Happy New Year, everyone! I love this time of year. I generally find something to love about every little nook and cranny of the year, but what I love about this time of year is the fresh start, the way the year stretches out in front of me brimming with promise and opportunity, like the start of a Choose Your Own Adventure book. I could be and do anything at this point. I feel like I’m staring out into an endless expanse of Hope. Maybe that’s why New Year’s Resolutions are so popular. We hope to be better people inside and out. We hope to strive for more.
I like to fill up my coffers with inspiration or explore unknown internal landscapes. That sounds like a load of new age crap, but I’m giddy with the possibilities. I buy a book or two to help me do that, usually something with a daily message or art challenge, a day book if you will. Past selections in this category have been Simple Abundance, Something More, and Romancing the Ordinary by Sarah Ban Breathnach; The Awe-Manac by Jill Baonsky, and the Listography series by Lisa Nola. Oh how I love lists!
This year I selected three books: something flexible, something to use throughout the year, and something inspiring. They are:
Do I believe that reading and using these books will completely transform me into a perfect version of myself? No. Not in the least. But I do think I can pull something from them to enrich my life, broaden my views, maybe inspire a small change or two that in the long run will snowball into big change. I started reading The Spark yesterday and this bit at the beginning really caught my attention:
Elephant trainers tether a baby elephant by a thick rope to a stake hammered into the ground in order to limit his range. Whenever the elephant tries to escape, he is quickly restrained by the bond, and he learns that he does not have the strength to break away. As the baby matures, the trainers reinforce the boundary set by this rope. By the time the elephant is an adult, he is massive, weighing several tons and capable of enormous feats of strength. But now the trainer could tether him by a slender thread and he still would not try to escape. The elephant has grown so accustomed to being restrained that he has no idea of the strength he possesses to free himself.
-from The Spark by Chris Downie
I love it when a good analogy hits home. I might need to check my ankle for a tether. Time to brush the dust off the Hope that I’ve had sitting on a shelf the past couple months and run head long into the new year. Who’s with me?