Yes, for many of us, the New Year has already come and gone. But, February 8th brings a different kind of New Year for me. Although I can’t claim Chinese ancestry, I grab onto the Chines New Year because it’s another chance to start all over for the year.

You may say: “Every day is a new beginning.” It’s that famous (and cliche) saying! And, it’s true. We can start all over today or any day. This day is a day to review Proverbs,  favorite stories, and re-evaluate the possibilities for the rest of the year.

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”

We need to begin this Chinese New Year with stepping forward. It sounds so simple, and yet… it often seems the most difficult of all actions. There’s something scary, foreboding and ominous about putting ourselves out there. Stepping forward. But, the only way the long journey to experience begins is if each of us takes that step.

“Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.”

We all get inpatient. We want life to be better now, without waiting. There’s that hope and those dreams, but we instantly want them to become reality. Sometimes, the very act of moving forward is all we can manage. It may not seem like enough, or much, or even the solution that we want. But, it’s enough.

“Better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.”

As we grow impatient, it’s also easy to complain about the slow-moving progress (which feels like nothing at all. Instead of ranting at the dark, it’s so much easier to open our eyes, and see the light… and then illuminate our way further.

“Keep a green tree alive in your heart and a songbird may come to sing there.”

The New Year is also a time to take a walk-through of ourselves. Not to sound like a Pollyanna, but it’s up to each of us to make space for either positivism or negativism. There never seems to be enough room for both. It behooves us to cultivate that which is beautiful and alive — whether it’s what we say and do or the people who are in our lives.

“You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.”

Each of us will encounter our own sorrow(s) this year — for some, it will seem insurmountable. But, as so many other famous words of inspiration tell us, it’s up to you (and me) how I react to the tragedy, the sorrow and the devastation.

Happy Chinese New Year…

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