How to Start the New Year

Each year, if not each moment, you are handed a blank page. To a writer, that’s both daunting and exciting – the stories we can create! To any of us, though, the unknown can be overwhelming. So much can fill the page; some sacrifices may have to be made. I can’t write two stories at once. I can’t go to school and travel the world. So how do we know if we are choosing correctly?

To be frank, we don’t. There may not be a correct choice among the options, as there is no wrong choice before us. There is simply a choice, then another, and another. Until our choices paint a beautiful story on a surface that once sat empty. With each choice, we gain experience. With each choice, there is always a chance to make another.

So let’s simplify things. Let’s get down to the fun, hard, crazy instruction at the top of the page. In a few hours, it will be 2018. Before you, sits a blank page and a single task: grab hold of this blank page and fill it in.


What will you place as the first mark on your blank page this new year?

Is it a story? A new travel experience? An objective to organize the house? Whatever it is, embrace it. And if you want some accountability, share your ‘first mark’ in the comments below. 

Happy New Year.

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.


A Cup Of Mindful Tea

Go ahead.  Get comfortable. 

Pour your big mug of Good Earth tea and let the steam rise to fill each inhale.  Breathe in every tangy spice tinge to the charcoal-colored leaves.  Its glory.  Its strength.  Breathe it in.

Your legs might curl beneath your seat, cushioning your weight.  Or perhaps they fall, dangling to the ground.  Wherever they are, notice them.  Appreciate their presence.  If you are comfortable, close your eyes.  Or don’t.  It’s your choice.  Whatever feels safe.

And when you are ready, bring your attention back.  Eyes closed.  Or open.  To the steam rising from your mug.  Follow its path from the surface of the water to the tip of your noise.  Its moist kiss on your skin.  Feel it rising into your nostril and through your sinus.  Its flavor transforming into warmth.  And carry that warmth.  Through your mouth, across your cheeks.  Carry that warmth, to your neck and up to your forehead.  And when it reaches its limits, let the warmth sit there.  Let it embrace the skin nearby.  Let it tickle your pores. 

And let it start to fade.  One second at a time.  The warmth only staying for so long, giving way to the crisp freshness of the evening.  Giving way to the opening of your eyes. 

And before leaving this page, go ahead and smile.  Pat yourself on the back.  From me, to you.  Go ahead and rejoice because you have just found tranquility in the moment.  You have just let the rest of time fade away.


Now why would I walk you through such a (dare I say) ‘hokey-pokey exercise?!’  Because, first off, who doesn’t benefit from a little added mindfulness?!  At the end of a long day, at the start of a busy week, at the commercial break of a heart-pounding episode of Grey’s Anatomy, who wouldn’t gain from the tranquility of imagery – the tea optional.

But, in full honesty, why did I ask you to join me in this exercise?  Because I was tired of being patient.  It’s hard, right?!  After pressing send on so many query letters to literary agents, I was – within seconds – restless.  I was tired of playing the waiting game and ready to see the future or edit the past (because, of course, the minute you press send, you start to imagine how you could have done things differently).  I was tired of patience, and I wasn’t getting anywhere with the cliché that ‘patience is a virtue.’  Sure, patience is great, but between you and me, patience can be HARD!

So, in an attempt at patience, I opted for mindfulness.  If I can find my center in this moment, if I can open my eyes to this second of beauty, if I can open my mind to today’s world, maybe, just maybe I can stop thinking about yesterday’s loss and tomorrow’s concerns.

Maybe, with our big blue mugs of Good Earth tea and our curled legs beneath our bodies, the present is all we need.

© 2016 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.