Every moment is a Fresh Start

Today. The first day of a new year that we are all wanting to be less dramatic, traumatic, confusing, dividing, tense, violent, heartbreaking, isolating, and stressful.

We step now into a year that we hope will bring more connection, clarity, togetherness, ease, smiles, bare faces, hugs, closeness, healing and financial freedom.

It’s a time when many are making resolutions to do things differently, setting intentions for a better road ahead in some way. Some may relate with a sense of holding one’s breath through the holidays to finally exhale (and then inhale!) come January 1. Others plan ahead for this “fresh start” by going about business as usual until they awaken today to implement these new changes.

I’m all for the ritual of it. Reflecting on the past year through journaling and then writing down intentions for the year ahead. Creating a ceremony involving fire or plunging in some frigid natural water source as a way to burn or wash away the past. Or perhaps hitting the gym, calling that relative, cleaning  the basement, or tackling some other project you’ve been putting off. 

As for me, I tend to retreat. I take a few days at home of unplugging and disconnecting. No, I won’t be posting on IG. No I won’t be replying to those texts and emails. Instead, I light candles, play the guitar & sing, blast music & dance in the kitchen. I take long walks with my dog, make tea, and eat really nourishing food. I could bust out some art supplies or finally give myself permission to sit on the couch for hours with that book I’ve been wanting to read. I might draw a card from my Sacred Path deck, though I usually do that on Winter Solstice (which is more a time of ceremony for me). This morning I even did some long-overdue unpacking and organizing. But then comes my most favorite part – I create my vision board. 

Yes, I’m one of those people. I’ve been doing them for years, though they have changed drastically since my first ones. I used to scour magazines for images and key words, but these days I particularly love the We’Moon planner for all its beautiful writings and art that I cut out to include on my board. Lately, I’ve been using old wall calendars as the centerpiece, which is a fun twist. These are calendar pages that have a lovely picture accompanied by a quote that feels particularly relevant to me at the time. Sometimes I will print images off the computer to capture specific intentions. Most importantly, though, is that I love the simple, meditative process of creating a beautiful collage and I take comfort in and look forward to the familiarity of this annual ritual of mine.  

Whatever you may or may not feel called to do on New Year’s Eve or Day – remember that January 1 is not the only time you can set new intentions and wipe the slate clean. We tend to wait for some day of significance to do this: a birthday, solstice, New Year’s, a Monday, the first day of a new month, an anniversary, etc. We ascribe some special meaning to these kinds of days, imbuing them with our need for a new beginning. This can be a great way to go about it… or can feel like a lot of pressure. 

Thankfully, there are many many ways to commemorate a new beginning that are accessible to us each day.

Here are some ideas – and I bet you have even more! This first list are ideas that are low time investments – from a few seconds to an hour or two.

Taking a shower or bath

Dip in a stream or lake or swimming pool

Burn some sage

Light a candle

Put on some music, turn it up, and dance

Go for a walk, bike ride, hike, run, etc

Take a nap

Create art

Shed some tears

Sing a song

Make music

Create a small ceremony

Change your clothes

Draw a tarot card

Rattle or drum


Do some Qi Gong

Practice Yoga

Go for a drive

Schedule a session with a therapist or coach

Spin around three times, or twenty

Shake & wiggle your body – gently

Click your heels together and state your intention three times

Lie down in the grass and look at the sky/clouds

Stop. Just stop what you’re doing and choose to do/say/think something different – and then resume in a new direction

Say a prayer

Get a massage

Have a cup of tea

Recite a mantra

Do a rosary

Take 10 deep breaths – or do some other pranayama

Now, here are some ideas that require more planning and a greater investment of your time:

Do a fast

Participate in a Solstice/Equinox Celebration

Go on a retreat (or create one of your own)

Go on a Vision Quest

Go camping by yourself

Take a day or more of silence

Make a pilgrimage

Do a long-distance hike – like the Appalachian Trail.

Go on Sabbatical

Switch jobs/careers

The most important thing is that if you are feeling the need for a new start, you don’t have to wait for just the right day to do it. Act when the inspiration is alive in you. Find a way to press reset at 3:41 in the afternoon on just another Thursday. Start over right in the middle of your work shift or mid-sentence in a conflict with someone you love.  

Remember, every moment holds the possibility of a fresh start! Every breath is a new beginning.

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