It is a new year, full of fresh possibilities, where many of us are looking ahead towards the future. It seems like we cannot help but set goals or intentions or make commitments in this time of the new year. A new year comes with new hopes, new imaginings, new doorways opening.
In this time of year when we celebrate the prophetic Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. alongside visioning and setting goals for the year to come, I wonder about what it took for MLK to dream and to make those dreams a reality. How many people helped him to dream big that “one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with white boys and white girls as brothers and sisters”? Who worked hard alongside him to get the Voting Rights Act passed in 1963? Martin Luther King joined many visionaries of that time to cook up dreams so big, we are still working on them today. We can see how far we have come and yet we know there is still a ways to go until people of all races and classes live in the equality our country's ancestors dreamed of so many years ago. This community of folks created a dream so big, it is hard at times to see if it will be achieved in my lifetime or in the lifetimes of our youngest children.
Prophecy, a vision of the future to come, cannot belong to an individual. When we even think of our personal goals and visions for the year ahead and our lives ahead, we know the things that are ours to do cannot happen in isolation. We need voices of support and encouragement. We need visible and less visible labor to make any dream come true. With big dreams, we often need another generation or two or three to continue the work ahead, to pick up where we left off and reap the seeds sown by those who came before.
One of my personal goals this year is to create a better self-care balance. It's something I think any one of us could use more of. And it may seem small compared to the big dreams of the Civil Rights Movement, but I know that bringing more positivity into our personal lives ripples out into the lives of all we encounter. To create this self-care balance, I will learn from writings from all sorts of perspectives. I will get advice from friends. I will practice what those who have come before me have seen work in their lives. The people who work to publish and ship books will help me on my journey, even though I will never know their names nor their faces. A massage therapist may help my along on this journey. The possibilities are endless and I cannot create what I dream without the help of others. I am so grateful for all who will aid me in this journey.
What do you dream of for this year? What dreams have been handed down to you, unfinished and ready for continued work? And who will be helping you along in your journey? Who will help your dream come to life?
I send wishes to each one of you to step into this moment and listen to where 2017 is calling you. May you know the footsteps you walk in and may you be held by those around you as you see your visions for the future become a reality.