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Mindfully Creating Intentions for the New Year

As the ending of this year approaches, we prepare to greet the coming of a New Year. It is a season of hope and a season of mindfully creating intentions for the New Year.

Mindfully creating intentions is the first step toward opening to significant change in our lives. Creating intentions is quite different from setting resolutions. Resolutions are often based upon our perceived failures from the previous year and are made hurriedly, abandoned within a few weeks, and then used against us as we judge ourselves mercilessly for our repeated failures. Creating intentions involves a deeper process, a willingness to open our hearts to inquire about what matters most and what our hearts long for. Creating intentions involves a deeper spiritual inquiry into what we feel called to do or who we feel called to become.

In order to make room for who we are becoming in the New Year, it’s often useful to contemplate what we need to release that either holds us back or no longer serves us on our journey. We may need to release clutter from our home or office, old patterns of behavior that keep us stuck, old beliefs that hold us back, or people who drain us or create chaos in our lives.

It is typical at this stage to experience fear. We cling desperately to our habitual ways of being, as this provides a sense of security in the familiarity. Gregg Levoy writes in Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life that “. . .we often end up trading our authenticity for what we perceive as survival, terrified to swap security for our heart’s deepest desire . . .” Change is often scary. Saying, “Yes” to what matters most, what we feel called to do, or who we feel called to become can be downright terrifying. But the cost of saying no is often so great, and the reward of living authentically can cause the fear to seem quite insignificant.

As the year comes to an end, I invite you to consider what matters most, what your heart longs for, and whom you feel called to be in the world. I invite you to consider what you need to release in order to say, “Yes” to this calling to what matters most. If you don’t feel clear about what you feel called to, perhaps you will consider making room to listen by clearing some of the clutter, compulsive busyness, or chaos from your world during this season.

In this season of returning light and new beginnings, I invite you to make time for quiet contemplation to consider what matters. May we all have the courage and freedom to open our hearts, to dream big, and to wholeheartedly embrace what matters most.

If you’re in the Wilmington, NC area, consider joining me for a 2-hour workshop on Saturday December 31 from 1:00-3:00pm, “Mindfully Creating Intentions for the New Year.” For more information, please visit


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