Emerging into a New Life

By Rev. Dr. Petra Weldes
January 8, 2023

My New Year’s resolutions have been the same for the past 20 years: Exercise more, eat less, and take more time for myself.

Each January, I declare “this is the year.” By February, everything’s back to the way it’s always been.

So many folks I’ve talked to have this same experience, I wonder that anyone bothers anymore.

We all want our lives to progress. For many of us, they do. But it’s not usually because we’ve lived up to our New Year’s resolutions.

No, it’s generally because something has happened to propel us into a new way of thinking or behaving — whether it’s due to a change in relationships, work, health, or creative activities. The impetus can be from something good, although it’s usually from something unexpected or bad. Life has been radically altered, and we start moving in a new direction.

If we are paying attention, we realize this was exactly what we needed to start down a new road. After a divorce, we eat less and exercise like never before. After losing a job, we invest in reinventing ourselves and find new outlets for our creativity. In so many ways, an unexpected turn allows the forming of the very habits we’ve tried to bring about through our annual resolutions.

So, what if you did this differently? Instead of needing a hard push, what if you simply intended to end the year someplace different than where you are right now?

When you decide where you want to end up and then take the first step, a new path unfolds. With each action or choice, you are literally creating the new life as you go along. Just like you’ve done before, only this time without all the pain.

I live by this Buddhist saying: “The path rises to meet your foot when you take the first step.”

We don’t have to know every step of the way or exactly how we will achieve our desired outcome, just like we didn’t know how much we’d grow from that unexpected event in our past. But what we do know is that something very amazing emerges when we set our direction, choose an end result, and then let the path unfold.

This year don’t make more worn-out resolutions about what you will or won’t do. Instead, dream about where you want to end up, decide what your first step will be, and then let the results emerge.

Enjoy the journey!

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