New Beginnings: A Personal Reflection and New Year's Letter

New Beginnings: A Personal Reflection and New Year's Letter

new year's letter new year's resolution personal power personal sovereignty self-discovery self-empowerment Jan 26, 2024

As I write this New Year’s letter, I approach a landmark in my life. I will be 78 this month. The landmark is that I begin my 60th year of teaching! Because of this, this year’s letter takes on even greater personal significance for me.

In preparation for this creative moment, I have done a great deal of reflection re-reading many pieces I have written in the past and thinking deeply about the future—not just mine—the future for all of us.

As a country, the U.S. is perhaps experiencing the most challenging time since our Founding Fathers created America. Wherever those of you in the world who will read this letter live, perhaps your country/your society is also struggling.

The ‘overarcing‘ purpose of this letter is to support each of us in being and doing our very best for our Selves, our families and as we choose, the societies in which we live.

In this regard,  since the creation of Vocal Awareness, one fundamental goal has always been Personal Sovereignty: To help all those I work with to achieve their own enlightenment and enjoy their own empowerment.

As I continue deepening and evolving within my Self and within the Work throughout the decades, I have come to recognize and respect that of course, as I have always said, ‘Voice is Power’—that When we Own our Voice, We Own our Power’. In my evolution, I have come to grasp what this really means—beyond the obvious—Voice is vibration—it is energy. To enable us to live in the sovereignty of who we are capable of being—'our supreme excellence’—we want to be able to integrate our very vibration, the energy of who we are in full Conscious Awareness in everything we do, everything we feel; everything we say—as integrally as mindfully as honestly as possible within our Self, in our very thoughts and with whomever we speak.

As one of my favorite poets, Rainer Maria Rilke said over a hundred years ago, “I want to unfold. I do not want to stay folded anywhere, because where I am folded, there I am a lie.” Here is another translation of Rilke’s same poem: “I want to unfold. Let no place in me hold itself closed, for wherever I am closed, I am false.” Whatever interpretation/translation one reads, the goal is the same—to live in the truth of who we are—doing and being our very best every single day. Living in this way can enable each of us to truly fulfill our legacy, our promise and through the vibration and energy we carry forth—not simply feel empowered, but actually, be empowered. In turn, in this precarious time rather than being victimized by it, we can instead rise above and perhaps through our Voice, our vibration, our very energy, bring others along with us, enabling our Selves, our community, our families to be healthier, stronger, more compassionate and loving, making the world a better place because we are in it.

In preparing for today, one of my readings was to go back to my first book The Sound of the Soul from 1996. The following excerpt is from the final chapter: ‘Vocal Awareness: Creating a New Mythology.’ “…Vocal Awareness and the dissemination of its principles is my vocation, my calling, my lifelong artistic and professional passion. Why do I tell you this? Not because I think Vocal Awareness will be as central to your life as it is to mine, but because I would like you to see Vocal Awareness as fundamental to your life as breathing and communicating are…The practice of Vocal Awareness can be a bulwark against the changing tides of life. It offers a metaphorical, spiritual, and practical structure upon which, in your way and through your power, you can build a life of honor and success…I hope as you [finish reading this letter], you will see your Self as embarking upon the most exhilarating chapter of your new life…one that has brought you closer to your Self…

I so love living a life guided by and supported with the Conscious Awareness that Vocal Awareness shows me. I merely have to require my Self to surrender to its ethic because Vocal Awareness has taught me so well how to be the best of my Self possible at all times. I long ago recognized that there are no shortcuts, that, in fact, the only way out is through…Continue your ascent. Continue soaring. Feel the full investiture of your Self in every breath, in every sound and with the fullest integration of mind/body/spirit.”

The Sound of the Soul closes with a quote from a poem by the Nobel Laureate, Seamus Heaney. As this poem was so seminal in my personal evolution, I quoted it before and am passing the last stanza on once again as part of My Legacy as I begin my 60th year of teaching as it explains why God gave me Vocal Awareness at such an early stage of my life as my Journey was just beginning. “…I rhyme to see myself. To set the darkness echoing.” I was given Vocal Awareness to see, heal my Self, claim my Self, better serve God, the Work and by extension help others do the same.

May this year’s letter contribute to your legacy and be as a beacon that illuminates your path, your Journey, helping you in even some small way reach the fulfillment of your Deeper Self as you claim the life you deserve.

Here’s to a bountiful 2024 and beyond!

Sincerely, Arthur