I have always approached the Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year Season with ambivalence. I intellectually and spiritually know better and yet the memory of December 21, 1948, lingers. My mother died that day and as an impressionable, young woman, I was deeply affected. I remember that I returned to New York University after the holidays and when asked how I had spent my vacation, I blithely replied in complete denial and avoidance of reliving the sadness, “Nothing new with me, what did you do?” And, so at the same time the limitations of the experience lingered, I have equally spent my life overriding, transcending and moving away from the past and into living from the possibility of a more liberating today and tomorrow.

Having my beloved family of three children and five grandchildren keeps me more contemporarily centered. I note with appreciation for all my progeny, their focus on where they are and where they want to be, as they now deal with growing their own families and realizing the enormity of the responsibility and the depth of wanting to “do it right.” I, on the other hand, by the Grace of God, having come through all that, plus the defining moments in my life that have shaped and formed my love for my faith tradition, Religious Science, look through different eyes at what is most important to me at this stage of my life.

What is most important to me, I believe is most important for the Universal Good of us all? We’re here to make the world a safer, more peaceful and sustainable place for all to live and safely enjoy. And, the best way I can fathom to do that is to discover your unique gift and to share it with the world that is directly around you, where you are, here and now. That may sound like a tall order for those understandably preoccupied with just “making ends meet these days.” You know what the answer is…teachers of all ages, traditions, denominations and persuasions continue to tell us in one way or another to, “Seek first the Kingdom of God (within) and all things are added unto you.” (outside) At this poignant, vulnerable time for the entire world, reveal your undiscovered value to all humanity as well as to yourself. Engage in spiritual practices such as contemplative solitude and self-Inquiry, silence, meditation, prayer and selfless service. Listen for your inner voice of wisdom, clarity and unconditional love and when it speaks through your own awakened realization and awareness, courageously and fearlessly take heed, follow its call and experience the enduring fulfillment of engaging in your calling…that certain thing that only you do and you do it better and more joyfully than when you’re doing anything else.

AWARENESS CONTEMPLATION:Start the New Year now, by spending just five minutes to start…upon awakening in this way. Sit up straight, with eyes closed, take three, deep cleansing breaths through your nostrils, holding for a few seconds before exhaling through your mouth. As you inhale, silently repeat the mantra, “GOD IS” and on the exhale, “I AM.” Keep that going and when awareness drifts elsewhere, gently come back and start over. Increase time incrementally, consistently until you go one half hour or more.

AFFIRMATIVE PRAYER:I acknowledge the almightiness of the Great Spirit of Life. It is eternally in action through and by means of myself and all. This is the Presence of Divine Love, Intelligence and unlimited creative energy that fires and inspires me to discover from within myself the unique gifts that I Am called upon to bring to the family of the earth. I stay in present moment awareness ever more consistently, day by day in every way and I give thanks for my faith-filled acceptance that, “I Am the One I’ve been waiting for to heal me, transform me and to lead me forward in the world, “Awakening Humanity to its Spiritual Magnificence” so that I meaningfully contribute my gift to a “World That Works For Everyone.” I give thanks this is so and that this is the way it really is.

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