The idea of a “new beginning” can be so divisive. Some of us actively look forward to setting new intentions. A new season can trigger the ideas and opportunity for a sense of renewal. For others, this time of year feels difficult enough without trying to ring in the changes too.
Take a moment to consider, how do you view this idea of “new beginnings”? What thoughts come up? Does your mind expand with possibility, or contract with fear and uncertainty? There may be feelings of exhilaration or excitement, or perhaps ones of anxiety and discomfort. What happens in the body? Perhaps the heart beats faster, the palms become sweaty and the jaw tightens. However you respond, it’s OK – no reaction is inherently good or bad, better or worse – it simply is.
Our response is always tempered by what’s happening in our lives. 2020 was an unusual year, and so our reaction to 2021 will undoubtedly be impacted by the year we’ve just had. It might be that we couldn‘t wait to see the back of 2020, and so we leaned eagerly into 2021, making plans and resolutions and intentions – welcoming the New Year with open arms. For some, it may feel that that 2021 doesn’t yet feel different enough from the previous year to start the celebrations. For many, the “new beginnings” won’t start until life goes back to some form of normality.
Every morning when we wake up, we have twenty-four brand-new hours to live. What a precious gift!Thich Nhat Hanh
I really love Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings on embracing each day anew. He says “Every morning when we wake up, we have twenty-four brand-new hours to live. What a precious gift! We have the capacity to live in a way that these twenty-four hours will bring peace, joy and happiness to ourselves and others”.
These teachings remind me to stay more in the moment, to not rush ahead to a future that is so uncertain. Each day when I wake up, I say to myself “I have twenty-four brand new hours to live” – these words keep me grounded, I invite you to use them too.