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I've been looking forward to this new year. The last year (2016) has been rough and draining. Several of my friends have had hard times, too - losses of many different kinds.

To me it seems a little odd that January 1 should be a beginning. It's not the solstice or equinox, or a quarter or cross-quarter, or commemoration of an event. It's not an observable beginning of any sort, just a random day of which somebody said, "This is the beginning of the year." But we western peoples been observing it as such for many generations, so I guess that counts for something, for us at least. If you observe the Gregorian calendar, then January 1 is the beginning of a new year.

We need new starts. They keep us from burying ourselves in accumulated muck and "bad vibes". If we can say, "TODAY I start new", then we have the energy to dig ourselves out and, well, start new. A lot of people say that's something we should do daily, and I don't disagree, but that can also become burying muck if it's just a ritual. So it helps to have something external, something that doesn't happen every day, to give us inspiration.

I'm certainly in a clearing-away-and-starting-anew phase of my life. I'm looking at all the pieces and considering whether that's something that should stay or go. I'm looking at what's missing, what I've wanted and haven't done. I could probably fill three lives with what I want to do, what I'd like to accomplish. Some of it is for others, some of it is for me, and some of it is for God. Some of it I have the skills/talent/knowledge/ability to do, some of it I've never been good at.

We have a very good pastor at our church. We've been blessed with good pastors, and certainly blessed with this one. At the new year, he likes to review our church's mission and purpose statement and the basic tools for accomplishing those things as a church. It's helpful and centering to go over those things on a periodic basis - bringing us back to where we want to go, and the meaning of our existence as a church and as part of the body of Christ. Hopefully, if you have a religious affiliation your group also has a mission and purpose that lives.

So I'm in the middle of looking at my life, at where I want it to go, who I want it to serve, and how.

The Jewish festival of Chanukah (Hanukkah) is called the Festival of Lights. This year it began on Christmas and ended on New Year's Day. The Hebrew word Chanukah means "dedication". Our pastor talked about that, and it really resonated with me. Lately I've just been drifting along, but it's time to rededicate myself to my purpose - which means also finding out what that purpose might be at this point in my life. We have different purposes at different stages of life, so it's a good thing to review if your life is starting to feel a little stale or out-of-balance. Are you drifting off your path?

I'll ask you the same questions I'm asking myself:

  • Who do you want to serve?
  • What way(s) can you serve?
  • How are you going to get that done?

Here are some oils I'm using. I don't use them all at once, just one at a time:
Frankincense (to help connect with God, center myself in Him) and Northern Lights Black Spruce (for the high frequency, to bring mine up). Blends are (in alphabetical order) Grounding™, Highest Potential™, Hope™, Inspiration™, Light the Fire™, Live with Passion™, Present Time™, and Release™. I'll probably hit a few more as things develop.

But I think the most important thing I can do is spend time with God - reading His Book, praying, and listening. Nothing can take the place of those things.

Wishing you a blessed new year! May your purpose enliven your heart. May God guide your steps.