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The best way to start a new year or day || Remember this!

January 2, 2020

the best way to start a new year with japanese tradition hatsuhinode

On the morning of January 1st, my husband and I went to the beach on the eastern coast of the Danish peninsula to watch the sunrise. It was a cloudy day so the sun itself wasn’t to be seen. Even so as the minutes went by, the water, sand and landscape around us became gradually brighter as the clouds above turned a soft cotton candy color.

As we sat on the beach we talked about the year that had just passed and what growth we had seen personally, in our relationship, and in the world. We also talked about our hopes and dreams for the coming year and the goals that we have set – who we hope to work towards becoming. And THIS – looking forward – was our focus this morning, sitting on the white sand with the ocean wind caressing our cheeks and the waves providing a soft background tune of serenity.

setting motivating goals with japanese tradition of hatsuhinode

A few years ago I lived in Japan. Here I learned about one of my absolute favorite traditions that I have kept ever since. It’s called Hatsuhinode.

Hatsuhinode means “First sunrise.” It’s tradition that people gather on the first day of the new year to watch the sunrise together. When I was living in Japan I joined in this tradition and I have kept it up since then while living in the U.S., Germany and now Denmark.

I love the rejuvinating representation of hope and renewal that the sunrise brings. And the reminder that to fall down is only an opportunity to rise up again. The sun gives way to darkenes every evening as it falls below the horizon, but no matter how dark the night seems you can always count on it rising again in the morning bringing brightness and clarity as it rises.

setting motivating goals with japanese tradition of hatsuhinode

I see this as a metaphor for life and the perfect reminder that even when we fall – or fail – we have the chance to get up again; to rise again and to overcome the darkness. Failure and success is an ebb and flow, just like lightness and darkness is. But when we fall, we have to choose to, like the sun, rise again and continue on!

setting motivating goals with japanese tradition of hatsuhinode

I LOVED spending the first morning of the New Year celebrating the sunrise. Celebrating hope and renewal. Celebrating the resilience and beauty of the world.

Friends, I hope you remember, now and every single day throughout the new year and your lives, that failure is temporary and that YOU – like the sun – have the power to rise again, and again, and again. This is the motivation and mindset that I am bringing into the new year and I hope you will too!

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