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New Beginnings

New Beginnings is a gathering in the Mormon church that welcomes 11 year-old girls into a religious-based development program for 12-18 year-olds, the Young Women’s organization (YW). Tonight Zoe, Kari and I attended New Beginnings.

Their values are impressive: faith, divine nature, individual worth, knowledge, choice and accountability, good works, and integrity. The program challenges each young woman to accomplish particular goals over the next six years related to each value. The YW leaders offered several stories to inspire the new and existing young women.

To encourage Zoe to reflect on what she was hearing, I asked her what she liked most about the evening. “When Sister Stevens talked about the tsunami.” The YW volunteer president, Lenore Stevens, had described the conditions preceding the tsunami that devastated Thailand in 2005. The tide receded drastically before the tsunami crashed upon the land. Zoe reflected the intended point clearly — “To watch for the warning signs and to move away.”

This message was a well-delivered story of warning, supplemented with several religious practices to move toward, including reading scriptures, praying, and serving others.

As I listened, I found myself thinking about what “moving towards” could also be? What are other practices that celebrate and welcome us in to a full aliveness and beauty in the soul’s journey?

Here are a few that feel important to me:

Use our hands in the earth – plant a garden, work the soil, feel the dirt.
Take a walk – five minutes, fifteen minutes, or a couple of hours to feel the different rhythm of being outside.
Sit under the moon – just listen, just empty out.
Listen to friends – and take turns speaking honestly with them – Zoe shared this with me after a particularly moving experience with ten of her friends last week. Lots of wisdom in those simple words.
Be curious – embrace inquiry. Is life not filled with wonderful mystery.
Create together – projects, conversations of learning. Creating is a fundamental need and, I believe, instinct for human beings.

I wonder what others feel about moving toward that celebrates and opens us to abundance in life?

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