Make it a truly HAPPY New Year!

As we approach the end of one year and the beginning of another, I believe it to be quite natural that we turn to a bit of reminiscing and review, along with contemplation and setting of intentions.  

For me, on the outside, 2023 was filled with 9 talks, 5 workshops and 45 weddings.  My podcast had 368 downloads last year, and I produced 10 new episodes in 2023.  I also had the privilege of serving another community as Interim Minister, wrapping up that assignment in June. 

I entered my first shooting competition this year and won a prize!  

I spent six months in 2023 venturing into the world of online dating.  I went on a lot of dates, met a lot of interesting people, and learned that I am no longer willing to settle.  Still single over here and happy with that.

I have been working on my third book for a couple of years now and quite frankly, I was stuck.  The book began life as a daily reader and it just wasn’t coming out.  I had an epiphany while cleaning the horses’s stalls one day, and realized I needed to change the focus and emphasis of the book.  A few edits and tweaks later and now the book is coming along nicely.  It will be called “How to Live Fearlessly Feral” and will be a deep dive into spiritual practices and principles.  Complete with monthly recommendations for leaning into, embodying and applying a different practice and principle each month.  It will have four main sections, and I’m happy to report the first three sections are complete!  

I think my greatest accomplishment this year has been in horseback riding.  I got diagnosed with PTSD when I got sober at 32 years old, and while I have experienced years of symptom free living PTSD reared its head after a series of major changes and it affected my horse back riding more than anything else.  And no, it has nothing to do with the horse and everything to do with PTSD.  I had symptoms in other areas as well, but they were strongest with the horses back riding.  With the patient and excellent work of an equine coach, I have been able to progress to the point where I am once again enjoying riding.  I’ve gone from not being able to even get on to being able to ride again with joy.  And that is wonderful.

One cannot do spiritual practices on a daily basis without having inner shifts and I experienced several of those.  I am grateful for all of them and today I live life more confident and feeling whole.  And I am grateful for that as well.   

Now comes to good part:  creation of 2024.  And here is where we leave the past behind.  We move forward into the future and use the practices of self awareness, connection, contemplation and setting of intentions to create what we want to create in the coming year.  Meditation is good for clarity if you are unsure as to what you want life to look like in this coming year.  Those practices exist for a reason and you can use them to your benefit.

This is the beauty of this teaching called New Thought.  We are at choice.  We are powerful.  In fact, another name for New Thought is Liberation Theology and I love that!  Use those spiritual practices.  Do them consistently and persistently and watch your life become liberated from limitations like fear and shame and guilt and all that other nasty stuff.  Do those spiritual practices persistently and consistently and watch your ability to create grow.  

We create by being at peace with the old and being able to leave it behind.  This creates a void, and we use spiritual practices to decide what we want to create.  I mentioned them already.  Self awareness, connection, contemplation and setting of intentions.

None of this New Year’s resolutions stuff.

By the way, those spiritual practices I keep mentioning?  They come in handy in other ways as well.  Yes, we have power.  Yes, we are at choice.  But none of what we teach guarantees that shit won’t happen.  It can and it does.  And it does so not because we thought it into existence.  Sometimes shit just happens.  Don’t go all shame based and blame yourself because shit happened.  That’s where our power comes in.  

Back to the future (see what I did there?). We get to set things up the way we want to set them up. Mary Oliver asked, “what is it you want to do with your one wild and crazy life?”  When you know the answer to that, also know that you can create that.

On tap for 2024:  publication of my third book, continued podcasting, more giving talks and doing workshops.  More horse back riding, more competitive shooting. More speaking out against Christian nationalism, racism, misogyny, and politicians who believe in those things, including and especially that orange menace that is threatening our very democracy.  I have some exciting things on tap for 2024 and I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds!

This is the perfect time of year to begin anew.  To release the past with gratitude and forgiveness, if necessary, and to start fresh with new ideas and dreams, knowing you have within you a power that you can use.  I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds for you as well.

And I leave you with this quote by Hunter S. Thompson:  "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece, but to slide across the finish line broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, leaking oil, and shouting GERONIMO!!!"