It’s a new year.

And while for some, the new year is a time to set resolutions, I believe that the new year is also a time to welcome, accept, and celebrate new beginnings.

It has become tradition to “count down” to a new year, but I’d like to propose that we celebrate the beginning of every single new day. In reality, every day is new; every moment is new; every breath is new, and it’s easy to lose sight of that.

In many religions it is customary to pray first thing in the morning – often before the sun has even risen. Many other people all over the world have spiritual practices such as meditation or yoga first thing in the morning. These are ways of showing gratitude for the simple fact of being alive and for the miracle of seeing a new day dawn. They set the stage for a day that’s lived intentionally.

What does a new beginning mean to you?

For many, a new beginning is connected to deep change – perhaps a personal healing after an emotional or physical struggle. Or the sense of finding an inner anchor when it feels like things have fallen apart outside.
One way to create a new beginning is through personal healing. Whether it’s as simple as taking a yoga class to process and release the stresses of the day and walk out feeling renewed, an acupuncture session to help open the body and relax the nervous system, or something as simple as making our next breath conscious and realizing that this present moment contains all we need.

In today’s society many people connect the notion of ‘new’ with something material – like a new car, a new iPhone, or a new item of clothing. But I like to focus on the traditional Chinese philosophy of celebrating every new day being part of the cycle of life and the opportunity for spiritual transformation.

In this sense a new beginning is more about letting something go, to part with something that’s not serving me any longer, rather than acquiring something new. This could mean letting go of a self defeating thought or belief, or any other pattern that keeps me locked in the past or the future.

With this, I encourage you to open up to new behaviors, new habits, new ways of living, eating and being – the integration of mind, body and spirit, in this very moment.

“Every day is a new beginning. Treat it that way. Stay away from what might have been and move on. Don’t let negative words or actions of others affect your smile. Decide that today is going to be a good day.” (author unknown)