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Two ideas have come together to inspire me at the dawn of this bright, shiny year. One was offered by Joseph Goldstein at a talk and book signing last month (new book, Mindfulness): “The spiritual life is about living at the edge of our comfort zone. As we relax with the edge, our comfort zone expands. An enlightened mind is without edge.” I have been thinking about this ever since. It’s settled into my bones as a refreshing and inspiring call to live with enthusiasm. I love the idea of my comfort zone encompassing all of life. Not that all will be well, but that I can embrace whatever arises and see it through.

The second idea is a New Year’s wish that Neil Gaiman posted on his blog a few years ago (journal.neilgaiman.com/2011/12/my-new-year-wish.html), quoted this year by Teri Windling on her blog, Myth and Moor:

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

“Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

“So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

“Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

“Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”

When I read it I immediately saw the connection with Joseph’s encouragement.

I see myself seasoning it with laughter.

So I wish us all a year in which our comfort zones expand through making glorious, amazing mistakes that inspire happy laughter.

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