Today, as the holidays wrap up and the new year begins, avoid the tendency to make long to do lists and to accelerate your speed. Love's pace is steady, not frenzied. Today pause, ask, and listen for what is truly important, for what really needs your attention. If you receive an unexpected answer, don't second guess or argue against it. Prioritize those tasks which show deep love and respect for yourself and for others.
Today, know that happiness is not a betrayal of the suffering in the world. Joy is a divine gift and not a form of denial or ignorance or self-centeredness. Trust joy. Savor joy. Look for joy in all its grand and subtle forms. When we let the joys that comes to us fully permeate our being, they open in us a sense of freedom and possibility. We are more likely to see the ways we can ease suffering. We act, not from guilt and fear, but from power and possibility.
Today, take time to feel and accept your own goodness. No matter what challenges arise for you today, respond first by pausing and soaking in a sense of your own goodness. If you are worried about an uncertain relationship, certain stubborn habits, your next steps in your life, having enough time for your tasks, whether or not you have the skills to accomplish what is demanded of you, pause and be aware of your own goodness. If you are fearful about the state of the world and want to make a difference, first pause and know your own goodness. Love itself gives you the capacity to know your own goodness and pours affection and tender care over you. When we are grounded and steadied in the awareness that we are good and beloved, we can see more clearly our wise next steps.
Don't confuse busyness with accomplishment. Today, slow down until you feel Spirit moving with you in your activities. We don't want to merely check tasks off our lists so that we can tell ourselves that we are productive and efficient. We want, instead, to attend to what is most urgent to Spirit. To discern what that might be requires that we slow down, listen, offer our willingness, be honest with ourselves, and sometimes be willing to do the harder things. Spirit also might ask us to do something that surprises us, such as rest. Or play. Or enjoy. Spirit's timelines are not always the same as our own; Spirit might move us to attend to a goal earlier than we had planned or to let it go for now. Be willing to move with Spirit's rhythms.
Before Jesus was died, he said, "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever." Love promises us comfort. Feel that divine Comfort as an active power and presence, embracing you.
The holidays can be an intense time. We may have additional demands, which keeps our minds and bodies busy and occupied; at the same time, the season may bring up losses, disappointed hopes, an awareness of time passing. With the disruption of our regular routine, we may start to process feelings we haven't given ourselves space to feel in the whirl of our daily lives. With the upcoming new year, we may take stock of our lives, with all the mixed feelings that examination brings.
Whenever a complicated or difficult feeling arises - stress, fear, weariness, disappointment, discouragement, judgment of yourself or others - feel the presence of Comforter, which has been promised you, embracing you, holding you in that moment.
This is not to say we shouldn't take time to feel our emotions and examine ourselves: just that the midst of the holidays, with increased demands and with feelings and expectations heightened, is not usually the best time.
Instead, for now, feel yourself as the loved of Love. To the Comforter, you are the child. You are forgiven. You are worthy. Accept and lean into the presence of the Comforter.
Inspired by Inge Schmidt’s article: A New Year and God Directed Progress.
As noble, and useful, as it can be to set goals and have a self-improvement plan, sheer human effort and good intentions are often not enough to overcome resistance, habit, and limiting beliefs.
God creates with the phrase “Let there by light.” Let Truth and knowledge dawn. Let Spirit be made manifest. Let Love come into being.
Today, instead of trying to wrestle yourself with your self-improvement plan, whisper over yourself, “Let there be light.” Let Love’s reality dawn in me. Let Spirit’s identity be made manifest in me. Let beauty, intelligence, and wisdom blossom in me. Let patience and dignity and insight be my very nature. Let there be light.
The greatest gift we can give ourselves is to know, and feel, that we are precious and beloved to Love. This is today's most important activity: to take a few moments to recognize, and accept, this gift.
To know that we are precious and beloved binds up childhood’s wounds. It soothes the places we are grieving. It strengthens our compassion. It gives us strength. It softens our tendency to react without thinking. It gives us patience. It helps us feel genuine delight. It cultivates gratitude. It gives us courage to see and tell the truth to ourselves and others. It strengthens our trust.
Today, know that Truth (Love) is an activity in our consciousness, revealing to us whatever we need to know for today. Truth reveals our strengths. It reveals to us next steps, for the day or our life. It gives us the ability to discern which of our intuitions are accurate. It reveals to us when we need to open our hearts and trust and when we need to protect ourselves. It gives us the abilty to see other's motives more clearly and defend ourselves, without fear or defensiveness. We don't have to work hard to discern Truth - we just have to know it as an active presence and power that has all of our best interests in mind. We have to be willing to be humble, see clearly, and believe that we are loved.
In Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy writes, "Spirit, God, gathers unformed thoughts into proper channels, and unfolds these thoughts, even as He opens the petals of a holy purpose in order that the purpose may appear."
Today, feel Love supporting all the places in you that feel confusing, soupy, unsettled. Feel the power of Love, on its own right time, bring shape and clarity to your confusion and questions. Trust this process. Know that with the answers also comes the courage and ability to implement them. Be humble before this discerning activity - before divine shape and activity taking form.
Today, I was upset when I opened my morning with sound bites of a politician disparaging women. So that was the center of my prayers.
Today, feel the power of Love, Truth, Spirit dawning and rising inside each one of us, women and immigrants and refugees and the poor and anyone who feels disenfranchised or dishonored. This is a holy power. This power cannot be opposed. This power cannot be dishonored. This power is strength. This power gives us energy and courage and sense of our vitality and worth. It spurs us both to action and to the deep calm stillness which cannot be stirred into senseless reactivity. This power takes a stand for dignity. We do not have to generate this power of our will our effort - we only need to be open to its activity and receptive to its message of our own, and others, unassailable beauty and worth.
Tarn Wilson is the author of the memoir The Slow Farm and numerous essays. You may read more of her work at tarnwilson.com.