Please Note: Linda's blog has moved to her new website: LindaKavelinPopov.com
From now on, please visit her new website to enjoy all her upcoming blogs

New Year Hopes for 2016

January 12, 2016

I love new beginnings -- a new year, the first day of school, a birthday. It's a chance to start over with a clean slate, "to make all things new." (Revelations 21:5) One of my happiest memories is the smell of newly purchased yellow pencils being sharpened, the sound of a crisp new notebook binder opening, the floury scent and raspy sound of chalk as the teacher wrote on the blackboard. From our study of the world's sacred texts, I believe that life is school and then, God willing, we graduate, having learned what we came here to learn. In this life, we are meant to open the treasure chest of virtues with which each one of us was born, and bring these treasures to life by using them, practicing and polishing them. A close island friend asked me the other day "What is a New Year's resolution?" The answer that popped out of my mouth was "a promise to God". For anyone, whatever their beliefs, it is a promise to oneself to do something new and different, a commitment to a happier, better life.

At the beginning of each year I spend time looking back, reflecting on my teachable moments of the year and looking forward - praying for clarity, direction, a spiritual theme that will help me grow the fruits of the Spirit. I also do a random Virtues Pick. Last year, I was a bit intimidated when Humility came up. Humility is the great teacher, the virtue that tests our egos in order to strengthen our souls. I expected to be tested, and I was. In the Tanach of Judaism, or Old Testament, in Micah 6:6-8, the question is, "With what shall I come before the Lord and bow myself before God on high?" and the answer is, not all one's earthly goods or one's first born, but rather, "He has told you, O mortal, what is good: and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God."  Real happiness comes from spiritual living, so here are three virtues for more health and happiness in the coming year.

Justice: What will this year be like if we deal fairly with others - our children, customers, spouses, our family, the strangers we meet? In any conflict, we focus on our own part, not someone else's. We have the humility to take responsibility and make amends to those we have hurt or betrayed. Most problems end quickly when one person admits their wrongdoing and makes it right with an apology or simply by changing their behavior in the future. Even better, when both can acknowledge the part they played.

Kindness: I remember the Samoan mamas who came to a Virtues workshop on the second day after we talked about being kind to children rather than growling and striking them in anger. With tears running down her face, one woman came to the microphone and spoke to the crowd of more than 100 souls. "Last night I apologized to my children before God, and said I would do my best from now on to be a kind mother. I was so surprised when they cried and said, 'Mommy, we will be more obedient. We will help you more.' We have decided to become a virtues family!"

Walking humbly with God: What if we treated our lives as a sacred journey, continually seeking to learn from our mistakes, which are often our best teachers? I was very touched -- and humbled, when a man approached me at a Christmas celebration and quoted word for word from a column I had written weeks before. "You said when an urge to backbite comes, we need to bite it back, and then pray for the person instead. I've really been working on that. Gossip is so common and it's so easy to slip into it. So I've been stopping myself, biting it back. So, Linda when should we pray for the person we were going to gossip about -- right then?" With tears in my eyes, I said, "Right then or later is fine too." He was shining with humility and sincerity. May we all enjoy a just, kind, and humble new year.

Justice

Kindness


Author photo
Linda Kavelin-Popov

More Posts:
  • BE THE CHANGE
    (July 23, 2016)

  • Time Management for Spiritual Efficiency
    (July 13, 2016)

  • Virtues are the Keys to Success
    (June 29, 2016)

  • The Gifts of Family
    (June 9, 2016)

  • Family Reunions: Blues or Blessings?
    (June 1, 2016)

  • Mothering
    (May 17, 2016)

  • Learning to Die
    (April 29, 2016)

  • The Power of Presence
    (April 15, 2016)

  • Set Your House in Order
    (March 30, 2016)

  • An Easter Journey
    (March 21, 2016)

  • Living Whole Heartedly
    (March 17, 2016)

  • Determination – the Dream Keeper
    (February 24, 2016)

  • Educating the Whole Child
    (February 3, 2016)

  • Virtues in Paradise
    (January 22, 2016)

  • Reflections on a Year of Humility
    (December 31, 2015)

  • Home is where the heart is
    (December 15, 2015)

  • Coming Full Circle
    (November 24, 2015)

  • END OF LIFE WISHES
    (November 14, 2015)

