An Invitation to Pause in the New Year

by Lisa Schilansky, Ministerial Intern

As the calendar inches toward February, the New Year celebrations can already feel far away. Resolutions can feel difficult for some, or clichéd, or perhaps the most life-giving tradition you look forward to each year.

Rather than a suggestion of a resolution, of a “New Year, New You” mentality, I invite you to consider ways you might slow things down, ways you might bring more spaciousness into your life. For me, the holiest time in my life is during a sunrise at the ocean. These are the moments that take my breath away, that make me connect with something much deeper than myself.

Since I was twelve, I’ve made a point of seeing an Atlantic Ocean sunrise at least once a year. This year’s witnessing, on January 8th, was a cloudier day than normal. Clouds can seem negative, but they add to the brilliance of a sunrise. Their heaviness reflects bright pinks and yellows, adding to this great canvas. There was no moment that morning of the bright ball of the sun emerging from the ocean, of seeing that exact moment of cresting up. Instead, from behind the clouds, rays stretched their arms up, a whispered beacon of what lay behind. Right before the sky muted into the gray of that morning, the hole just above the lowest cloud was set ablaze, heralding the sun’s arrival.

On that morning in South Florida, toward the end of a vacation that already feels like a fading memory, I was made whole again. I crave these moments to quiet the noise. I crave these moments to ritually connect with something grander than myself.

If you need more time to pause, more time to connect with something unexplainably larger than yourself, I invite you to consider my monthly initiative Breathe: the world needs you whole. Each time we gather is an opportunity for mindfulness practices and intentional sharing. You can connect with others at UUCWC and recharge for another month. Our next gathering will be on Thursday, February 8th, at 11 a.m., on Zoom.

Whether at Breathe, at the ocean for a sunrise, or in other moments of quieting, I hope 2024 brings you opportunities to intentionally pause, to slow down, to take in the moment. I hope you can find stillness amidst the hecticness of it all. I hope you can remember to let your heart recharge.