02/06/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Beginning Anew: How To Find A New Direction

January, 2009: Time for a fresh start. Fasten your seatbelts. Here we go!

I don't know about you, but January has always been a time for me to reconsider, sort out what is most important, and pare down all the rest. Perhaps it is because I am an Aquarian. Whatever the cause, the truth is that one of my rituals is spending, at year's end, time reflecting on some word or image that presents itself as guideline for the year's focus.

The exercise is simple: I simply ask Creative Intelligence to bring forward some word that best illustrates the direction for the coming 12 months. Sometimes it comes in a dream, at others, a meditation, or during a walk by the water. One year, for example: the word was 'warming.' I spent the year going in the direction of those activities which gave my heart a sense of 'warming.' Another year, the word was 'compassion.' Following its lead, I focused on how to deepen my relationship with tender mercy toward myself, as well as others. The year after that, what came were two words: 'optimize well-being.' There seems to be something much more natural about 'inviting a guide' to surface, than pounding out yet another list of failed promises. In fact, this practice has replaced my old one of resolutions. For me, resolutions create a sense of will-power's striving that's fraught with struggle. Whereas this ritual feels more organic, and respectful to what my deeper self/Soul, intends. There is no failing when I follow the path that guides, not chides.

This Year's Word. 'Purpose' turns out to be the jukebox selection for 2009. Consequently, I have found myself contemplating just what the word 'Purpose,' means, especially when capitalized. Originally, in the 1300's, the word had to do with intent, design. So, starting over in a purposeful way, means bringing good intention and design along in your backpack. The heart is a magnificent designer, which leads us to itself through our heart's desire. Starting over is our Eternal Return, our spiritual January. It sets the theme for the journey at this time of year.

Like winter's trees, we've been stripped, and may feel barren from what's sustained us in the past. On the cusp of this new beginning, there is this feeling which, like the Roman god, known as Janus, carries an ambivalence. Like him, on the threshold of a new year, part of us faces the past, and what wants completion, and the other, the future, with its inherent mystery. At the New Year, even when hope is high, we hover between the two worlds. There is no certainty of outcome, only questions, only hope.

Making our way along this snowy path requires renewed commitment to living with greater purpose, a dedication to leaving others enriched by newly designed, expanded contribution. This does not mean that you must do more. Quite the contrary! You might be one of us for which such a commitment means the opposite: doing less with fuller heart.

So beginning anew really means some serious paring down. We've got to let go of all those negative, self-limiting beliefs that leech us of vital, vibrant health and energy. We've got to stop holding ourselves too small and insignificant.

After all, everything you need to begin anew is not only well-planted in your heart's desire, but is quickening. If you listen, you will hear its Call late at night, when you cannot sleep. This is the deeper you, and me, far away from the demands of ego, that will not rest until we take ourselves seriously, until we commit to living our lives with greater purpose than ever before. This is the cry of the New Year, the clarion call of beginning anew. This is the time to seize what's in your heart, get off your rear end, and get out there in the world with all you've got. It is time. For each desire that's born into this world brings forth the Spirit of God, the prayers of our ancestors. Now is the time to rebuild a world that knows itself as One, that knows each and every one of us came to this place with a greater purpose than to simply 'get by,' or fret about what is missing.

As you consider living out this period in the most purposeful way you've ever known, please accept my wish for you:

May you know that Truth that sets you free.

May you know that peace that passes all understanding.

May you know the Great Beauty, of which you are a part.

May you find miracles, large and microscopic.

May you find spiritual kin, who support you on your way.

May you be blessed with inspiration, and refueled by perspiration, as you find the right place for your creation, and do whatever it takes to bring it into our world.

May our world smile upon you and yours in endless ways!

A Special Request: We would find comfort and inspiration by your own thoughts and experiences around Beginning Anew. Would you and your friends be so kind as to respond with yours? What is the quality of the experience you want to have through this New Year? What does your deepest self wish for you in your new beginning? What is your hope for our world this year?

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