There are certain benchmark events in our growing-up years that are transforming. We start high school..and then college. Four years after that..and then - once again - we graduate and move into the world of responsible adulthood. Each milestone marks the end of one era..and the beginning of something new. Each - offers up an opportunity for exploration. A new part and piece of ourselves...uncovered. How and who. What and where and when..and sometimes even the all-important question of why. Why is it that we're doing whatever it is that we do?

But then - there we are. We arrive at our sought out destination. We marry. We settle down. We buy houses. We work at our jobs and our professions. We bear our children. We feed and nurture and love our families. Life takes on its own rhyme and rhythm. Life happens. There's not a lot of space for exploration. It's so easy to become simply complacent. To stop seeking answers. To stop - even - asking the all important questions. Our days fill themselves with the 'shoulds'..the 'musts'..the 'have to's'. And - not that that's bad..or that that's good. But that - that 'is' so often exactly what that 'is'.

And now - here we are. Here I am. This month that is marked by clean slates..fresh starts..new beginnings - is coming to an end. Hard to believe. So many expectations attach themselves to all-important 'January'. Whoever it was who designed the calendar must have recognized beginnings to be long and slow and arduous.  As such - we were granted the gift of an extra few days to get started. To begin.

Be brave - I declared as my intention. Be authentic..be true..be honest..be real. Dare to be the me I'm meant to be. Find that voice that's buried deep..and sing out loud. Challenge those limiting beliefs and find new ways of believing.

And - to that - I raised my glass...opened my heart..and welcome in 2012. A new year. A new beginning.

Set your intention..the energy will follow.

Already - it's been an amazing journey. I've been reaching and stretching and growing. I've found myself in places and spaces that I never thought I'd ever travel. I've found courage where I thought there was none. I've looked at that fear..I've felt it..I've almost run from it- but then some little voice in my head continues to remind me of my intention. Be brave. That fear is really just an old familiar friend. That fear is my dark shadow..my constant companion..my daily reminder. That I can. that I will. That I must.

Some mornings - I wake..and that fear sinks me. But then there are the other mornings..most mornings - when I awake - energized and excited. It's my first day of high school..my first day of college. It's my first job. There is endless possibility and joy.

It's different today than it was in the past. Today - it's no longer about the destination. It's about the journey. It's about who I'm becoming in the process.

And - as this month ends...as the new-ness wanes and settles - I'm finding myself wishing for a lifetime of Januarys. Of beginnings. Over and over and over again.