The morning my son left I was filled with dread.  I did not want him to leave. I wanted him to stay at least until the New Year.  As he entered the kitchen with his truck packed, he ask one thing of his parents. “Please take my hand and form a circle.  I believe in the power of silent prayer.”  For several minutes we bowed our heads together in the warmth of love and stillness.  It is a moment my husband and I will forever carry with us.

In the silence, I felt another voice inside that kept repeating “In and Out.”  For days I tried to reconcile the true meaning of the words and decided to make it my mantra for the New Year.

With every breath we take, we breathe In all the good and the bad that are part of everyday life.  It is what we exhale or let Out that defines us.

For years I have used breathing exercises to help calm me and in many instances help me to sleep.  As my lungs expand, I hold on to all that is good and let go of all the stress from the tips of my toes through the top of my head.

As I have grown older, I am surrounded by such negativity and derision that divides us all.  Decidedly, I am only one person that for this year and into the next, I choose to harness the power of the voice within me, to join hands with others who In and Out choose to focus on the good.

There will be days that I falter.  I find forgiveness within myself to let go and strive to remap my vision of what I breathe In and Out with a prayer of gratitude for lessons learned and guidance for the words that inspire.

Today is a new day.  I awaken to the warmth of the light that fills my room. I breathe In the glory of the fragrance of freshly cut flowers, the chirps of beckoning outside my window, and the dew that sparkles in the sunlight in awe of the splendor of God’s creation.  May I hear and hold on to words spoken and long to hear as I espouse with others.  It is my way of looking forward and reaching Out to embrace today in the hope of a better tomorrow.