Explore Your Theme Thought for 2016

Treat People with Kindness

One of the definitions of the word “theme” involves creating an ambience or particular setting, perhaps around an idea, allowing a certain disposition, mood or even response to emerge to the front lines of your words, thoughts, deeds and actions.  What if you explored a “theme thought” for 2016? A thought to use as a touchstone theme moving out into the New Year? Clarity of focus leads to accuracy of response. Too often we fumble around with a few left over ideas from the previous year in an attempt to resurrect our New Years Resolutions using an old script that has yet to manifest in our lives.


Instead of making a to-do list for 2016, filled with old habits gone stale, what if you took some time to reflect on a theme for the New Year which aligns with the person you are committed to being in life? This idea came to me in a prayerful reflection which began with a simple request: “Dear God, what do you want me to do in 2016 and who do you want me to be while I am busy doing?” As quickly as I shot out the question an answer came in the form of one word: generosity. After reflecting upon the experience of generosity, the following statement gushed out of my heart through my pen:


“Don’t fear generosity for it is the very choice of response to life which unleashes the peace and joy you seek. Be generous in your assumptions about others along with the gifts you have been entrusted with to lighten the load of the oppressed and downcast.” 


Since the the theme was clearly generosity, as I travel through a day my mind tunes into ways in which I can practice being generous. At times it is generosity in the form of seeing a physical unmet need that I can support. At other times it is generosity around the assumptions I make toward myself and others: “You should have done better” thoughts which self sabotage any supportive thought pattern. Generosity shows up in ways we least expect it: generous in the intonation we use with ourselves and others; generous in our ability to put the needs of others above our own; generous in allowing another to experience a victory in life without flat-lining the joy with jealousy and envy; generous in the way we offer grace (a gift given and not deserved); generous in our choice to forgive ourselves and those around us, generous in our vision to see ourselves and others for who we truly desire to be rather than how our behavior shows up when we are hungry; angry; lonely; tired or sick; generous with our time, stepping away from electronics to honor the relationships we value most…the ways in which generosity shows up are endless and require attentiveness so as not to miss the opportunity to expand this “theme thought” on a daily basis.


At the end of each day I simply reflect on my words, thoughts, deeds and actions in light of my theme thought : generosity. Identifying and adjusting behavior and thoughts the next day flow from my time of reflection the previous evening as I am made aware of the moments I forgot to create the ambience of generosity to which I offer myself generosity to begin again with the gift of each new dawn.


What is your theme thought for the New Year? In 2016 what is going to be the ambience or particular setting, perhaps around an idea, allowing a certain disposition, mood or even response to emerge to the front lines of your words, thoughts, deeds and actions? Take time to reflect on this before jumping at a theme as this is a very powerful practice which can uncork personal excellence as you jump into the gift of a New Year of Life.


Theme thoughts are prevalent through out history which have resonated and encouraged thousands of individuals as they remind us all of important pieces of information that all too often get lost in light of shiny objects and those self glorification pursuits in life.  Here are just a few worthy of reflection:


“If I can?…All things are possible for those who believe.” Jesus Christ of Nazareth


“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched-they must be felt with the heart.”  Helen Keller


“If you judge people you have no time to love them.” Mother Theresa


“Whether you believe you can or you can’t you are right.” Henry Ford


“Try not to become a man of success, but rather become a man of value.” Einstein


“I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength.” St. Paul (my personal theme thought through advanced cancer and divorce).


“Those who have God find they lack nothing.” St. Teresa of Avila


“All things splendid have been achieved by those who dared to believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance.” Bruce Barton


“Find a way.” Diana Nyad who swam 53 hours from the coast of Cuba to the coast of Florida at 64 years old.


Explore and identify your theme thought for 2016 and take it with you into the New Year. Make it your screen saver, write it down and tape it to your refrigerator , bathroom mirror and front door. Align your words, thoughts, deeds and actions with your theme thought and notice any shifts that take place in and around you. Remember to create a time of reflection at the close of each day, knowing that this gives you the opportunity to identify and adjust your behavior and thought life as you set the ambience which will bring in a new dawn allowing you, by God’s grace, to wake up to the opportunity to begin again and honor the person you are committed to being.


A happy New Year will flow from your choice of response to life and releasing the attachments to those things that do not support the highest version of YOU.


Love and Blessings,




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