Go Forth and ...

It is a serious thing

just to be alive

on this fresh morning

in this broken world.

Mary Oliver

It's time to start writing again.
At our house, Christmas has been "put away" for another year, the Christmas decorations and nativity scene all (somewhat) carefully tucked away for a long winters nap. Family and friends have departed, and a new year has begun. I've been away from my desk for a month, and a new year always beckons me back to the page, and the need to put words down on the clean white space. I'm not much one for resolutions or goals, strategic plans or strict timelines. I am one, however, for marching orders, for a call to action that helps direct my steps in a meaningful way. We are all here, alive together, on this beautiful and broken planet, to make a difference for the good in the world that is within our reach. Making that difference is a serious thing indeed. 
What are my marching orders for 2017?
What are yours?
As I pondered what to write about, and how to connect my writing with my marching, I kept drawing a blank. I have a book coming out in February (BLUSH: Women & Wine), so I could write about that, expanding on the message in between the covers of the book. But that didn't seem to quite cut it. Last year, my marching orders were to finish that book and get its message out. But them's old marching orders. My business name is Trailhead Coaching and Consulting, so I could write about "adventures from the trail" and the importance of connecting who we are with what we do and how we do it. Nope. Not that either. One evening I decided to just get it done, and with lots of determination and a wee bit of aggravation, I sat down to brainstorm a list of themes for the year. It turned out to be a short list. As in, there was nothing on it. The harder I thought the bigger the blank I drew. So, I did what I usually do, when I can remember to do it. I quit thinking about it, and trusted that new insights and information would  rise to the surface in due time. And sure enough, it did.
The next morning, as I have every day since she gave it to me, I put on the necklace that my daughter Lauren gave me for Christmas. A small gold tag with two small words that pack a big punch. Go Forth. And just like that, those marching orders appeared. The necklace sits squarely between my head and my heart, reminding me to use both as I move through this new year, a day at a time, a moment at a time. Reminding me to be mindful and wholehearted in all that I do. 
This year, perhaps more than any in recent memory, needs our help. 2017 is a year in which we all have important work to do if we are ever to live side-by-side in the midst of our differences. This last year has taken a toll on everyone I know, and on people I will never meet. 2017 is beckoning us, it is begging us, to Go Forth, and bring all we've got to the new years party. What that means for each of us is particular. The need for it is universal. Whatever your calling, whatever your gifts, whatever your passions, whatever your deepest values, Go Forth and do. Go Forth and be. Go Forth and give. Go Forth and lead. Go Forth and serve. Go Forth and create. Go Forth and work. Go Forth and play. Go Forth and learn. Go Forth and speak up and speak out. Go Forth and listen. And no matter who you are, Go Forth and love. 
On your mark, get set...Go Forth and ...