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The countdown to midnight on New Year’s Eve creates the sense that something profound is
taking place. We’re wrapping up another year of our life, with pride, regret, or nostalgia. And
then we turn with great hope to the new year about to unfold.

Mindfulness meditation has a lot to teach about how we handle endings and beginnings and the transition between the two. While you’re sitting quietly, observing your breath, pay particular attention to the transitions between your inhale and your exhale. What happens when you move from breathing in to breathing out and back again? What does it feel like in your lungs and diaphragm? Where does the movement begin: in your chest, nose or belly?

The practice of sitting also teaches us that at any moment we can begin again. We start our
meditation with our mind on our breath and then, predictably, our mind wanders. As soon as we notice the mind wandering, we bring it back to the present to begin again. We learn that we can begin again at any time we choose. The reset button is always there.

If you haven’t done so already, take some time this week to mindfully reflect on your
accomplishments from last year and make a list of them all (big and small). Then take some
time to reflect on your hopes for the new year. How do you want to grow as a person? How do you want to grow in your relationships with other important people in your life? With your friends? With strangers? How can you live healthier and more in harmony with the planet? 

  • How can meditation and mindfulness be a part of the resolutions you set for
    your life in the upcoming year?
  • How can you recommit or stay committed to your meditation practice in the
    new year?
  • How does your practice help you see that actions build on each other (such as
    how meditation helps you improve other parts of your life)?
This post is a short excerpt from Edie Raphael's The Art of Being Present: Mindfulness Meditation for Work and Life. The full book can be purchased here.

[Photo 01-newyear] Credit: Photo by Jerry Kiesewetter on Unsplash