Monday, January 1, 2018

the new year

Matthew Reid art illustration matthew reid new years day 2k18 reflections
The new year; a time for major changes, resolutions, a fresh start. Use this day to reflect on the fresh start we are given each morning, let alone each moment we are alive. Every second is a fresh start, and an opportunity to make a choice. For many of us, this choice remains on the surface, sticking to a diet or exercise program, to read more, watch less television, however they are reflections of our internal workings in regards to commitment, discipline, compassion, forgiveness, etc. 
The new year is seen as a mile stone. It marks a calendar year passing, another beginning, and thus having already taken for granted another year of this lifetime. A daunting task. With humility and gratitude, appreciate each day, each sunrise, each sunset. Say: 
G-d, thank you for this new dawn, that it may be spent in a way that pleases you. Offer me the guidance to serve you in humility, sincerity, and love. Let me not take this day for granted, nor the contents of its hours.
This adjustment of perspective is beneficial on several levels, the most obvious being that we thank our Creator for sustaining us anther day, which is humbling in itself. Appreciation builds within as we recognize the profound beauty in the most basic things that has been hiding from us this whole time. Walking, eating, sitting, breathing, all of things hold a world of subtle elegance within themselves. Take a moment to experience and give thanks for them. 
Reflect on the choice in every action, thought and word. Do we act outside of love, compassion, and selflessness?There is an opportunity, every moment, for another chance! G-d always forgives. In spite of plans, the content of our days is out of our control, and things often do not go 'as planned'. In his heart a man plans his course, but the L-rd determines his steps (Proverbs 16:9 ). A trajectory ay exist in mind or heart, but the steps are not within our hands, and sometimes, they lead us to unexpected places. This in mind, give up control, and build faith in G-d's love. He will always guides with infinite compassion, although it is easy to become blind to it in momentary daily occurrences. 
What can we control? Inner nature, and thus reactive nature. Thoughts, actions,  and words, Are they loving, compassionate, selfless, sincere, honest? In every moment? Truly a difficult thing, however examining the hidden (or often not so hidden) agendas within allows for self reflection, with meditation as a foundational element of this. This new day, make time to sit quietly. Be honest with ourselves and with others. Let words and thoughts come from a place of love. Strive for a purity of heart. These are the elements within our immediate grasp, while the world around (and within), help us to traverse through, constantly. 
Give thanks for today. Each day.

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