It is January and another year has arrived. Whether we partied through New Years’s Eve, enjoyed the time at home or slept through it, the new year arrived. So, what do we do with it? What do we do with beginnings of anything, especially a year?

One option that seems to be well practiced, is to ignore it. We have the capacity to move within the busyness of life and do what we always do, or have scheduled for ourselves and others. Within a few days, it is no longer a new year but “January”.

Another related option is to envision it, set goals and milestones and determine progress and fiscal compliance. Once again, there is nothing wrong with this process. It is beneficial in getting the job done, the quota met, with measurable results. However, once again “beginning” is lost in the structure of living and working.

I think that as adults we are afraid of beginning and find reasons or create reasons not to feel the anxiety, the fragility even of being a beginner, rather than an expert. And yet we are all beginners, all of the time, as each second, each breath we breathe is always new but is it received as such?

Received. What do you think?

During these first days of the new year, during the first month of twelve for the year 2018, I will be exploring the sometimes uncomfortable idea of beginning as a spiritual practice. I have divided my reflections into four subsets – one a week. They are:

  1. Receive
  2. Be
  3. Grow
  4. Give

In this first week of a new year, let’s remember to say thank you for this gift. Let’s also explore this new year as if it were a great treasure, which it is. And, find out all we can about this particular beginning and what it might have to do with ourselves, our communities, and our world. I wonder if by asking and receiving rather than imposing or forgetting, this year might grow in us and with us. What do you think?