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Natural Awakenings NYC & Long Island

Welcoming the Unknown

Dec 30, 2022 ● By Marlaina Donato
Sun setting over body of water near pier

ktahaziz/AdobeStock.com

Ushering in a brand-new year can be filled with hope, but it can also feel as daunting as a blank sheet of paper. We might pause at the threshold with pen in hand, recounting past mistakes and failures, hesitant to make our mark. The unforeseen is like a stranger, easy to mistrust. Dreading the unknown can be a self-sabotaging habit that obstructs the view and keeps us wishing instead of living.

Nature’s great gift is her constancy of seasons, but she thrives on change. Despite the human propensity for clutching what is familiar and predictable, we do best by leaving the door ajar for the unexpected. If we are fortunate, we will have 12 more months to have another go at it.

Setting a place at the table for delight shifts our frequency from resistance to receiving our highest good, and swapping anxiety for excitement can be a spiritual practice during our most uncomfortable moments. Instead of making a resolution, what if we made the simple decision to not believe our fears?

With no concept of limitation or worry of scraped knees, we once learned to walk, happily undiscouraged when we stumbled. That first spark of eager curiosity remains deep in our memory, not confined to youth. Embracing possibility this year can be a subtle, mantra-in-motion as we go through our days, a cellular willingness to expect an outcome tailored specifically for us. Here are some prompts for embracing possibility:

  • On scraps of paper, write down 12 things you have postponed doing or trying and keep them in a special canister. Pull one out each month and follow through with joyful anticipation.
  • Witness the sunrise once a week and designate it as an opportunity to open your heart and mind to the new and glorious.
  • Change things up in the kitchen: Buy new dishes and donate the old to a local thrift store. Try a new food every week and explore herbs and spices not usually in the cupboard.
  • Notice something in your daily surroundings that might have gone unnoticed before.


Marlaina Donato is an author, painter and composer.

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