The old has gone, the new is here! Indeed, today is the first day of a brand new year, 2014.
Six practices that will help me stay the course this year:
1. Practice my faith. Listening to Charlton Heston reading the Bible is a great way of reminding myself of God’s words. The Word lives! Pray when I need guidance, courage and encouragement. The Holy Spirit understands. I praise for who God is and for God’s deliverance. Worship God whenever and wherever I can. Participate in the collective worship and fellowship of believers. My faith sustains me.
2. Practice the spirit of Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer. Accept the things that cannot be changed. Have courage to change the things which should be changed and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other. Living one day at a time…accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, trusting that God will make all things right. Truly, when I let go of my expectations of how things/people should be, and trust my God for all things, I seem to have more peace and contentment, and at times even more fun of living my own life.
3. Practice living one day at a time. Life is full of joy and sorrows. With this skill of focusing on the here and now, I am able to experience both without feeling overwhelmed. When I was going through several rounds of chemo a while ago, each time I only focused on the one that I was about to do, then on the recovery. One by one I completed the task and recovered. The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu’s thought that “Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” is one of the most practical advice that carried me through the dark time.
4. Practice enjoying the present moment whenever I will. Here, I want to emphasize on the joy of living or on “taking in the good” (Rick Hanson’s, Ph.D. expression). Make the good feelings last by savoring the positive experience. Every morning, I take time to smell the aroma of freshly brewed coffee then drink it with abandonment. I also indulge myself with a rich chocolate croissant every now and then. I make time to spend with my loved ones and friends and catch up on their latest. When I choose to be there for them, I wholeheartedly enjoy their presence.
5. Practice getting out of my house. When I am in the great outdoor, nature has a way of cheering me on and reminding me of the wonders of this physical world…that’s earthy and real. I walk, run, hike, snowshoe, kayak and maybe even bike. I have never regretted the time I spent outside. Fresh air has always done me well and exercise is the key to not only physical health but emotional and spiritual as well.
6. Practice hobbies. I love to write, paint and play a little bit of piano. My hobbies keep me interested in my life and the lives of others. They also challenge me to grow. I find great joy in learning and mastering new tasks. They also define some parts of who I am. Hobbies that arouse my curiosity, activate my brain, and enhance my senses are worth of my lifelong pursuit.
Have a blessed New Year and may you live long and thrive!