Patrick woke me up this morning whispering, “Jenny, go outside into the tub and watch the sunrise. It’s amazing.” This is a glimpse of that beauty — as much as my camera could take in.

Upon stepping outside, fifteen hens came speed-waddling down the mud-frozen garden trail to give a cheerful “good morning” and Little Red Rooster jumped up onto the gate and crowed his own humble salutations. I love my chickens. I can attribute countless smiles to their company. It was warm (for January) with the kind of breeze that reminds me of just before a Midwest thunderstorm. (It’s interesting how a lot of nostalgia I feel for places and periods of my life are directly related to weather/seasons/nature). While I soaked, the clouds shapeshifted from a whale to two ducks to an elephant to a dragon. If I looked away for 5 seconds, the sky was already telling a different story. During the first few months after Tulsi was born, this was my morning ritual after she nursed at 5 am, to step outside and submerge in water and watch the sky. I have been staying up late in my studio for so long and sleeping in and missing this, I thought, my absolute favorite moment of the day. This year, I want to breathe this in more.

This morning I was remembering how refreshing the sunrise feels. It is such a magical moment, so pure, such awe. It makes me feel at peace. Soft yet strong, grounded, content. And intoxicated…like when I read Rumi or Hafiz’s poems inspired purely by their love for the Divine. Do you know what I mean? Perhaps something else makes you feel this same way. Another poet or musician or place…

With the new year (a magnified sunrise), I’ve been giving a lot of thought to where I’d like to place my attention, personally and with my art, what I’d like to practice deeper, what I’d like to invite more into my life. And after two friends shared this book with me recently, this is what resonates… to practice mindfulness. Daily. I can appreciate where I am very mindful and also where I’m not. I want to “work” at it. In the smallest tasks and in bigger goals, in playing, in mothering, in partnering, in conversations, in words I choose and how I release them, in relating to friends and clients, in moving my body, in creating art and in writing stories, in loving, and in prayer.

It sounds so simple here, and yet I know it is the most profound practice. It is also the perfect thing for my art with my wild-doer mind that can get distracted by too many ideas or feel overwhelmed or watching others doing super-human things (hee). Really, it always comes back to not being in the present moment.

And what else for 2012? …so I can look back and reflect next January… to spend as much time as possible OUTside playing with my family, to grow and preserve more food, to bring a major project to completion, and to write and practice yoga daily for even just 5 minutes. There. I wrote it. YES, yes, YES!

Cheers to all of you for a soulful 2012 and to whatever it is you are practicing, loving, creating.