Thursday, December 9, 2010

“A man dies daily, only to be reborn in the morning, bigger, better and wiser.” – Emmett Fox

     We are entering the final stretch of 2010. The temperatures are dropping. The turkey has been digested. Christmas lights are starting to light up the avenues, byways, and highways of our nation. And yet at this time of year, people tend to be so stressed out. Whether they are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or just being with family and friends, this time of year lends itself to stress, frustration, and sickness more than most of the rest of the year. Why? I wish I knew the answer.
     However, one thing remains constant regardless of what day of the year the current one is, we always restart who we are and where we’re going at the start of each new day. Psychologists say that one of the best times to figure out what is really important to you is by paying attention to your first thoughts when you wake up in the morning. It is during the first moments that we wake up that we are most vulnerable.
     Think about it: You’ve been asleep, usually all night, and now you have woken up to a new day. Your body begins to charge up. Your mind starts to wander and race about the day ahead. And you receive what might be termed a ‘daily rebirth’. That is, seeing that you are 6 feet above ground, you get another chance to go through life. This is GREAT news! Unfortunately, most of us never choose to see our lives this way. Instead, most of us get stuck thinking about bills to paid, deadlines to be met, kids to get to school, significant others to please, and rest and relaxation that seems unattainable. I think there is a better way to begin our new days ahead.
     Mr. Fox rightly asserts that each of us die daily. Biology proves that fact. All you have to do is look at our culture’s obsession with youth and beauty (read: cosmetic industry in the U.S. makes over 1 billion dollars annually) in spite of the fact that aging is an unalterable fact of life! However, what he says after that fact is pretty astounding. First, his perspective is positive. He doesn’t say that we wake up smaller, worse, and more stupid although that may happen to a few select individuals (see the Darwin Awards). His vision is that we awake to a new day bigger than the last because we got through it. We survived the soaring highs and low lows. That is something to be happy about it!
     Fox also makes note that we wake up better than we did a day earlier. Of course, many days we don’t feel that way but it’s true. If I face the challenges of the day and fail, I am still better for having faced them. It’s when we run from the challenges of life that we get ‘worse’, so to speak, in our personal growth.
Finally, Fox adds that we get wiser with each new day. Nothing could be more true! I’ve learned so much throughout my short life. And the more I learn, the more I grow. And the more I learn, the more I want to learn. And, the more I grow, the more I want to grow. It is addictive, pardon the pun.
     So, as you face the stress of this time of year, I encourage you to take those first few twilight moments as you wake-up and remind yourself of how much bigger, better and wiser you are on this day than you were just 24 hours ago. Believe it or not, you’ll be surprised at what you find. Submit yourself to a rebirth each morning. Embrace the re-calibration of the new day. Finally, embrace the rebirth of a new calendar year and all that it can bring to you and yours!

- Chris Newcomb, Aftercare Coach/Coordinator

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