  • Gathering for Gratitude
    Global Mentorship Canada 2015

    (October 30, 2015)

  • Raising the Virtuous
    (October 6, 2015)

  • Too Blessed to be Stressed
    (September 21, 2015)

  • Balance Your Virtues
    (September 8, 2015)

  • Whatever You Do
    (August 30, 2015)

  • Recognising Teachable Moments
    (August 7, 2015)

  • Celebrate Life
    (July 27, 2015)

  • Tap the Power of Thought
    (July 2, 2015)

  • Hope
    (June 17, 2015)

  • Call on your A Team
    (June 6, 2015)

  • From Violence to Virtues
    (May 24, 2015)

  • Banking on Virtues
    (May 18, 2015)

  • A Mother’s Virtues
    (May 9, 2015)

  • Virtues Shine
    – in a South Pacific College

    (April 28, 2015)

  • Being a Good Spiritual Accountant
    (April 23, 2015)

  • Bullying in the Workplace
    (April 13, 2015)

  • Easter
    (April 2, 2015)

  • The Best Present
    (March 13, 2015)

  • A Virtues Valentine
    (February 14, 2015)

  • Cleaning Up Our Act
    (February 10, 2015)

  • A Pace of Grace for 2015
    (January 18, 2015)

  • Choosing Your Best Life in 2015
    (January 2, 2015)

  • Gifts from the Heart
    (December 22, 2014)

  • Transform Holiday Stressing to Holy Day Blessing
    (December 6, 2014)

  • An Attitude of Gratitude
    (November 27, 2014)

  • Simple Ways to Bring Joy to Children
    (October 25, 2014)

  • A Perfect Day
    (October 8, 2014)

  • Let Peace Begin with Me
    (September 18, 2014)

  • Islands of Love
    (September 4, 2014)

  • Keeping Love Alive
    (August 16, 2014)

  • Integrity: Taking the High Road
    (July 27, 2014)

  • Parenting in Paradise
    (July 18, 2014)

  • GIVE YOURSELF A DAY OF GRACE
    (July 6, 2014)

  • Help Strikes Again
    (June 24, 2014)

  • Help for Troubled Souls
    (June 13, 2014)

  • Tapping the Power of Wisdom
    (June 1, 2014)

  • Path Finder
    (May 9, 2014)

  • Discover Your Joy Quotient
    (April 17, 2014)

  • Trustworthiness: Lemon with a Twist
    (April 3, 2014)

  • Spring Forward
    (March 20, 2014)

  • Appreciation
    (March 7, 2014)

  • HOLY GROUND
    (January 22, 2014)

  • Virtues Path for a New Year
    (December 31, 2013)

  • HOLIDAY BURNOUT OR BLESSING?
    (December 17, 2013)

  • Thanksgiving is Conducive to Bounty
    (November 28, 2013)

  • Flow
    (November 11, 2013)

  • SUCCESS-ion Planning
    (October 23, 2013)

  • In the Moment
    (September 22, 2013)

  • Be Here Now
    (September 17, 2013)

  • Grace in Our Tests
    (August 19, 2013)

  • A Pace of Grace Revisited
    (August 5, 2013)

  • Only Us
    (May 29, 2013)

  • Barbecues and Blessings
    (May 8, 2013)

  • Decisions in Paradise
    (April 23, 2013)

  • Daffodil Memorial
    (April 14, 2013)

  • How Full is Your Fruit Bowl?
    (March 20, 2013)

  • Rediscovering Joy
    (March 12, 2013)

  • Planning Your One Wild and Precious Life
    (January 30, 2013)

  • The Power of Intention
    (January 4, 2013)

  • From Violence to Virtues
    (December 21, 2012)

  • What can we do – before and after a tragedy?
    (December 15, 2012)

  • The Presence of Light
    (November 30, 2012)

  • Circles of Compassion
    (November 21, 2012)

  • Dare to Stop Postponing Joy
    (November 5, 2012)

  • The Rain of Grief
    (October 27, 2012)

  • Opening to Gratitude
    (October 18, 2012)

  • The Power of Gratitude
    (October 8, 2012)

  • Time to Celebrate
    (September 22, 2012)

  • The Gifts of Waiting
    (September 13, 2012)

  • Linda’s First Post
    (September 1, 2012)