In the U.S., everything slows this week as the Christian liturgical calendar rolls into Christmas. For those who enter into the religious part of the holiday, it is a time of warmth, light and an incredible story of the Divine love seeking out humanity.  It's filled with the possibility of birth and new life. 

It also marks a liminal season between years that usually arrives with time off and a few minutes to reflect. No matter your faith or spiritual tradition, may it prove an uncommonly meaningful time with friends and family as you prepare for the new year.

Click image to hear the essential story of Christmas.

As inspiration for those who renewing people or the earth, I give you wisdom culled from the deep reserves of literature by Clarissa Pinkola Estes in a letter she wrote some years ago. May it serve as feast and fuel for the journey to 2014.

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these — to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.
— from Letter to a Young Activist During Troubled Times by Clarissa Pinkola Estes (2008)