The New Year is upon us; a time when we contemplate the year gone by and the year ahead. On December 29, 2018 I asked a group of ladies to join me in ‘Contemplating the New Year’ with respect to natural and spiritual gifts we have buried and hidden away, to exam our reasons for doing so, to consider the role forgiveness has played in our lives and whether our actions and resolutions will be fruitful. As I look back on 2018, with a similar lens, I can say that I do believe the things that come easy to me are not to be taken for granted but used in a way that spreads joy and inspiration. These easy things are my spiritual and natural gifts. I wouldn’t have them if I wasn’t capable of using them; however, getting past the fear or worry of what others may think or how life will change is something with which I will continuously grapple. Self- awareness, celebration and a present state of mind have been ways for me to confront, work through, or avoid these stumbling blocks; a supportive group of peers helps too! I found it is important for me to be present in mind and spirit where ever life takes me, especially if I am there by choice. I will get more meaning out of every activity and interruption if I can remain flexible, breathe through the negative feelings and look for the unexpected opportunities in the moment. This present state of being can profoundly impact and inform my future while dissipating fear and worry. Additionally, maintaining healthy boundaries and tearing down limiting walls are both beneficial to my healthy state of mind and growth. Having healthy boundaries has allowed me to accomplish the things I am inspired to do and identifying limiting beliefs or walls that I built and breaking them down has allowed me to grow and expand rather than contract. I spent a few decades contracting into a comfortable box I could handle based on walls built by fear and hurt. In 2017 and 2018, I was ready to challenge their foundations and start expanding again. Forgiveness could play a key role in this area. Lastly, I learned that I feel fully expressed when I follow the creative promptings of my inner spirit. If a creative idea comes up from within, it is something I need to fulfill. I know this because I have put this into practice a lot lately and seen the fruitful outcome from so doing. If you relate to any of this, I hope it gives you some food for thought as you contemplate your New Year resolutions. Happy New Year!