Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas to New Year's Day

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is always a time of quiet and reflection for me. The shopping and baking and decorating are all done and I can relax and enjoy what feels like a moment suspended in time.

I like to look back. Once upon a time, it was looking back in frustration and anger at myself that I hadn’t done things I thought I should have gotten done. These days, I look back remembering the moments of joy, celebrating how far I’ve come, how much I’ve grown—and the possibilities ahead of me.

These days I’m at peace knowing that if I listen to my heart and that intangible SOMETHING that seems to guide me, then I know all will be well. I’m at peace, able to know from (hard won) experience that no matter what things look like in a given moment, something good can come of it—and is most likely to do so if I cherish who I am and believe in myself and just relax into whatever the challenge may be.

I know that sounds odd. We’re taught—most of us—that things are supposed to be difficult, we’re supposed to strain ourselves to achieve success, and that if we don’t chastise ourselves for every perceived failing, we’ll never get anywhere! (And if you read here, you may well have also been taught that YOU couldn’t possibly do it anyway!)

What I have discovered is that the opposite is true. I’ve discovered—and thank God I have!—that the path that feels easiest, the one we’re most drawn to, is likely to be the best. When we are happiest and most relaxed is when we are most likely to be able to think of things that will actually work! When we believe in ourselves, accept who we are and work with our natural strengths and accept and allow for the weaknesses as part of who we are, that’s when we are most likely to succeed.

Note: When I say take the easiest path, I do NOT mean doing nothing! That may seem like the easiest path but in the long run costs us the most. Instead, I mean asking ourselves: If I took a step, an action, made a choice, what would be the easiest and feel the most natural and right for ME? Never mind what anyone else would do or what would be right for them—what’s right for ME?

As you look back, what are the moments from this past year that make you smile? How can you create more of those experiences in your life in the coming year?

When you look ahead, what are the possibilities that make you smile? Hold those images as vividly as you can in your mind for that’s what will motivate you to take the steps to make it happen.

All of you are a blessing in my life. One of the things that makes ME smile is the possibility that maybe, just maybe someone’s life will be easier or happier or the person will believe in him or herself just a little more because of something I’ve written.

I hope the year ahead brings all of you so very much health, happiness, and success at whatever you want most! Sending blessings and safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),

April_optimist

6 comments:

therapydoc said...

Such a nice, optimistic world view, A. Happy New Year to you.

Rising Rainbow said...

The easiest for me right now is looking forward. I'm so ready to be onto a new year.

Happy New Year to you and yours!!

keepers said...

Wishing the best of the new year to you! thank you for coming into our life this past year as we look forward to the next one!

Karma said...

I'm confused by this post in that all of my easiest steps that I've done recently have been out of fear, ie having people in my life who are easy because they cover up the real work that I have to do. But, hopefully, those new relationships that are easy and right are out there for me this year.

Happy new year!

Mother Wintermoon said...

You are a blessing in my life, too, and your uplifting words are making a difference! Thank you, always, for the gift of your presence here and the empowering messages you impart. A wonderful New Year to you, MW

April_optimist said...

Therapydoc, Thank you. I'm a very pragmatic person. (My degrees are in mathematics.) I choose to be optimistic because out of all the paths I've tried, this is the one that works.

Rising Rainbow, Good for you! I'm smiling imagining you moving forward.

Keepers, It's been so good having you come into my life, too!

Karma, Your comment made me realize I left out something very important and so I've got a new post that is a direct result of that.

Mother Wintermoon, Thank you for being part of my life, too.