How’s everyone doing in 2022? Are you off to a good start? Did you make a few resolutions yet? Well, our theme this month on The Daily Feels is New Beginnings, so here’s my two cents for you when setting out on a few new ventures in the near future. 

Resolutions, goals, new journeys, new anything….there’s a HUGE thrill tied to each of these “new”s. We set the bar so high, right? 

I’m going to get healthy…

I’m going to be on time, always….

I’m going to do self care…

I’m going to do more for others…

I can have this much saved by xxx….

I’m gonna start that business this year…

Then about June….our tone changes to something more like this: 

When I have enough time…

If I just had what she has…

I just can’t make the time to start another new thing…

And so on…

And so on…

Now, how many of us give up on these new things? A job, a sport, a yoga class, a relationship, a friendship…sometimes, with even the best of intention, we fall short of making the magic happen. Then we have a ton of reasons why it wasn’t the right time, right schedule, right something. Right? 

However, what if I told you, the true measure of your new beginning’s success is in your level of commitment to the end game, not just the first inning.  You gotta plan for that fourth quarter and final lap. Turns out, the best games worth winning aren’t just a one-time commitment. So, this idea that “I said yes, now it’s supposed to be easy” … ummm, nope. That new beginning is going to have one really quick ending if you tackle it like that. 

If it really matters to you, ask yourself if you can see the 5 year trajectory? If not, stop dead in your tracks and ask yourself if you want to live a life of “One Days”  or “Day One’s”.  Are you ready to BE that thing you are striving for right NOW?! Just as you are. Just as you were meant to be? Can you commit in this moment with your full heart to this next chapter? What about the next 20 chapters?  Can you commit to not giving up for more than a season? I was reminded recently that I had been playing the short game and I was very capable of playing for the championship, not just next week’s local win.  What was holding me back from leaping at this next big step?

It’s COMMITMENT to our new beginnings that seals the deal! It’s the conscious decision to deepen your roots when it gets tough, not uproot and move onto another goal that seems more attainable. 

Lately, we’ve been studying a new series at my church called Like + Subscribe. I love it. We talk about the way today is set up, it’s so easy to just scroll and scroll and scroll. There’s an endless amount of options, futures, people, just one click away. With so many options, how can we ever stay satisfied when we finally pick our “thing/path/person”?! There’s a potentially better option around every corner. How can we be confident that our final choice is our real deal?! 

I truly believe that the best endeavor you can ever embark on is a personal, spiritual quest for peace with who you are and acceptance in what you can do to serve others. Who you will be “one day” will hold no candle who you are right now. Who you used to be changed the moment you woke up today. So, now, it’s not a question of how many times you’ll have a new beginning, but how often will you re-commit to that same goal so it sustains and grows over time? Give that new beginning a chance to age like fine wine. Believe the statement that the grass is greener where you water it and I promise the number of times you gain ground vs remaining stagnant and unsatisfied will tip in favor of positive traction. 

When I was younger, I used to think my grandparents were the luckiest people I knew. They met, fell in love, married young, had babies. They rooted. Life for them seemed so simple and pure. I envied them at times as I struggled to hit those same milestones in my own life even when I practiced what they preached. I longed for my own form of forever. One day, I hoped I’d have that same commitment to another and vice versa. To this day, you can see their daily devotion to their family and each of us in it.  But if you ask them what it took to make that story real, they will tell you not every moment was simple. Everything they ever earned was tested at some moment. They just refocused on the commitment and who/where they both were at that moment. They humbled themselves to their reality and gave thanks to a higher power helping them stay in the right lane. It’s beautiful. 

So, I share this with you because I have a few big ventures on the horizon. I’m nervous. It’s like an “excited” nervous. While I have not solved all the what if’s, I know I got this. Why? Because I have a spiritual tool that helps me more than anything I’ve ever tried….prayer. 

Yes. I said it. I pray. A lot. I cry sometimes when I pray too. I do. I boo hoo like a baby. Now listen, you can call it other names…meditation, manifesting, affirmations, grounding…there’s lots of terms. I call it prayer. It’s my peace. I spend time connected to the source. I let it flow from the heart, then I listen in silence for guidance & strength.

What do I pray for? Anything. I pray for strength to keep with whatever I’m facing. I pray for wisdom to say the right thing to my kids everyday. To stay open minded. To keep an open heart. I pray that I will be forgiven when I fall short. I pray I can make it right with anyone I’ve come at odds with when they are ready. But my go- to prayer is always the same. I pray to be a vessel. I pray that the source can use me to help others find their way to peace too. And you know what, as soon as I open my eyes and come off my knees, there’s opportunities to practice what I prayed about within seconds. Every. Single. Time. 

This past Sunday, I was reminded of a prayer we may all need to do together for it to work. I was challenged to pray that my enemies get what they need. Whew. Yep, that jagged little pill hurt going down. I was intrigued so I took notes. What if we didn’t pray for others to be “like us” but that whatever they lacked for their pursuit of success would come to them and maybe, just maybe if they had whatever it was they needed, the desire to resist my views/way of life would decrease as well. Two birds, one stone. Who cares what name you give the source that brought the blessing?! I don’t know, but it made sense to me. 

As we go into 2 full years of this Covid pandemic, I think it’s the best advice I’ve been given in a very long time. You see, nowadays, this cancel culture has programmed us to believe that if we disagree, then we must be at odds indefinitely. We can’t sit at the same table. We are divided by principles that want us to work together at their roots but systematically keep us apart.  So, it clicked. If my enemy gets what they need to find peace, maybe they can be open and loving to my needs as well. Inclusion and infusion become a norm. 

Now, I will never encourage you to change who you are to embrace my way of life. It took me many years to refine my faith. I questioned everything I was taught as a child not because I was defiant, but because I felt compelled to open my circle up and I wanted to know why I had this yearning. I wanted to understand our differences.  Not eliminate them. I believe that no matter the label you put on your spiritual quest, as long as you are on one, you have so many opportunities ahead of you. Never be afraid to start something new, but I challenge you to also reflect on where you’ve been so you can see how much you’ve grown. A “start” is just that, a launchpad into infinite possibilities. Whether you see it through to completion will always be measured by your commitment to that choice. 

So, if you are wondering how to stay focused on your New Beginnings, please consider my advice and “pray/manifest/meditate/affirm” any moment you can. Please. Take a minute or two anytime in your day to connect to the source and set your intentions. Humble yourself to the notion that you have all you need in you right now to hit your goals. Nothing happens overnight so, pray for people to come into your life that can guide you and inspire you. Pray for strength to stick with it even when it looks impossible. Lastly, to stay humble, pray your enemies also get what they need. Together is the only way out of this one. 

Be safe. Be prolific. Be a blessing. 

Nothing but love, 

JB aka The Phoenix  

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