The New Year is coming!
A healthy life is a tapestry woven of many threads; some are bright and colorful, others are plain and workaday, yet all are an integral part of life. There can be great joy and beauty in simple daily living, especially when we become mindful and present to what is all around us.  Finding that simple joy is a gift that we can all attain.
Achieving a life of richness and beauty, variety and fruitfulness, strength and endurance doesn't happen overnight; yet a lot can happen in a year. You can start redesigning your tapestry by creating healthy new habits today.  Healthy behaviors might involve treating our stress compassionately by taking a walk, gardening, reading or talking with friends rather than reaching for "chocolate" or substances.
Begin now with an honest mental review of habits that make your life joyful and those that leave you restless, sad, or bored. Resolve to do more of the former and consider the latter candidates for change.
What will help you on your journey through the year to come? An attitude of gratitude, giving thanks for your amazing body, the marvelous world we live in and the revitalizing properties of appreciation.
Willingness to stretch and grow, to try new things, to embrace change. Trust that you will know how to direct your life paths in wholesome, fulfilling directions. Maturity to choose self-care over self-indulgence.
Courage to change what you can when you need to. Wisdom to make nurturing, nourishing choices whenever possible. Friendship and community involvement to stretch our world past our own small concerns. Humor to lighten your day and keep you laughing, come what may.
It takes about a month for a new thought or behavior to become a comfortable habit. As you live your wholehearted way through the year to come, choose a healthy new habit -one suggested here- or a choice of your own to practice each month. Try out your new behavior at every opportunity and see how quickly it feels natural.  Take a few minutes each day to repeat an affirmation that resonates with you, or to make up new ones that suit your situation. Affirmations are amazing tools for change because what we tell ourselves comes true. Each life is full of stories about ourselves and others. When you bump up against a story that leads you in a negative direction, take time to examine it carefully. Imagine living your life without that story. How does that freedom feel?
Allow yourself to choose new stories, new ideas, new attitudes and new behaviors allowing yourself to have a new kind of life.  Day by day, thought by thought, choice by choice, we can build a present and a future that become independent of the past. The past has no power over you when you choose to live today.