“What you are, the world is. And without your transformation,
there can be no transformation of the world.”
The new year often brings with it a welcome sense of possibility as we bid farewell to the old and embrace the potential of what’s to come. Even as global challenges continue to contribute to a sense of heightened uncertainty, opportunity awaits when we situate ourselves in gratefulness.
Orienting to the most essential aspects of life offers solid ground from which to move into the future in deeply intentional and creative ways. As we seek meaningful approaches to living through these times, we can open ourselves to the poignancy of life and our connection to each other, to the extraordinary nature of the universe and this time in particular, and to the transformative potential of love. And so, how will you step into this new year? Who do we want to be—as individuals and as a collective, for ourselves and for our world? And what role does gratefulness play as you enter the new year with all your human hopes and longings?
May this collection of resources help to support you in welcoming the new year with wholehearted curiosity, humility, courage, and a deepening appreciation of the transformative potential of these times.
2021 Christmas Letter from Br. David Steindl-Rast (2:00): Br. David shares his wishes for the season, inviting us to “lift up our eyes” and awaken to the opportunities we have to cultivate generosity and joy.
Waking Up Grateful in the Face of it All (4:00): Kristi Nelson reflects on the ways in which attending to life with a wide embrace can help us step into the opportunity offered by each new day.
Keeping the Faith (3:30): Lama Kathy Wesley explores the way we might keep our hearts open to life by leaning into love and seeing the truth of every person as someone “just like us.”
The Serviceberry (10:00): Robin Wall Kimmerer considers how we might reimagine currencies of exchange by learning from the ethics of reciprocity sourced in Indigenous wisdom and ecological systems.
Rise Up Again (8:40): In this short film by Green Renaissance, Mpumelelo Ncwadi reflects on the ways in which we can cultivate resilience by allowing ourselves to be vulnerable in community, leaning on and lifting up each other.
Questions to Consider when Waking by Bernadette Miller
For a New Year by Holly Wren Spaulding
Bright Word Mandala Practice: PJ Hirabayashi of TaikoPeace invites us in this practice to pour forth the callings of our hearts by writing words of healing, gratitude, and love in the shape of spirals.
A New Story: Siobhan McClory invites us in this practice to bear witness to the growing crises facing our world, and to step into our role as visionaries for humanity by birthing a new story that most deeply reflects our bodies, minds, and hearts.
What does transformation mean to you? What motivates you to learn, to grow, to continue deepening and expanding your experience of life and the world?
What hopes and longings do you have for the coming year?
Who do you want to be? What capacities and practices might support you in being your fullest, most authentic self in the year ahead?
What visions do you have for the world? How might you take steps to realize these visions?
How can we step across the threshold of the unknown amidst the ongoing personal and collective challenges we face?
What possibilities emerge when you open to transformation with a grateful heart?
We invite you to share your reflections below.
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