New Year, New Commitment, New Life

"we can never be born enough. we are human beings;
for whom birth is a supremely welcome mystery, the mystery of growing:
the mystery that happens only and whenever we are faithful to ourselves."
--e. e. cummings

"There is no birth without pain."
--Carl Jung

A new year is born.
A new us is born.
We make resolutions about the changes we want to embody,
make commitments about how we will embody the change that we see in our minds eye.

"We must be the change we wish to see in the world."

Change takes commitment,
both belief that change is possible, that we can transform beyond the limits of our social history and our biology to become something new and better
and the discipline and endurance to achieve that change.

"The true gift the transgendered to society
is not perspectives on men and women from someone who supposedly has been both,
but the knowledge that humans can transform,
can achieve magic when we commit totally to an inner truth
no matter what sacrifice or danger it brings."
--Rachel Pollack

It is the discipline of change, staying the course beyond the frustrations and the awkwardness, that lets us transform our intentions into habits, lets others see the change in us, lets the change occur.

"Half the failures of this world arise from
pulling in one's horse as he is leaping."
--Augustus Hare

"Ninety-nine percent of failures come from
people who have the habit of making excuses."
--George Washington Carver

"The trick is not how much pain you feel --
but how much joy you feel.
Any idiot can feel pain.
Life is full of excuses to feel pain, excuses not to live,
excuses, excuses, excuses."
--Erica Jong

This discipline requires immersion,
past the dipping of one's toe into the lake of change,
but jumping in willfully,
finding a new way of being, finding a new way of thinking.

"Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master.
For this reason mastery demands all of a person."
Albert Einstein

Though that immersion,
we live out the calling in our heart,
find the mighty purpose that society has asked us to keep hidden for other's comfort.

"This is the true joy in life -
being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one;
being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap;
being a force of nature
instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances,
complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you consistent."
--George Bernard Shaw

This is following our bliss,
trusting in the ecstatic purpose and pull that we feel in our heart.

"In our culture, ecstasy is not respectable, but then it never is.
It breaks everything down and overwhelms us.
We feel shame because the drive, the ecstatic push to transformation
is so powerful we're ashamed of its intensity, ashamed that we could not overcome it.
And ashamed perhaps too that something so absurd as gender
(not to mention underwear) can be at the source of it."
--Rachel Pollack

"Only by attempting the absurd can we achieve the impossible."

"Pain is certain.
Suffering is optional."

"Frivolity is important.
Frivolity is the species refusal to suffer."
--John Lahr

Trusting the change, finding the mastery for which we are coded, is our salvation.

"If you bring forth what is within you,
what you bring forth will save you.
If you do not bring forth what is within you,
what you do not bring forth will destroy you."
--Jesus Christ, Gnostic Gospels

As we commit to that change,
to becoming the change we wish to see in the world,
the world moves with us.

"The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.
All sorts of wonderful things occur to help one, that would never otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way.
Whatever you can do or dream, you can begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
Begin it now."

It's not easy, but beginning is the way to become.

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started."
--Sally Berger

"Long years must pass before
the truths we have made for ourselves
become our very flesh."
-- Paul Valery

Making commitments
takes the courage of trusting that we have something important to give,
that life is short and we need to make the most of it.

"Courage is not the absence of fear,
but the judgment that something else is more important than fear."
--Ambrose Redmoon

At New Years, we begin again,
our life starting over in every moment,
and we have the chance to change,
to follow our bliss.

"We have to dare to be ourselves,
no matter how frightening or strange that self may prove to be."
--May Sarton

"Man is born to live and not to prepare to live."
--Boris Pasternak

"Don't be afraid your life will end;
be afraid that it will never begin."
--Grace Hansen

At this new year,
may your life begin again in the moment you commit to the dreams in your heart
-- even the ones that seem frivolous.



Collection Copyright © Callan Williams 1997