When saying Happy Birthday, I also include Happy New Year whether the person is born in January or not. I believe each person’s new year begins with their individual birthday. I look at the new year just like a new day –another opportunity to get it right. Whatever “it” may be.
My new year began in September when I celebrated a milestone birthday. Instead of making resolutions that would later send me on a guilt trip, I took a page out of a dear friends’ book and asked the creator: “How shall I serve?” I heard my answer not from a loud booming voice from the heavens, but from the work I already had in action.
While on vacation, swimming in a small pool of water, off the beaten track and away from the tourist beaches, a woman and her children drove up to me, and asked if this was a place she could swim. I told her yes. Her kids impatiently watched as their mother climbed down a small hill to join me.
Stretching out, letting her head rest in the water’s waves, and ignoring her children’s glares, she said,: “I needed this.” Our spirits clicked. She shared some of her concerns and her need to destress. I told her about a gratitude jar I started, but let lag, and how I need to get back to it because it’s a reminder of how much good there is when negativity wants to claim space. Before she left, she said a prayer over me and thanked me for being a blessing to her. I could not figure out how I blessed her. Perhaps the why and how were none of my business. All I was supposed to know is that I served as a blessing.
In truth, the way she prayed over me, I thought I was the one who was blessed. Perhaps that’s how blessings work-; they are reciprocal. At the close of 2023, SOAR was blessed with over $1000 worth of donations from our GoFundMe campaign as well as from a fundraiser given by Melaine Ausbrooks, a SOAR Board member. Although we have not reached our target of $10,000, I feel blessed by those who are joining our effort to bless a new cohort of young women who will come through SOAR’s My Daughter’s Power Circle to attend the annual retreat. At the fundraiser, a video message from Anaya, who is a member of the first “My Daughter Power Circle,” was played. She too used the word “blessing” when speaking about the circle and SOAR’s work.
The opportunity to serve as a blessing to other young women by introducing them to writing as a path to heal and then linking them to mother mentors who serve as guides for them at pivotal moments in their lives creates an inter-generational legacy of sisterhood that will live beyond me. I’m grateful that I asked how I am to serve when coming into my new decade and new year and that the Universe answered.
Ask not what the New Year will bring you, but rather what will you bring to it? How will you serve?