A resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something.
I like the feeling that new beginnings conger up, setting new goals, and researching all that goes into the changes I want to make. Notice I say, want, to make, and not, should make. I’m taking a different approach this year. Rather than denying myself the things I enjoy, I will work on a more mindful practice of the positive things in my life.
I aspire to take The One A Day Values I wrote about and create a 365-day inspirational reading book. My long-term goal is to finish it by the end of the year. I can’t think of a better way to resolve to live a more positive, mindful 2022 than to continue to put into practice the things I’ve come to value in my life. And isn’t that what we need to do every day, practice the things we love the most. Practice makes perfect, and if I live by my values, then everything will fall into place because then I am living…by my truth.
Reflection: This New Year’s day is the first chapter of 2022. With 365-days to create the story of your dreams…make it a good one.
Instinct comes from the body’s reaction to life, and intuition comes from our souls’ experience. Bring them together, and how can you go wrong.
It’s interesting to note that there is a difference between instinct and intuition; they tend to be interchangeable. I see it, especially when looking at quotes.
“Instinct comes from the word instincts, or “impulse,” meaning it’s a biological tendency. It’s the transient reaction that happens in our bodies, apropos of right now *1.
“Intuition comes from the word intuitio, or, “consideration,” meaning it’s an accumulated belief. It’s the ongoing collection of experiences, apropos of everything up until now. *2”
I thought it was interesting too to find that Darwin’s observations nearly 130 years ago were that “sympathy is our strongest instinct.” We are instinctually programmed to be kind, loving, caring human beings. If this is indeed true, then we are instinctively born with the values we aspire to live by; And that means listening to our instincts is in keeping with the things we value most intuitively.
Reflection: It is inspiring to know that I can trust my instincts from my body’s point of view and my intuition from my soul beliefs. As I work at bringing my body and soul together as one, that’s when I feel the presence of God’s grace.
There is no value in dreams if you can’t visualize them coming true. Our dreams come true through the stirring and value of our aspirations.
An aspiration is hope or ambition of achieving something. I can’t think of a better time than the end of the year to stop and reflect on our hopes, dreams, and aspirations. I’m not talking about setting goals here, although that’s a part of achieving our heart’s desires; our aspirations are more long-term. They are what we look at, visualize, and focus on to make those intentional dreams come true.
I like the idea of finding value in my aspirations as I begin the new year. It feels more life-giving to myself rather than concentrating on what I need to give up. I can focus on building upon the better good I want to create in my life. Maybe then the bad habits will go away naturally because I’ll feel good about what I am accomplishing.
Our aspirations are like building blocks that continue to build one upon the other. When we achieve one part of our dream, a new piece of it opens up for us, and it’s filled with new opportunities to grow into and experience. That truly is the beauty of life, but none of our dreams can come true without the work and effort we put into it.
Reflection: Our dreams cannot be achieved through a lack of effort. No one in this world can make your dreams come true. You alone know your true soul’s desire. Therefore only you can aspire to make those dreams come true.
Everyone has inside him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!
I was looking through the newspaper this morning, and we have an Opinion section every Monday called Good Things. It’s a day that Lancaster Newspaper takes a few moments to highlight good news. It is basically about validating people and the good things going on in our community. It’s refreshing and a wonderful reminder that there are still good things going on around us.
People do such wonderful things to help others in need, and those things usually get less noticed than when bad things happen. I was driving through Dunken donuts not long ago to get coffee, and the person ahead of me paid for it. I didn’t even know them. My husband could win the award for letting the most people into the lane of traffic as we drive around. But there is no such recognition for that. Paying for someone’s meal, sharing our books, magazines, even giving away things we no longer need to others, or simply validating the efforts, thoughts, and kindness of others creates a feeling of goodness in us.
I love Ann Franks’s quote above. “Everyone has a piece of good news inside them.” Life is not about the next bad thing that is about to happen or the latest conspiracy fear. Life is about discovering the good news within you, who you are and what you have to contribute to the better good of all. Finding that piece of good news within us begins with each new day.
Reflection: How will your piece of Good News read at the end of your day?
May the peace and blessings of the Christmas spirit be with you.
My neighbor came by the other day to wish us a Merry Christmas. She had one of her little boys with her, and he was curious to see all the decorations we had and wanted me to turn on the lights so he could see everything lit up. As I turned the manger light on, it looks like the star of David shining into the stable. My little neighbor is very curious about everything and likes to check out all the details, so as he was checking out the manger, he wanted to know what a big clump of dirt was on the floor of the manger, and I explained to him that the manger was like a barn with a dirt floor. You could see his mind spinning to picture what the actual manger must have looked like.
It got me thinking, too, as a mother how difficult it must have been for Mary to give birth to a baby for the first time without much help and in such unsanitary conditions. It’s hard to imagine in our day and age where we wash our hands constantly. But Jesus came into this world like all humans are born, and both mother and child survived.
