Sheryl Valentine

What Will the New Year Hold?

By Sheryl Valentine*
[as it appeared in the January 2011 Newsletter]


            The New Year will hold the same as years past without an intervention in the present.  Standing on the threshold of yet another New Year, I am reminded of these words by Louise Fletcher:

I wish there were some wonderful place
 called the Land of Beginning Again,

where all our mistakes and all our heartaches
could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door,
never to be put on again.             


            There is such a place as the “Land of Beginning Again,” it’s called, now.  If you want to know what the future holds, forget about it, and instead look at the thoughts in your mind.  Your thoughts do create your future, and it’s being created right now.            

            I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed that I have some of the same problems today as I had yesterday, and I recognize that it’s because I think the same seemingly innocuous thoughts – thoughts that keep me stuck year-after-year. 

            I like this analogy:  The mind is like a tree, and the birds that fly into the tree are like thoughts.  It’s not necessary to watch the birds that fly in and out of the tree, watch the birds that build a nest.  Which thoughts have built a nest in your mind?  Do you know?

            One way to work with this is to begin with an area in your life where you frequently feel frustration, struggle and confusion.  Let’s say that it has to do with frustration about lack of money.  As you begin to watch the thoughts in your mind, you will find a nest built of thoughts of lack, limitation and unworthiness. 

            We think many different thoughts in a day, but through awareness we discover that they fall into a few categories: fear, lack, guilt and unworthiness.  We have thought the same thoughts for so long that we don’t even hear them, nevertheless, they continue to create our experiences. 

            As Love created me, I lack nothing, but when I am mesmerized by the world and let that sight dictate what I want or need, I fall back into the sleep of forgetfulness.  As I slumber, the self I think I am, chatters incessantly about what I should have, do or be, and I continue on with its mission of seek but do not find. 

            The practice of mind watching can ultimately set you free because it facilitates a new level of awareness, which allows for intervention in the present.  Healing occurs in the present because that’s where healing is.  God is in the present.  Holding onto mistakes from the past and worries about the future keep us absent from the present, and thus, absent from the Presence of God.

            When absent from the present, the future becomes continuous with the past.  We can learn to pause in today, and recognize that we don’t know what tomorrow holds, and so we don’t know what we will want or need.  In recognition that I don’t know what the New Year holds, I can rest and listen to the Voice that does know. 

            In A Course in Miracles we are asked to let the thought “I place the future in the Hands of God,” rule our mind, and become a habit in our problem-solving repertoire.

            Perhaps the habit that is currently in your problem-solving repertoire is something like this, “Oh My God!  What am I going to do?”

            Within the feeling of fear you can pause and remember, Ah…I can let go of fear and worry.  I can simply rest in now – in the Presence of Love, and place the future there.           

            We can make this New Year different by giving everything – every event, circumstance and relationship, the same purpose, that of being used by Holy Spirit to wake us up to the truth that we are free now.

            And so, as you go about your life in the ensuing New Year, become willing to seek a future different from the past.  Practice allowing the future to be continuous with now.

Holy Spirit,
Reveal to me a new perception
of myself.
I have been mistaken about who I am,
and now I choose the present to be free.
I leave the future in your hands,
and leave behind my past mistakes.
Guide me in Your Holy Light.


Happy New Year!




Dr. Valentine has studied in the field of spirituality for many years and has been lecturing regularly on spiritual principles since 1993. You will find her book entitled, “Oh My God It’s Me” on our favorite books list. Sheryl also hosts a blog and brand new NING website