Good evening all it is my great honor to be tonight's presenter for Brothers and Sisters

First a quick introduction

Welcome to Brothers and Sisters, the weekly meetup for prayer* and community at Daily Kos.  We put an asterisk on pray* to acknowledge that not everyone uses conventional religious language, but may want to share joys and concerns, or simply take solace in a meditative atmosphere. Anyone who comes in the spirit of mutual respect, warmth and healing is welcome.
Tonight I want to talk about change, reflection and rebirth and what they mean to me; especially given the time of the year.....

For me I've always celebrated the new year on the winter solstice. It just seems to make more sense to me then anything else and like I think just about everyone else the begining of a new year (whenever you celebrate it) leads me to introspection and reflection both on the last year and the overall arc of my life. I freely admit (well here at least in comfortable anonymity) that perhaps I think too much in general and about the overall arc of my life in specific but I really to an extent can't help myself. Not sure I want to either though as I think too many don't really spend enough time reflecting.

This year for example I mostly have been reflecting on how much a year can change your life. A year ago I was in school, pulling effectively 60 hour work weeks and stressing no little over whether I was going to be able to handle both finishing school and whether I would be able to find a job once I got now. Now here I am with my B.S. in chemistry, 6 months into my first professional job and no longer in the city of not only my birth but the city where the majority of my friends are. It's so strange in a way. My life has been both ordered and structured for so long (school school school and more school) that I don't feel precisely adrift but neither do I feel so much connected.

It is musings like that that lead me to what is the second purpose of the new year, change and rebirth. What do I want to change? What do I not want to change? And do I need so much change that I need a fresh start?

I honestly am still in many ways deciding and likely any answer I come to will change over time. Which is as it should be. Reflection, change and rebirth are both natural and necessary. They are such an organic part of what it is to be human that all cultures and all religions incorporate them. And so my brothers and sisters I ask you all to not be  afraid or reluctant to turn inward, to think about what has occurred, what is occurring and what will occurred. And to ask yourselves do I want to change this? Do I want to change myself? Because as Gandhi himself said change begins with us, we must be the change we wish to see in the world.

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