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   As we start the cycle once again, we begin moving through the winter. It is cold and/or rainy for a reason. It is to get us focused inside, away from the distractions out there, which continually bid for attention. As we go inside our homes, they too, are filled with distractions: the tv, the radio, things to read, and people who would like to talk. And, if we go even further inside––inside ourselves––even here we are confronted with distractions: all of the unfinished business of living is right there in our faces, reminding us of all that “needs” yet, to be dealt with.

   One of the blessings of the New Year, is that we feel encouraged to review what has passed  from us during the last year––to see how we have changed and grown and now look upon life anew. With this perspective, we are given a chance to evaluate all that surrounds us. We are invited to become aware of both what is no longer ours and of new paths being presented to us. 

   In the letting go of, we can see loss or we can choose to recognize a process as old as life itself...the distilling...the settling...and the bubbling up and bringing to the top for skimming off. When we hold on so tightly to that which is of the past, to that which no longer works for us, we, in our tunnel vision, miss the larger picture. We veil ourselves in shadows which keep us safe from contact with new possibilities. We nurse old wounds by day, only to pick at them in the dark, for we do not mean for them to heal. For healing an old wound means we would be done with it. We would have to look past our myopic view of life to embrace a fuller set of possibilities. 

   And where do we get the strength to make such change, when all around us may be supporting our old life style?

   There is nothing new to the formula, there is no miracle cure that someone else will set before us, it demands choices and work upon our part. To turn a life around, it requires adequate sleep and water, sunshine, walking, healthy food,  and interaction with healthy people––people who talk about ideas, instead of pain––people who will take the time to make a nourishing meal for themselves, because they know they are worth it, and they also know that neither their bodies, nor their minds, can operate correctly on anything less.

   Prayer, meditation, yoga and deep breathing...these are some of the tools which are part of a healthy lifestyle, encouraging  growth, self-understanding and inner-peace.

   As we begin this year, it is interesting to note that it is a "4" year (2+0+1+1) and that the number "4," in all the wisdom traditions, stood for the square, our base...a sturdy foundation, upon which to build.

   Much has been asked of each of us, and it has taken each of these "askings” to help form who we are becoming...the dross in the gold is being burned away, so we can be malleable and more easily worked into the unique creations we have each come to be.

So, take this year to ready yourself, to build your foundation––your body, your life, your support people around you––and prepare yourself for next year––2012, for it is a “5” year, and time of deep change.


Joann Turner