New Moon, New Beginnings 2014

Awareness, Acceptance and Allowing
January 01, 2014
New Moon is today. Today. A new day, a new year and what a nice symbolic way to begin the new year than with a new moon. This Sunday I am holding the New Moon Women’s Circle at my house and I was asked to come up with the question for the group. So, I asked: “3 steps to transformation: 1. Awareness, 2. Acceptance and 3. Allowing. Interesting isn’t it? The 3rd step, I was brought up to believe, was hard work. If I would just DO something more I might achieve, or transform, my life into the ideal I desire.
What one thing if you could change it from 2013, are you aware of, that you are ready to accept as it is, and let it go to allow your life to transform? Once you have allowed the transformation to unfold what does that one thing now look like for you in 2014?

As I think about this for myself, I realize 2 years later after starting training with a major airlines, that I am absolutely beat! This is not the life I want to live the rest of my life. I want ease. I do not want to work as hard. That is my awareness. So I have to ask, what is it that I do want for myself?
I want to remain open to God’s leading in my life and move or go where God would have me or place me in my perfect right place.
I want to connect more with people and consume less. 
As I move my thoughts out beyond myself I am daily moved and concerned about the direction this community, nation and world is heading. I want more for myself and I want more for this world.

Last night, when I went out on the town, here in Rapid City, S.D., to ring in the New Year, I was very surprised by social behaviors. What a zoo. This is what we have become? People were unable to carry on conversations above the loud, incomprehensible music, there was toilet paper on the floor everywhere in the lobby, restaurant and bar, and up and down the hallways of the Holiday Inn. I felt empty and I wished I had stayed home or had a private house party. What a waste of my time. No one had any consideration for others it seemed. It is as if we have lost our dignity. So it is that I am reminded of my Grandmother Marjorie Jennewein this morning, who gently motivated me to “always have a touch of class.” Last night I became aware that it seems we have lost all sense of class and decorum.

Class. You don’t have to be rich to have it. You don’t have to be educated or from the “right side of the tracks.” “Class” comes from within. It is a sense of pride, and yet my grandmother was not one to boast or to walk with a sense of arrogance about her. She did say a “touch” of class.
It seems we are all vying for attention these days and doing so as loudly, with as much grandiosity and aggression and boisterousness as we can muster and legally get away with. I wonder why?
I googled “touch of class” and came up with; fine home décor, jewelers, diamonds, a thoroughbred horse and dancing among other things. As an adjective it’s definition is “showing stylish excellence.” As I sat with this, I felt a sense of sadness in my heart. It seems this is not an attribute that our society aspires to these days.
During my first semester of Grad-school, the falI of 1986, I sang a solo for a Christmas service in Claremont CA.. The Minister, who had become a new friend of mine, handed me the book afterwards called; “In Search of Excellence”. He gave me this book saying that I exemplified the message within this book. This book was one of the biggest selling and most widely read books for business management in the 1980’s. As I look around me, outside of myself, my window to the world; knowing that the world is a reflection of who I am; I have to ask myself if I have lost my sense of striving for excellence and being mindful to carry myself always with a touch of class as my grandmother instilled in me.
2013 was a year of reflection for me and recently I have heard myself saying; in order to go forward I must go back. I need to know my history. So it is no surprise that my Grandmother Marjorie’s memory is with me today.
I think that is true for the world at large as well. The direction that we are headed is not sustainable. We need to ask ourselves; where have we come from, and if we continue on this path, where are we going? It all starts with me and it starts with you. Each one of us can make a difference.
We can get up each morning and start anew. Fresh. Just like we are doing this morning on this first new moon, on this first new day of 2014. Begin again. Choose again. Align our hearts and minds with fresh intentions to go forth into this world this day with a touch of class and a search for excellence Whether we are with our friends or family members, or at work, or on the street (or on a dance floor) bumping into complete strangers; search for their excellence and calling that forth. In order to go forward we need to look back. In 2014 my wish for myself to connect heart to heart and person to person. I came across 2 letters from Bob Pennington last month that were written to me during my time at Dakota Wesleyan years ago. He was a good friend of my grandfather, J. Leonard Jennewein who was a professor at DWU. I must have written back to Bob at least once, because in one of the letters he thanks me for my note. But I have a sense that I dropped the ball. I am sure he was late in his years, perhaps a widow at the time, and I don’t know if I was nervous about social etiquette or just insecure, but it was a lost opportunity on my part. How many opportunities have I missed in my life due to my own stubbornness or lack of self confidence? I now recognize how important it is to return the call, to write the letter, to send the Christmas cards and to simply stay in touch. There is a wealth of information and wisdom and love to be given and to receive when we simply connect with one another. This is true wealth.
It is my hearts desire to live simply, to honor myself so that I can honor others, to carry myself with a touch of class so that Marjorie would be proud and to remember my God given gifts and strive for excellence as I make my contribution in this world. If each of us did more of this can you imagine? What would the world look like? I for one want more harmony and clarity and heart connection and a touch of class and excellence for myself, my community and the common welfare for all people on this planet. What does this new moon, this new day, this new year beckon you to become? This is my vision. What is yours?
“Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”
– John W. Gardner


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