I tend to take the same walk. We are creatures of habit after all. However, this time I noticed a new trail and decided what the heck, isn't this a time to start doing things a little differently? As I took this new route through the woods, I noticed the same ferns, gnarled tree trunks, and scurrying critters. What was different was the air and the angle of the light. As I walked I thought about the charged atmosphere of change and the friction that is present. If there was no "rub," then what would motivate us to do something differently? With my new walk, the friction was brought about by boredom and curiosity, but often change is brought forth from great pain. We humans are caught in this dilemma of striving for something different and contentment for what is, only to strive toward contentment again. It seems we are never at peace. This conflict can be viewed pathologically through our addictions, all those ways we trick ourselves into avoiding our true nature. On a more inspiring note, though, this conflict can also be viewed as grist for the mill of growth and awakening. Wherever we fall between these poles of addiction and awakening, we are all on our own journey, and this new year a new chapter in the saga.