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Archive for January 3rd, 2011

Always, We Begin Again,” is the title of a small, almost pocket-size , book I found last summer in the Island Bookstore on Mackinac Island.  Written by John McQuiston II, it is a language modernization of the Benedictine Way of Living, according to the Rule of St. Benedict. The original rule was written in the sixth century in Italy and is a set of directions for monastic life.

I begin this post telling you about it because we, in the year of 2011, have just come through another time of thinking about the direction of our own lives. It follows the tradition of the American way and prompts the ambitious among us to formulate some New Year’s Resolutions.  Make them or not, the first part of January always includes some reflection on most people’s part about how they want to approach this  new year in front of them.

For a very long time now, I have broken down these things called resolutions for a year, into a more chewable portion of time — let’s say, a day! And I don’t call them resolutions. I call them — intentions. I do take them seriously and let them guide me into the day, ride with me through the week, and set longer term sights on them for months that turn into a year.  See, that’s the part, where I often get a chance to “begin again”. Oops, I missed that day — start again, now.

But, let’s face it!  I just have much better odds at living a day like I intend, than a whole year.  And several days of doing “the next right thing” add up. Even when I’m not counting. They add up, positively, in my behavior and emotional status.

After the day takes care of itself, I eventually get to look back on a year that seems to have gone much like I hoped it would. A surprise here and there, yes. Pop up things I have no control over appear, you bet. Many things I have to work with a day at a time eventually reach and cross the goal line. Some things I wish would have gone better, pretty certain to happen.

But all in all, the adventure and creativity of living one day at a time has become a greatly rewarding way for me to live and so much more meaningful than one set of resolutions per year.

I went to my yoga class this morning and got to park in the back part of the parking lot of the fitness center, so it appears many people today are in tune with their resolution to  get more exercise.  Will that be true on February 3, 2011?

Perhaps we tend to take up and put down some of the aspects of our lives we want a little more control over, and that is why I particularly like the title of the book I mentioned above:  “Always, We Begin Again.”

 Because we always can — begin again. Every “next moment” carries the opportunity to begin again — a task, a mood change, a tough problem to solve, a letting go. Beginning again in mind, body, and spirit is the magic solution that clears our path for the best opportunity to be right with ourselves and with others.  Below is a special part of the book to me and I read it often.

page 19:

…”When we rise from sleep let us rise for the joy
of the true work that we will be about
this day,
and considerately cheer one another on.
Life will always provide matters for concern.
Each day, however, brings with it reasons for joy;

Be gentle with this life,
And use the light of life
to live fully in your time.”

Happy New Day and Happy New Year to you.

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