Reflections on a New Year January 2023

Happy New Year!

While such rigorous exploration of my interior landscape is possible at any time, aligning myself with the construct of the calendar year puts me in a harmonious space that promotes a higher energy, thus inviting rebirth, renewal, and recalibration. The calendar year provides me with the structure of a designated time to formulate goals and ideas, to check progress – or lack thereof – and to adjust if necessary. Both the concept of time travel, and the recognition that master teachers have long deemed time a mere construct, reinforce the notion that I am not limited to January. I can engage in this process whenever and wherever needed. Taking advantage of the calendar year works for me. For several years, I would walk for miles in the rainforests of St. Croix on my birthday, enjoying the solitude of my thoughts and the majesty of nature. Many people do something similar on their birthdays or other anniversaries.

While many folks now consider new year’s resolutions passe, I continue to derive benefits from the symbolic ritual of taking a deep dive into my life. For me, using the ending of one year and the beginning of another is not just a perfunctory verbalization of the statement, “out with the old and in with the new.” It is a time to do some serious soul-searching. I begin by asking myself questions like, “What is the state of my soul? What shall I claim in this new year? What shall I leave behind? What have I learned that stretched me and grew my soul? What broke my heart? What terrified me? What brought me joy?” Countless other questions push me into my fears and doubts, my brokenness, and my complacency, yet they also take me closer to my places of wholeness. Learning how to remain fully present without taking in additional trauma while healing from past distresses has been a huge challenge.  

In a past television comedy whose name I no longer remember, the characters greeted one another with the words, “How ya living?” As I conclude 2022, a year filled with so much joy and pain, and step into a new one filled with endless possibilities, I get to ask myself, “How ya living?” Of course, my heart automatically and lovingly responds with Dr. Phil’s famous line, “And how’s that working for you?” Well, some of it is and some of it is not! So, I will continue to utilize the New Year’s tradition to cavort through my conscious and unconscious mind spaces, reveling in the marvelous belief that I can create the life I dream of when I believe that it requires my active participation. And what better way to do so than to make a date with myself every year to proclaim my victories, mourn my regrets, and announce to myself and the world that I am here – still standing, still growing! 

Happy New Year! Elder Rev. Q