Opening Up to a Spiritual New Year

These days I see myself taking more deep breaths, sitting in our armchair with less rushing to the next thing. I see myself sitting in the dim light with my family and I know things are better than before. I am here in a better place than 21 months ago -- if I could acknowledge it.

It’s been nearly two years since the COVID-19 pandemic began. We’ve weathered through a lot of unknowns and there are still more unknowns on the horizon. It’s been a season of giving up, but not everything we’ve given up has been bad. 

You may have given up rushing through life, going from one task or experience to the next without pausing to reflect. 

You may have given up the mindless scrolling through social media.

You may have given up old coping mechanisms that you had pretended were healing. 

This New Year I would love you to experience an openness to the new year rather than dis-ease about the unknown.

It’s time to open up to a spiritual new year.

I’m Over Resolutions

How do we pry ourselves open to a New Year, in a time when so many of our hopes and dreams have let us down? I think, not with high-minded resolutions but with enough presence of mind to see we are better than we’ve been.

Personally, I’m over “resolutions.” It’s easy to get excited about making some big life changes to begin on January 1 and find yourself returning to old ways by January 15. Perhaps we weren’t as open to a new year as we thought. 

But, is our spiritual journey about setting grand resolutions, failing to meet them, and then feeling guilty about how we missed the mark yet again? This isn’t productive. This doesn’t feed our souls. This doesn’t help us grow. This doesn’t help us open to hope. 

Setting spiritual New Year’s wishes is not the way I will start my spiritual journey in 2022. I encourage you to join me in a spiritual journey that will open us up to hope, to deeper connections, to love, and to greater imagination.

A Spiritually Happy New Year Begins When You Open Yourself Up

We will open ourselves up when we imagine. What does it look like to bring something you imagine to life in the new year? 

It could be a small thing. Imagine one perfect morning. Imagine how you want to fall asleep. Imagine the perfect cup of tea. Imagine these small new realities and make them happen.

It could be a big thing. Imagine finding healing in a relationship. Imagine finding hope where you previously thought there was none. Imagine your spirit being more deeply connected to that which is beyond us. 

Simply imagining these things won’t make them happen. Spirituality isn’t wishful thinking. But our imagination puts us in a posture of possibility. Our imaginations show us what can be and encourage us to open up to new realities. With an open posture, we begin to step in the direction of possibility.

Spiritual Practice: Open To a New Year

As we end 2021 and begin 2022, let’s find a space to create a posture of openness. Spend a few moments in silence to breathe deeply and scan your body.

Notice how your body feels. Does it feel open? Or tight and clenched? Do you feel protective instead of at peace? Even though some things are getting better, are you even in a posture to feel that? 

Take note of any place that feels tight or closed off. Focus on these places one at a time. Is there something your body is telling you to let go of?

Take a few minutes to breathe deeply. 
In | Let go
Out | Open up

Reflection: Open Up, Keep Feeling

On the eve of New Year
I try to release.
I try to unbind the past from the future.
I try to uncross my protective arms, taut from holding it together.
How do we pry ourselves open to a New Year?
I can only imagine a place of healing.
We  will open ourselves up when we imagine.
Imagine small new realities.   Small new realities.
A place of peace that’s just for me.
You may not realize it but we’ve loosened
from the Doom scrolling,
from the belief that numbing is healing.
So what do you want your life to look like?
Is it the shows we binge, the hours we scroll, the swipes
or what we experience
how we feel?
I want to keep feeling because I believe in Awe.
Today I pray
that the eyes of your heart will have enough light                                                        
to see what is the hope of God’s call.

Scripture: Ephesians 1:18

Something Beyond Ourselves

Within Everyday Sanctuary I always try to acknowledge where we are: how I and others might be feeling because this gives word to (little t) truth. But no matter how I might be feeling right now, remember, there’s something beyond what we’re feeling. In believing in something beyond ourselves, it means there is something beyond what we feel. How does God see my New Year – even when I can’t?

Looking For a Daily Sanctuary?

This year I encourage you to seek a spirit of openness each day. This doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. Everyday Sanctuary helps busy people have a satisfying faith practice in just 5 minutes; 5 minutes to feel grounded, refreshed, and spiritually connected to God. 

Download our free app to breathe deep and seek.

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