“Life is a series of beginnings…that bring us closer to the realization of our dreams. May all of your beginnings be showered by sunbeams and all of your dreams sense the warmth of success.” — Edith Schaffer Lederberg
The month of January marks the beginning of a brand, new year. For many of us, shedding the skin of 2014 as we morph into the image we have created for 2015 is exciting. It’s a New Year! I can improve my diet. I can exercise more. I can be a better friend, a more attentive partner, a more compassionate human being.
Why do we put this pressure on ourselves to be suddenly reinvented on Jan. 1 of any year? After all, each month marks a beginning. Each day of our lives, we start out fresh. In fact, every breath we take — if we are mindfully aware — brings us into the present moment, and in that moment, we are a blank slate.
A friend recently offered me a bit of advice after reading one of my columns. He said he understood the concept I was striving for but he was waiting to read the bullet points on how to actually accomplish what I was suggesting.
Hmmm….I suppose I didn’t consider this space to be a “how-to” guide of my direction. Rather, I imagine it as a place of “think-about-it” suggestion. Read it, and allow the words to roll around in your mind a bit like marbles on a Chinese Checker board. Perhaps one or two “marbles” might land in a round pocket and create a connection you find useful, but today, in honor of my friend, I’d like to offer my “how to” guide on beginnings.
So, simple bullet points to follow:
- Close your eyes.
- Exhale your breath, long and slow until it becomes necessary to inhale.
- Inhale, fully and deeply into the deepest corners of your lungs.
A more advanced version of the above exercise might be this:
- On the exhale, collect all the thoughts, the judgements and the emotions that do not serve your best interests, and allow them to exit with the breath on your finest exhale.
- As you draw your next inhalation deep into your belly, imagine fresh energy and clarity riding on the wave of oxygen as it courses through your body.
Each exhale, sheds the skin of history. Each inhale draws the promise of a new beginning.
January marks the start of our universal calendar. The gate lifts, and we charge forward with our eye on the prize. So focused we become on the end product we desire, we miss many of the 545,600 minutes until the next January of our life. That’s more than half a million moments of life to live in. More than 1 million breaths of opportunity to begin anew.
A blank slate. A new beginning. An opportunity. With each purposeful pairing of inhalation and exhalation, we are one breath closer to realizing our dream, whatever it may be. With each mindful breath, our heart opens to the radiating warmth of our dream. As we begin to live in the present moment of our life, the future and the past fall naturally into place, and our dream emerges.
Every dream sprouts from a seed of thought. Every beginning erupts from an ending. Each breath is an opportunity to wash the slate clean. Breath. Clarity. Dream.
With more than half a million minutes at our disposal this year, take time to be mindful of as many as possible. Enjoy the moment you are in; honor the person you already are; and allow the breath to carry you closer to the realization of your dream.
Laurie Kasperbauer is an active Florida Realtor specializing in properties in Naples and Marco Island. Laurie also enjoys the spiritual and physical benefits of yoga practice and instructs both group and private classes.