Jesus lives his life as a human even though he is known to be the son of God. He wanted us all to know that we, too, are the sons and daughters of our Creator. It was important for Jesus’ life to not seem any more important than your or my life because how else could we know that we could follow in his footsteps? Jesus teaches us that we can embrace God the same as he did. That we can live breath and experience life through God that we can be who we are created to be because just like Jesus, we all have an important purpose that God gave us to live out, and Jesus shows us the way, the truth, the life, and the how.
Reflection: On Christmas day Jesus birth reminds us that we too are called to new birth, new beginnings, and new life. May the blessing, peace and love of Christmas touch your life in a very special way.
“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
We talk a lot about how important it is to give to others, and to give without expecting anything in return is even better. The Bible teaches that “It’s better to give than receive.”Acts:20:35. I’m not here to argue with the word of God. I think we all understand the Bible is referring to those who selfishly expect with no intention of giving to others.
I never thought of it until now, but when I give from the heart, I can’t wait to see how the receiver opens that gift. It must be because when someone gives from the heart, I feel special to them. So, of course, I give with the same intention wanting the receiver to know how special they are to me. It’s not about the cost of the gift. It’s about the thought that goes into it.
Something else to consider is that it’s just as important for the receiver to accept our gifts as for the giver to give them. Have you ever been given a gift, and someone told you they didn’t want it? It’s hard to imagine someone doing that. In this respect, you can see how rejection is far more selfish than receiving. It takes just as much goodness to give as it does to receive graciously. I had to learn how to receive kind words from others because I didn’t think I was worthy of them. I had to learn how to accept others’ help when they offered, by remembering how much it meant to me to help them when they needed it. There are all kinds of ways we give and receive from each other.
Reflection: We give and receive; we receive and give. It’s how we keep filling each other’s cups back up, and that, my friends, is how the cycle of giving and receiving goes round and round. I call it goodness in motion.
When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things — not the great occasions — give off the greatest glow of happiness.”
When I was six years old, my parents went bankrupt, and we lost our new home. It was in a development and at the end of the road was a farm field—the farmhouse on the other side of the field was for rent, so that was where we moved. It was like going from riches to being poor, at least; that’s what I remember my mom saying.
It really wasn’t so bad for a kid. There was an enormous weeping willow tree my brother built a treehouse in. Sometimes he’d let me go in it. There was a barn where neighbors kept their two horses we couldn’t ride, but we could pet and give carrots, too. My dad raised chicks for the farmer next door, and we got to watch them hatch out of their eggs and hold their soft puffy yellow body in our hands. It was an old house that I could have loved if it wasn’t for the spiders that got inside it. My mom tried to teach me something good about spiders as we watched a big spider weave its web over a floodlight outside. I became mesmerized by how an ugly creepy spider could be so graceful and make such beautiful lace.
It must have been the first Christmas I couldn’t get to sleep. My siblings and I were worried that Santa wouldn’t know where we lived since we moved. My parents must have been in their thirties, and they put on a good show for us kids. While we were still in bed, we heard our parents talking to Santa and how happy we kids would be to know that he did indeed know how to find our family. Santa responded with a big jolly, ho ho ho! Merry Christmas and to all a good night!
Reflection: Do you ever wonder why, when times are rough, children have a way of being more creative, making fun with what they have, and discovering things for the first time? You learn to appreciate what you have. They were challenging years for our family, but the fondest years I remember because we made the best of what we had, and we did it together.
You want to know the value of singing? Well just to name a few things: “Singing exercises your heart, lungs, and releases endorphins making you feel good.” ~kismetry.com
* “Research has shown that singing can be good for you on many levels. It may help lower stress, boost immunity and lung function, enhance memory, improve mental health, and help you cope with physical and emotional pain.”
I remember an unfortunate experience I had once where I could not make sense of a conflicting situation I had just experienced. I felt hurt, confused, and betrayed. As I got in my car to head home, I needed to find a way to keep from crying. I turned my CD player, and Josh Groban was singing. I didn’t know what his words were expressing, but I knew how to sing along with him. His voice was strong and powerful full of feelings. I turned it up loud, and I sang along with him until I made it home.
I learned how powerful singing could be as I felt the same kind of relief I’ve gotten from shedding tears. Singing is much less messy, though, and makes us feel a little more energized. Maybe that’s because when we sing, we bring more extra oxygen into our bodies.
Reflection: There are so many things to value about singing, but don’t worry about the song or how you sound. Sing for you, sing to heal, sing to release, sing for fun, but most of all, sing because it makes you feel good.
Every cycle must return to stillness, silence, the dark;
Every out-breath requires an in-breath;
Every outer endeavor turns back inward of its origins, its center, and begins again.
From death comes new life, and from the darkest night, the new dawn is born.
New life, new birth, new beginnings seem to be the subject in December. We have to get through the winters of our life repeatedly, just like nature teaches us. It’s our chance to sit in the stillness, the silence, even the darkness, and contemplate what we had learned from the days when the light shined upon us. What will we take with us into the new dawn of a new beginning? What will we leave behind for now? What will help us bloom, unfold and become the person we want to be?
Reflection: I pray that the dawn of the Winter Solstice chases your darkness away. May all your sorrow vanish and all your dreams come true. And may the promise of God’s light come shinny through for you.