New Years Eve – Guest Post by Rev. Jeff Anderson

I was out running errands for most of the afternoon today and noticed that things were different around town. Businesses were either packed or closing early. And people seemed to be a little friendlier than usual. Though New Year’s Eve is different for me than it once was, it’s still a point of demarcation. It’s a reason to celebrate. Maybe lots of reasons to celebrate. Its’ a time to be grateful for another year, for people and places and experiences, for lessons learned and losses mourned, for another year of life lived.

But it’s also a time, combined with some of the darkest and coldest days of winter, of taking stock, looking both within ourselves and around us and asking, how are we doing? Are our lives what we want them to be? What have we learned about ourselves, about our wants and needs, about our values and priorities, about our purpose here on the planet, and about our heart and soul desires?

It can be a great time, after sitting with questions like these, to make some choices, some decisions, to make some adjustments in our direction. These aren’t “resolutions” exactly. I was never very good at those. Too rigid. too hard and fast. No, this isn’t that. What I’m referring to is more of an inner decision, a choice to say yes to what we’re here to be, to say yes to life and to love and the living and loving of it.

For me, it’s a decision to let things that need to change do so. It’s a choice, an affirmation, a prayer really, of willingness, and of courage, to challenge the status quo, to question limitation and to step into a more expansive, spacious, joyous experience of life.

I’m at the point in my journey – coming up on 56 years on the planet here in a week or so – where I realize that there is no more time to lose. No time to waste delaying living, delaying taking a few risks, delaying having grand adventures, seeking out and finding beauty to behold and awe and wonder to experience on a regular basis.

I’m at the point in my journey where that still small voice is not so still, not so small anymore. It refuses to be ignored, and I’m glad for that.

So as I sit here on this eve that we just made up – really an eve like any other, which reminds me that I can do this reconsideration any time and at any point along the way – it’s a ritual of sorts, and ritual can serve us well. It can remind us – me – of what is sometimes so easily forgotten as the days pass, one after the other. It reminds me, in this case, that I am a co-creator of my life experience. My mind is like a spigot, and if I choose to open it to only a trickle, then a trickle is what I will get.

This year, for me, there is no more time to waste. So my intention, my decision – my prayer – is that in the coming year I open that spigot to the flow of life and light and joy and awe and wonder wide open. I crank that thing as far as it will crank, to it’s fullest capacity, and as far as I’m concerned, we can just break it off, wide open.

There is so much life to be lived, so much kindness to give and receive, adventures to be had, awe and wonder to be experienced. My heart and soul ache for this expanded experience, and so tonight I reaffirm for myself one of the most powerful affirmations that I have ever encountered, and commit to myself in this new year before me to take it with me in my hip-pocket wherever I go, whatever I experience, for I know that my part, the most important part, is to say yes, to life. I say yes to life.

I say yes to life, to the width and depth and breadth and sweetness of it, to the richness and the beauty and the love of it. I say yes to life, and consciously and intentionally open myself wide to the mystery and to the good and to the grand adventure that every single day of my life is designed to be. I say yes to life and pledge to myself not to put safety before adventure, not to allow hesitation to inhibit expression or experience, not to allow any fear, real or imagined, to diminish unnecessarily in any way my awesome, amazing, loving and joyful inhabiting of my own body, mind, heart and soul.

I say yes to life, and all that that means, defined or undefined, known or as yet unknown. Life created me – and you – that It can love and witness and celebrate Itself with every breath, and with every beat of our hearts. It’s not just my desire – to be that. It is our design, to be that.

Whatever has come before this eve, this moment, this ritual, is irrelevant. Principle is not bound by precedent. We get to re-assess at times like this and to learn from what we have experienced, what we do not need, and allow what has been to determine what is to be.

We stand with our collective toes hanging over the edge of a precipice, before us a blank canvas that is a brand-spanking-new year. The canvas is blank, but the pallet, oh my, the pallet is full and rich, filled with every color, every texture, every possibility. And you and I, my friend, we are the brushes, poised, held so gently and lovingly in the master artist’s hand. This is what we are created for. This is the possibility that is before us.

There is an exquisite dance within each of us, in our hearts and souls. It whispers, on nights like this, in a voice that, if allowed, invited, invoked, is not so still, and not so small. And it asks of us, on nights like this, one thing, and one thing only; what say you, dear heart? Is this the year? Is this the time? Is this the moment, the night… to say yes?

Because that’s all It needs. We don’t have to know anything really, don’t have to figure anything out, make anything happen. Life already knows the dance, you see. We will be taught, we will learn, if only we chose to be teachable.

So tonight, here we are. Blank canvas, full pallet, and you, and me, held in the loving hand and heart of creation, which has extended to us an invitation. Me? I say yes. I don’t have time anymore for anything else. I say yes to life, yes yes yes, a thousand times I say yes to life.

And you? The world needs your dance, you know. I know, the hesitation. I know. And, I know that there comes a point in all of our lives when something becomes more important than all of the reasons why not. And I figure this is as good a time as any.

Happy New Year, with great love.ja-2Bhead

This post first appeared in Jeff’s blog on 12/29/14
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