Written by ANNE ALEXANDER mindful.org

As an old year ends and a new one begins, I like to find a few quiet moments for a simple practice that helps recognize this transition and honor all that has happened and all that awaits. I’d love to invite you to join me.

You might want to have a tissue or a journal handy. I find this practice brings so many emotions to the surface, making me teary and grateful and excited to be alive all at once.

Sit comfortably, relax your body, and close your eyes. Slowly, gently, breathe in through your nose, imagining that you are breathing in all of 2019 and what transpired for you, holding the whole year in your lungs for a couple of seconds. Survey your memories as they come in on your breath, catching glimpses of the year’s high and low moments.

Allow yourself to feel the good, bad, disappointing, marvelous, wondrous, thanking everything that life brought to you this year and let it go with a deep, long exhale. Let it all go. Experience these tides of breath a few times, in and out, and then rest, sensing the air coming in through your nostrils, and flowing out. Letting your breath flow naturally, effortlessly.

Next, I invite you to imagine a field of snow, freshly fallen all around you, pure, expectant. Allow your heart to swell and your ears to attune: What is calling to you this year? Where does your heart long to go? Feel and sense deeply and when you are ready, let your eyes flutter open: Welcome to a new beginning.

And welcome too to the love, hope, and laughter in this issue. Mindfulness icon Tara Brach teaches us how to find true self-compassion in the face of our restless anxieties. Ali, Atman, and Andrés of the Holistic Life Foundation bring us hope in the power of mindfulness to transform lives and communities. And Barry, Mindful’s beloved and Falstaffian founding editor, brings us laughter by sharing that none of us, alas, is the center of the universe.

Wishing you a new year filled with deep breaths, wonderful beginnings, love, hope, and laughter.

Keywords; mindfulness, meditation, breathing