake there lays a great lesson. And while I don’t want to take the mistake into the New Year, I most certainly want to take the lesson that’s packaged inside of it.”
I never want people to feel afraid to make mistakes—because it means that you at least tried, and there is a beauty in that as well!
Rainer Maria Rillke, “And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been, full of work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands; and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much of what it has to bestow upon those who demand of it necessary, serious, and great things.”
Nido Qubein, “Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go. They merely determine where you start.”
Abraham Lincoln said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
What do you want life to be like in this new year? Whatever it is, I am rooting for you. I hope that this is a year filled with hope, with love, and with opportunities for all of us to rise to the occasion and show the best of humanity! Also, I hope that you also get to choose a word for the year ahead, and that it helps give your year good direction, and anchors you in some amazing experiences. It is a shorter blog and video this week, but I just wanted to pop in, say Happy New Year, and give you something to think about in the coming weeks. I have some exciting content planned, and I really do appreciate your presence here. May the stars shine brightly over your week, and may it be a beautiful one indeed!