2017: Foundation

Happy New Year 2017!

“It is true that we are called to create a better world. But we are first of all called to a more immediate and exalted task: that of creating our own lives.”

― Thomas Merton*

I can’t resist New Year’s Resolutions. I think it’s the chance to tweak things, to make changes, to try to be closer to my ‘best self’. I know that these ambitions can be unhealthy, leading us to focus on the negatives we so easily see in ourselves. The key is to set challenges that are encouraging (not disheartening) and realistic, and to find accountability.

Paul and I find ourselves talking about ‘intentionality’ a lot. The start of a New Year, or season is a natural time to stop, assess and make changes. Yes, life circumstances often mean that we don’t have as much choice as we would like, or aspects of life are out of our control. But even within the limits there is often something that we can do to move our lives towards how we would like them to be.

In our house this year, we’re returning to vegetarianism (for earth-preserving reasons), and we are not going to buy new books, but instead read the ones we already have. We want to appreciate and savour what we have, and not always be looking for ‘the next thing’. I’m also aiming to do the Examen prayer each night, to stay present and grateful.

In recent years I have also jumped on the #oneword365 bandwagon, choosing a word to be a theme/challenge/encouragement for the year. This year my word is ‘foundation’. We are rebuilding our lives in Scotland once again, working out how to live out what we’ve learned in the last 3 years, and finding our place here. Foundations aren’t exciting, and don’t look like much, but I hope this will be a year of small, unseen things building a solid base. I also feel like I need to get back to the foundations of my faith, and do some heart work around that. Examining and shifting foundations feels a bit shaky, but I hope that this will make a stable layer for the future.

What changes would you like to make in ‘creating your own life’? If you were to choose a theme word for the year, what would it be?

May 2017 be a year where we learn to Breathe In, connecting with ourselves and God, and Breathe Out, connecting with our neighbours, communities and world.

Further resources:

Craig Greenfield suggests 10 New Year Resolutions to Rock your 2017 (for justice)

5 Ways to Breathe In: Contemplation

5 Ways to Breathe Out: Activism

*I came across this quote via the ‘Creating Our Own Lives’ Podcast, Season 1 ‘Running as a Spiritual Practice’ in 5 minute segments.

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