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By Barbara McDowall

As I begin writing this column, I find myself glancing out the window at the new landscape that greets me, the wee faces of the crocuses (the first colour of spring), the grass getting greener by the day, and those delightful harbingers of spring, robins, as they fly by creating new homes for their as yet unborn offspring.  What a glorious time of the year!

Two or three weeks ago, I saw my very first red cardinal singing in the trees as I walked home.  I could smell the earth opening up.  I am looking forward to assisting worms when they are stranded on sidewalks and walkways after a rain shower. The people I passed seemed lighter and smiled more and often. 

This time of the year feels like being given a second chance, a new beginning.  We had our first opportunity at the beginning of the year in January to reflect on the year just past and to identify what would make this brand new year better and different.

Well, here we are in April having emerged from our metaphorical cocoon or lair after hibernation.  We have been given another chance.  A chance to consciously reflect on our commitments to change and growth made at the beginning of 2007.

What will we do with this second chance?  Will we take advantage of it or will be ignore it?  Will we see this time as an opportunity to tweak some of those commitments?  Will we give thanks and acknowledge the commitments we have managed to keep or will we use this as an opportunity to beat ourselves up and get discouraged?

This would probably be a great time to take out those agreements, dust them off and see how close you have come to honouring them.  They may also need to be reviewed to see where they can be clarified or amended to offer a better chance for success.  Maybe one or more of them need to be jettisoned all together because they are not relevant any longer.

This could be a wonderful time of recommitment and renewal.  No time like the present!  With that in mind, here are some tips to assist you:

Take a moment to sit in silence and reflection
Set aside 10 minutes each day (preferably at the beginning of the day) to be quiet.  Begin by taking a few deep belly breaths to settle and ground yourself.

Give thanks for your willingness to commit to change
Be gentle and loving with yourself.  There is no room here for self-criticism.
Review what has worked and what has not
Take a good honest look.  Be non judgmental as you evaluate.

Ask your Source for help in reworking/tweaking those commitments
Asking for help is one of the most difficult things we have to do.  Know you are surrounded by a “teamâ€� of support in the spiritual realm.  They are simply waiting to be asked.  So, go ahead, ask.

Re-commit to staying on track, to staying the course
Once you have identified what needs to be tweaked, declare your recommitment out loud.  There is power in giving voice to what we seek.

Be prepared to revisit these commitments at regular intervals throughout the year
Like most successful businesses, take time inventory on a regular basis, this would be a wonderful way to lovingly support yourself in following through.

Give thanks to your Source, angels, spirit guides
You are always supported as you step into something new and unfamiliar.  Thank your “teamâ€� of spiritual cheerleaders and mentors.

Let go and pay attention
Surrender these newly declared commitments to your “teamâ€�.  Pay attention to the guidance you receive and be prepared to take action based on that guidance.  Trust

Reward yourself when you honour each and every one of your commitments
Be kind.  Take yourself out on a date or do something that makes you feel special, that says I love you and I am so proud of you.

If you are willing to see the potential for wonderful new beginnings around you and to know you are a part of the great plan for your awakening, you will be rewarded.  Always be gentle and loving with yourself as you embark on a new venture.  Celebrate the accomplishments, learn and grow from the difficulties and keep showing up.  May you give yourself lots of second chances to learn and grow and to be all you are here to be.

Authentic Living