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We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Years Day. Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. Theodore Roosevelt

2018 is ending whether we got everything done we planned to or not. It was a good year for some of us, a heartbreaking year for others, and a mixture of both for many.

This has been a year of learning many lessons. Some goals have been met; some goals are coming soon. One of the lessons learned was not to rush to become a published writer, take the time to edit, make it as good as it can be before putting it out into the world, and don’t self publish first because we can always self publish if we can’t find an agent, publisher, etc.

As unpublished writers, we are like 2019, unknown, and full of possibility. We need to work hard and make what we have to offer as good as it can be, after all, we never get a second chance to make a first impression.

This coming year will be a year of firsts for some, endings for others and for many of us we will continue working on projects, lives, jobs, businesses, and artistic pursuits.

Don’t we all love beginnings, this could be the year of… What would you like this to be the year of? Is this the year to get engaged, get married, start a family, start a business, or start a new artistic pursuit? Is this the year to take charge of health and fitness? Is this a year of personal growth, a year to face something that holds us back? Is this the year to face our fears, and do whatever calls to us? Is this the year to accept failure as just another learning experience? We can’t succeed if we don’t risk failure? Is this the year to finally have that adventure? Is this the year we will face the hardest thing we’ve ever had to face?

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. Carl Bard

Starting over is an acceptance of a past we cannot change, an unrelenting conviction that the future can be different, and the stubborn wisdom to use the past to make the future what the past was not. Craig D. Lounsbrough

We don’t know what 2019 has in store for us. Even if it brings us to our knees we can find a way to get back up. We don’t learn our greatest lessons in the easy times. It isn’t when everything is going smoothly we fix relationships. Sometimes things get worse before they get better, we think they can’t improve but often all that festering has to come out before we can heal. Is there someone in our life we need to forgive? Do we need to forgive our self? Do we need to quit looking for problems that may or may not rear their ugly head and enjoy what we do have?

Can we quit living in the past or the future and enjoy the now? Now, this moment, because right now is all there is. If we are okay at this moment, even if something bad is coming, can we find the joy in today? Can we walk in the sunshine and enjoy today? Can we have that conversation today? Can we hold someone’s hand today? Can we give words of love and encouragement today? Can we accept ourselves as we are today? Can we make the phone call we’ve been putting off today?

Everything that gets done in our life, gets done in the now. There is no other time. Are we happy now? Just for today can we refrain from something that makes our life less than what we want it to be? Can we not get defensive when someone brings up a difficult conversation? Can we really listen to their concerns; really hear what they have to say? By listening we aren’t saying everything they say is correct, we aren’t agreeing with their point of view, we are acknowledging their right to their point of view, and understanding what it is. When we understand each other’s point of view we at least have an understanding of what we need to deal with.

Many of us don’t feel listened to, we don’t feel heard, and we don’t feel understood. Can we be the listening ear, can we try to understand, can we hear their point of view, and can we empathize with their fear?

2019 is here. What we didn’t get done in 2018 will get done in the future or it won’t get done at all. Sometimes we have to give up on dreams that won’t become reality so we can build a reality that works. What does 2019 have in store? Can we smile more, enjoy more, love more, be kinder to our self and others, can we forgive others and our self, can we reach for what we want, and pick ourselves back up when we fail? Are we ready for all 2019 has to offer?

Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible. St. Francis of Assisi

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Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged