You know, I’ve never made New Year’s resolutions.  I don’t like the idea of waiting until January 1st to implement the changes you know you want to make.  I’d rather do it now, whenever that now is.  Still, there is an energy about the New Year that seems to encourage and hold space for setting intentions.  Perhaps it’s all those people who are taking time to look at their lives deeply and ask, what do I want to change?  How can I make my life better?

I believe in consciousness and it’s power to move across the land and into our hearts and minds.  I believe that when enough people stop to sit with their lives and choose the path that brings them alive, that energy swirls out on the wind, brushes across another’s cheek, tugs the hat off a neighbor walking their dog, and fills their lungs as they inhale.

It seems right, then, that the New Year comes in winter, when the weather slows us down and the forest bares itself and the long dark nights begin to inch back toward light.  January holds so much space; it invites us into it, lets us spread out our lives on the canvas of snow and give up all that doesn’t serve us.

My intention is just that, to give up what doesn’t serve me, and to be gentle with myself in the process of letting go.  If there’s one lesson I learned in 2014, it is the importance of being gentle.  There’s so much out there about how to let go and how to change your life, but I’ve found that great change can often be accompanied by doubt, judgement, and fear.  If we’re not gentle with ourselves, we run the risk of sliding back into these clouded moments and missing the change we seek.  If we’re not gentle with ourselves, forgiving the clouded moments becomes that much harder.

So I will be gentle, and I will soften as I let go of what does not serve me.

I encourage you to try, too.  In a society that reinforces so much closing off, I think that softening may be one of the most powerful things we can do.