By Mary Boutieller It’s time to expand our horizons and find ways to lift each other up. Here we are moving through another year, a hopeful year, filled with promise and proclamation, as we announce to ourselves and maybe to others, what dreams we wish to fulfill in the months ahead. And although resolutions work well for some, they never really stuck for me, so I tend not to make them . Instead, I think about the kind of person I want to be and the kinds of actions I hope to pursue. Some of these ideas are easy—I want to continue to teach yoga for as long as I can. I want to hike and bike and spend time in nature while I’m still able to do so. I want to expose myself to things that aren’t in my wheelhouse and expand my horizons beyond what I think I know. It’s these things and more that excite me about living. I want to remind myself that this life is amazing, even when it doesn’t feel like it. I want to look up at the sky and breathe in the clouds, the colors and the stars. I want to pause long enough to feel the welcome breeze on a warm day, the nourishment of a good hug, and how I never want to take it for granted. I want to play more and be serious less. I also want to spread more kindness in the world—simple, effortless, acts of kindness—things that are within my power to maybe make someone else’s day a little better. There is so much inspiration out there—people and organizations doing amazing things and shining the light for the rest of us. Recently, I watched a Ted Talk featuring Jacqueline Way. She talked about a program called 365Give that she and her son started. It’s based on a simple idea, taught by a mom to her young son, that, to be happy, all you have to do is give of yourself once a day. It could be as simple as saying hello, smiling at a stranger, holding a door for someone, helping a neighbor, volunteering…really, anything that moves you and brings joy. What Jacqueline called a “fun family challenge” has become a global movement. Tami Simon, founder of Sounds True, said, “With the smallest of gestures, we lift each other up.” Finally, I aspire to listen more to the quiet voice for good that comes from the Universe and enters my brain, that I can either heed or ignore. You know the voice I’m talking about? The one that, upon seeing someone in need or something to be done, says, “Hey, why don’t you…?” So often, we have these good ideas that seem to come out of nowhere and, when that happens, what stops us from doing it? Is it fear, timing, the bother of it all? In this life, we all know that if we wait for the perfect moment to say “I love you” or “I’m sorry”, or if we wait until it is easier or more convenient to pick up the phone or write that letter, it may never happen. So I wonder, what can we do to lift each other up? Maybe it simply boils down to becoming more aware and then acting on our beautiful, kind natures to make this world a better place. The great Maya Angelou said, “The best part of life is not just surviving but thriving with passion and compassion and humor and style and generosity and kindness.” Let’s all thrive throughout 2022. Let’s remember that we are all here for the benefit of each other, and allow kindness be our motive, love be the energy which carries us through our day, and compassion be our mentor. Mary Boutieller is a Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance. She has been teaching yoga since 2005. Her work experience includes 22 years as a firefighter/paramedic and 10 years as a Licensed Massage Therapist. Mary’s knowledge and experience give her a well-rounded understanding of anatomy, alignment, health and movement in the body. She is passionate about the benefits of yoga and the ability to heal at all levels through awareness, compassion, and a willingness to explore. She can be reached at: SimplyogaOm@gmail.com.