IMG_6991When I saw this out my window in the early January, as the sun first came up, I was surprised and touched.  I have never seen a rainbow at dawn before, and I decided to take it as a good omen: 2016 is going to be a good year, for all beings, and for the planet!  Let’s all hold that thought, and do our part in making it a reality.

The phrase New and Good comes from Reevaluation Co-Counselling, a form of peer-counselling for which I have great respect.  In RC, you generally begin a session with something “New and Good.”  Before you delve into the deeper personal work, take a moment to focus on the “new and good”.  Seems like a good way to star the year!

images-1Apropos “holding that thought”: we all know that what we think affects us profoundly, inside and imagesout: our biochemistry, our mood, how we perceive in the world…it’s radical!   I recently learned that what we think about stress, literally determines the way stress affects our mind and body, our soul and spirit.  It’s not a foregone conclusion that stress is negative.

Have a look at Kelly McGonigal’s ground-breaking, myth-shattering TED talk, How to Make Stress Your Friend.   Not only will it tell you how to transform your relationship to the S word, it will show you how stress can creates connection and build relationships.  New and good?  I’ll say!

UnknownAnother new and good: in October Mike and I gave up our car.  (Someone backed into me, it was a barely perceptible bump, and no one was hurt.  But the bumper and hood were damaged to the point that our old Toyota was a write-off.)

We took this opportunity to experiment with not owning a car of our own.  We’re giving it 6 months.  We have joined some car co-ops, and use rentals now and then.

CFS-HeaderWe live in a great neighbourhood for this. We already cycle a lot, and public transportation is readily accessible.

Well, half way through our 6 months, I can say it’s a wonderful world!  I have wanted to slow down, walk more, and it’s really working :-).   Of course it saves lots of $$ as well.  Some heartwarming connections have occurred on the bus… one being when a 5 year old clambored up on the free seat beside me, leaving his grandpa to sit in the seat across the aisle.  Gabo and I shared the ride and some sweet conversation.  It was a new experience for me, and very good!

One final “new and good”.  It wasn’t really a new year’s resolution.  It just kinda happened…Fact is, and while I’m rather embarrassed to admit it, I am not a very good listener.  I am often distracted.  For example, I continue to type when my sweetie comes in to say something, do some tidying when I’m talking on the phone to someone… I don’t really give my full attention to the speaker or the conversation.  I decided to try “deep listening”.  And what a beautiful gift it has been!

And here’s the real kicker: it’s a gift not only a gift to the person speaking, but to me as well.  I had just been musing with a good friend about how altruism isn’t only about caring for others, it benefits us too.  This new, deeper listening happens this way.  I stop what I’m doing. Stop.  Look at the person, sense and ground myself, open my ears and heart.  My goodness.  What a different experience it is.  I feel the connection, the dropping, the focus, a different kind of breathing takes over.  Time shifts.

And these weren’t big conversations… but the gifts have been profound.  And I’m happy to say that my sweetie has noticed the difference!  Extra bonus.

May your new year be filled with new and goods, and may focussing on the new and good help in dealing with the many roller coaster ups and downs sure to come as the year unfolds.

Here is what was out our window this morning.  New and good day dawning!IMG_7001

Your comments, forwards, tweets, and feedback, are all welcome.

Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, and growth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Follow me on Twitter, let’s be friends on Facebook :-)

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