Fresh Starts

With the New Year well underway I wonder how many people have decided they need a fresh start. Perhaps you are looking for a fresh start with your physical health. That seems to be a big priority at this time of year.

My husband always laughs at the fact that prior to the holidays the ads everywhere; are all about food. They show Christmas cookies that can be made. There are recipes for new side dishes at Thanksgiving and lots of ideas for beverages for the New Year celebrations.

After the holidays are done; all the ads seem to be for gym memberships, weight loss plans, exercise equipment and on and on. I must confess my mind was running along those lines this year.

After all the celebrations, my clothes were feeling a bit snug. I am too tight to buy new clothes for my “fatter” stage. I started pondering on the fact that perhaps I should move a bit more.

There was a simple challenge put out by Young Living for it’s members. They call it #NewMeIn90.  The idea is to intentionally move 30 minutes a day. They want you to make small workable changes that will leave you, not just in better health, but feeling better about life in general.

As I was thinking on this concept a friend, Kim, put out a challenge and a link to a 30 day journey into yoga. She did this on Facebook. I quizzed her by asking if this was something an out of shape (very out of shape) older fat woman could do. (I figured I had best start out the year being honest!) She assured me it was doable.

This week I set out to give it a whirl as I figured it would benefit my balance, flexibility and strength. I am happy to report it was going well…..till I hit Day 6. Day 6 is titled, Ignite.

Adriene, the yoga gal (who shall now be named YG) told us we were going to ignite the fire in our belly. I mumbled under my breath that the last 5 days had already been doing that, as I was starting to discover my long lost core. (I had previously not been sure I even had one anymore.)

Day 6 did not go well. After three, crunch- leg and head lifting type things (that started a roaring bonfire in my belly) I gave up that move. She ended that session with smushing up into a small ball with her knees tucked under her and her forehead on the ground.

I am here to tell you, that last pose was another move that didn’t quite work out properly. When you have extra mass around your middle it gets in the way of smushing and doing the deep breathing that YG kept reminding us to do.

Plans are to finish that 30 day challenge. It might not be done gracefully, but I have Kim holding me accountable and that makes me keep going.

It is good to have someone to hold a person accountable. Maybe that should be my goal this year. Be accountable. Do what I say. Finish what I start. Do what I can with what I am given and realize giving your best is good enough.

Perhaps the fresh start the New Year gives us is not just about getting into better physical shape. Perhaps, it is about persevering…..taking the next step….doing the next pose and keeping on even when life is hard.

Maybe YG is right….maybe just taking the time to breathe in and breathe out and being still is a great goal. Maybe it gives us the time to hear that still small voice. Maybe it gives us the space to really see what our Creator has laid out before us. Just maybe, it gives us the peace we need to embrace the gifts we have been given….whatever they might be.

Let us take this fresh start and receive it with joy.  Let’s relish the gift of life and delight in the steps along the way. Let’s take our cue from children….they don’t worry about tomorrow….they just live in the space that is now and enjoy that time.

When you dance,
your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor.
It’s to enjoy each step along the way.
-Wayne Dyer

 

 

New Beginnings

Water Over the Dam.JPG

This is my normal day to do a blog post and it has been a busy day as we have been gone for most of it. I needed a little inspiration so I headed over to the daily post. I saw there was a photo prompt for a photo that speaks of  New Horizons.

I started looking through my photos and came upon the one I posted above.  It was taken at a small park in a town 10 miles from where I live.  I love this park and through the years we have taken our children here to picnic, to fish, and to just walk around. I am looking forward to taking our grandchildren to enjoy this park in the coming years.

Water going over the dam in this park, speaks of new beginnings to me. Once that water is over it is not going to be getting back to the old place it came from.  So much of life is like that……once a choice is made you cannot go back and you must press forward even if it is difficult and uncomfortable. Sometimes life just carries you over places you don’t want to be and sends you down a stream you had not intended to go.

You can either look at this as a negative or an amazing positive. With a new year just around the corner, I think there is so much opportunity to make fresh starts and try new things. I am not a resolution maker ( I really don’t like failing!) so this is a concept I need to work on.

It is a great time to let go of those things that you cannot change and those things that do not matter. You know…that one situation that just peeves you to no end because you cannot and will not ever be able to fix it?

New Year’s is a great time to use as a starting point for that project you have always wanted to try…..for that book you wanted to read…..for that bible study you wanted to do…and the list goes on. I am going to try look at this coming new year as an adventure to be explored, as a gift I have been given to grow, to learn and to just “do”.

I hope the New year finds me more compassionate, more willing to see another point of view.  I hope it finds me focusing less on things that don’t matter and more on things like people and relationships. I pray that my mind is fixed on God and what that means for practical day to day living.

May the next couple weeks find you and me thinking of the adventures to be had in the coming year. May we see the new horizon as a positive.   May we focus on the view beyond the rough water going over the dam of life and on the living stream beyond.

 Brothers and sisters,
I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.
But one thing I do:
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14