New Year, New Beginnings

It’s the start of a new year, and with this comes new energy. According to society’s traditions, the New Year is a time to make resolutions that we hope we will stick with. 

Rather than this being a momentous, once-off occasion, I invite you to embrace the energy that comes with a new year – the energy of renewal and openness.  This renewal and rebirth energy where you decide on things you want for the year, does not have to be embraced only on the first day of a new year.  We can use the same energy and embrace the newness of each new day.    

Every day is a fresh opportunity to start again, to say yes to yourself, and to decide, for this day only, what it will be.  Every day we get to decide if we will carry yesterday’s story into today, or if we will choose instead to focus on what we want for the future.New Year, New beginning, on a rainbow colored background

Perhaps you made resolutions and now find that you have not been able to stick to some of them.  Or maybe you are sticking with them but finding it tough, and fear that you won’t be able to continue with them.

Take a look at everything you want for 2024 – not things that you think you should have accomplished or that others at your stage in life have achieved, but what really speaks to your heart.

Here are a few ideas to get started:

Make a list of what you want to have in your life. 

  • Where do you want to travel to this year? 
  • Who do you want to spend more time with? 
  • What foods are on your list to eat or to make? 
  • What do you want for your career, business or finances? 
  • What about your relationship – are you seeking a significant other, or are you wanting to deepen your relationship with your partner? 
  • What books do you want to read? 
  • What teachings or spiritual growth practices are you seeking to develop or deepen? 
  • What are your health goals?
  • What do you want to learn this year? 

All these things are simply wishes and hopes until you break them down into action steps.  Breaking these dreams down, shows you just how possible they are for you. When you are taking small, doable steps every day towards what calls to you while keeping the big picture in mind, you notice how fast you are able to move towards those dreams.

The key to sticking with anything is to set it up in a way that works with your lifestyle.  Choosing to go to the gym for an hour every day but having to go at 4am when you are tired and didn’t sleep well, means you will most likely not go.  You then get upset with yourself for not having stuck with your new year’s resolution.  Instead, in this case, choose a 15-minute video you can do at home to start with.  Once exercising becomes part of your daily life, step up the time you spend on it in doable increments, and soon your body will welcome the exercise.  When it is no longer work and has become fun, you will find that your lifestyle will adjust to accommodate this time.  Then, getting up to gym becomes something you look forward to – your sacred time.

What thing on your list speaks to you loudest, and what are you doing to include it in your daily life? Share below if you feel called to.

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RUNNING THROUGH DARKNESS
MEMOIR OF A SPIRITUAL WARRIOR

BY SANTA MOLINA-MARSHALL ‧ RELEASE DATE: MAY 3, 2022

This debut memoir chronicles a woman’s spiritual exploration and growth as she overcame a disturbing childhood and helped others heal.

Brought to America from the Dominican Republic as a youngster, Molina-Marshall should have led a happy life. Her father was a diligent worker, and his large family wanted for nothing. But the author recounts that her dad had a drinking problem and was a serial philanderer. Molina-Marshall’s long-suffering mother left him for a woman. Then it was all downhill for the bright, 12-year-old girl, who was shuttled between foster care and relatives. According to the author, she was sexually abused by the husband of one of her siblings. This resulted in Molina-Marshall becoming alienated and moody. By 15, she simply tried to survive. In her favor were grit and a restless intelligence. She quit school, rented a room, and found a factory job. Time went by, and for a while she was happily married. Yet when her husband left her, her life truly began. She turned to religion for answers but decided that blaming God for her woes was a cop-out. 

In this absorbing and moving memoir, Molina-Marshall’s vivid storytelling is fearless. She frankly discusses the truths she discovered and the indignities she suffered. These admissions are disclosed with a touch of resignation and plenty of bite. However painful, everything she experienced was a lesson, and she bravely realized that she was part of the problem: “The fear of being hurt, rejected, or abused often led to me feeling lonely and misunderstood. No one knew the agonizing pain I felt being trapped in my thoughts and anger. I was becoming my biggest threat.” 

The author skillfully recounts her intricate spiritual journey. To deal with her psychic wounds, she searched for an inspirational system. Her open-mindedness led her to the interfaith concept—cherry-picking from various religions and spiritual movements, yoga, and Indigenous beliefs as a way of finding peace. Along with her female partner, she built a therapy practice, making use of every spiritual element that aided her and others. The road was bumpy, and she found that women of color in same-sex relationships were not welcomed everywhere. To do good works—and finally live on her own terms—she effectively overcame bigotry.

An engrossing, cathartic account of empathy and success through determination and confidence.

Pub Date: May 3, 2022   |    ISBN: 978-0-578-38315-6  |   Page Count: 264    | Publisher: From Trauma to Triumph  |   Review Posted Online: June 13, 2022