December 31st is a time of reflection for many people, a new year brings the opportunity to “start fresh” to leave behind the past, learn from it and then carry that knowledge into the future. This is a time-honored tradition shared by almost every culture around the world. As the earth rotates, each city and country take their place in the proceeding chain of celebrations welcoming the arrival of a clean slate.
The idea of new opportunities is so exciting that it awakens something within us. We connect on a visceral level with the hope and the idea that the New Year gives us the chance to be who we really want to be and reignites our passion to follow our dreams.
What if I were to tell you that the opportunity to start fresh and follow our dreams doesn’t only happen once a year, once a season or once a week? It happens each and every day.
“Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.”
These words show the wisdom of being present. When I first heard this quote, it struck me as morbid as it brought up the idea of death. However, the main focus of the statement is actually life. Each end brings a beginning. Every time something in our lives ends, another begins. Every morning we wake up with all of the potential and opportunity that we have on January 1st. Every single morning is a chance to reflect and pause. Giving us the chance to be the person who we were born to be every day.
Many of our lives can be described as hectic. We try to do it all or have it all. We don’t take the time to pause and ask ourselves whether the things we’re chasing are really worth having. Or if the activities we’re involved with are really connected with our purpose. Pausing and reflecting gives us the ability to look at how our daily activities are connected to our life’s purpose.
For me, I achieve this through meditation. Taking some quiet time each morning to slow my thinking and become reconnected with my body, my surroundings and my passions. Even just a few minutes of breathing exercises slows my racing mind down enough to allow a bit of space for appreciation and reflection.
Another helpful activity is to keep a journal. To take a few short notes on whatever thoughts, fears and aspirations that our mind is holding on to. Keeping a daily practice of this will give us the chance to reflect and review it in the future. Take the time to review this often. The core concepts that consistently show up is our mind’s way of trying to tell us something. Maybe our job isn’t fulfilling. Maybe we’re scared. Maybe we lost sight of what is really important to us by chasing things that others have deemed important. These are all important signs to listen to. Our hearts will show us the way.
The feeling of opportunity and the chance to follow our dreams is so invigorating and inspiring, we are really doing ourselves a disservice if we only limit this feeling to once a year. The celebration, connection and reflection that we feel on New Year’s should be carried into each day in the future.
By taking just a few minutes out each day to quiet our mind, reflect on where we are and to appreciate what is really important, we can give ourselves the ability to pursue our life’s dreams and purpose with new energy. Let’s realize that the beautiful opportunity for new beginnings is available to us every day and take that appreciate, gratitude and wonder into all of our experiences and relationships.