Planting Seeds, Cultivating the New Year


acorn  As the New Year has woven its way into our landscape, I think of the days that have vanished into the horizon. I’m reminded of how quickly the seasons pass and how synonymous they are with resolutions. We begin by planting seeds in the cool, moist soil. We tend our garden and with the sunlight and water provided, we discover new opportunities of growth. Maybe these turn into an abundance of richness and resources that carry us through the year. What happens if we neglect our crop? This is when we observe the leaves dropping one by one. We find bare trees, less color in nature, chilled evenings and crisp sunrises longing for those days of warmth and a time when we thrived. It seems like it was yesterday when I set my 2016 intentions. Now I’m reflecting on a pool of the past. Did I accomplish what I wanted or did I catch a glimpse of what could have been?

maine-reflectionsWith the New Year, maybe you’ve decided to meander on previous resolutions, goals, intentions, sankalpa…whatever you want to call them. Many times we don’t see what we have accomplished and only recall what we haven’t. Let’s refine our thinking. Start with the positive and write down what you have achieved. Next, don’t ruminate on things you didn’t get to last year. Instead move to the present. Determine what you want in 2017. Be clear and concise. Look within. Do you really want this or does someone want this for you? Connect with your soul, your heart and make it part of who you are. Then ask if this goal is one you’ve set previously? If so, what happened? Did you reach it and then let it float away like a leaf in the wind? Did you follow through? Be honest. Was your goal too broad? Did you have an action plan? Did you have small goals as stepping stones? Clarity is important. It helps us transform our old patterns into new habits. Identify your story!  Don’t dwell on the past but simply be honest with yourself and learn from past experiences. These are life lessons here to teach you. What worked? What didn’t?

Once you’ve taken stepping-stones-in-mainetime to investigate and determine your barriers, consciously write your new resolution(s). Take into account the new knowledge you’ve acquired. Planning is a huge piece of the puzzle and is often taken lightly. It’s just like gardening. You have to till the soil and have fertile ground to make something grow. If you planted your orchard in hard clay simply because the ground was clear, you may not get the outcome you desire. Be specific with your intentions and take measurable steps to provide nourishment. Put it on your calendar and monitor your milestones. Now, take action and follow your path to your intention.

meandering-pathWith this process, I find daily or weekly journaling helpful. You may discover some hidden gems (or weeds that need to be pulled). Speaking of journaling, here’s a must as you take your first steps. Write your story before you set off on your journey! This is a true guide to a successful trip. See yourself in your story. Start with the present and walk yourself into the future – taking steps and reaching your destination. This visualization technique along with putting it on paper is a positive and power technique. The experience of creating your story can also help you find your mantra – word or phrase. Maybe your goal is to have a daily meditation practice but you can’t sit still. Your mantra and reminder could be “Breathe in Stillness.” This can be written on a sticky note (or a nice piece of paper or note card) and posted in different locations to remind and cultivate encouragement throughout the year. In addition, your “story” can be read when your spirit needs to be fed.

As you move through the seasstone-wallons and see your goals emerge from the Earth and blossom, rewrite your story of where you’ve come from and where you’re going.  Turn your words into action and watch your intentions grow and flourish as your walk through the garden of life.

Well Intentions to you and Happy New Year!

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About Author

Celeste Cooper

Wellness & Fitness Manager

Celeste has been in the science, health and wellness field over twenty-five years. She began as a research chemist with a concentration in genetics and nutritional biochemistry. After working in the medical field, she saw the need to follow a path of proactive wellness and prevention. After receiving her Masters in Health Education, she ventured into the mind/body world receiving training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Yoga. Shortly after, she received the 2003 Wellness in the Workplace Award for a large health system in the state of Virginia. In 2004, Celeste joined SAS Institute, Inc. and continues to be passionate in her position overseeing Wellness and Fitness. She believes curiosity and collaboration bring insight and new ideas which bring out the best in everyone from team members to those who are making healthy lifestyle changes. Believing that the body knows how to heal if given the proper tools, Celeste earned certifications in Aromatherapy and Essential Oils, Classical Chinese Medicine and Homeopathic & Naturopathic Medicine. She earned her Doctor of Naturopathy degree in 2020. Celeste is a published author and practices what she preaches and teaches. She is a nationally recognized Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) and has advanced certificates in Integrative and Functional Nutrition, Genetics and Genomics. She is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) with the National Yoga Alliance, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Instructor, Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach (FMCHC) and Certified Yoga Therapist (CYT).


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