New Year, New Beginnings

Practice: Walking into the New Year

On New Year's Day take a contemplative walk at a labyrinth if you have one near you, or in a peaceful, wooded place.  As you take each step, ask yourself how you want to walk in the year ahead.  Pay attention to what responses rise up in you and embody this in the pace and movement of your body.  As you continue to walk imagine yourself stepping across the threshold of something new and notice how your body feels.

Practice: Doing What You Love

Consider spending New Year's Day doing all of the things with which you want your year ahead to be filled.  Make a list of the five most important and soul-nourishing activities of your life and spend a day savoring these experiences.

May you make friends with newness and know deep within that the God who keeps revealing new things to us, also fills us with hope for a future of peace.


Join the discussion: What practices will be a part of your welcoming the New Year?

This article was excerpted from Crossing the Threshold: New Year, New Beginnings, a reflective art journal created by Christine Valters Paintner, Ph.D. filled with suggestions for creating a more meaningful New Year celebration and practice.  To order a copy, please visit her website at and click on "Abbey Shop."

Christine Valters Paintner, Ph.D. is a Benedictine Oblate and the founder and director of Abbey of the Arts, a non-profit ministry integrating contemplative practice with the expressive arts.  She teaches at Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry and also works as a spiritual director, retreat facilitator, writer, and artist. She is the co-author of Lectio Divina: Contemplative Awakening and Awareness from Paulist Press. Visit her website

12/21/2009 5:00:00 AM