It’s the first weekend of December and I am just returning from a blessed trip to New York City. The city is magical in December. The Big Apple most definitely knows how to go big for the holiday season.

While in the city my friend and I took in lots of experiences. We came to New York under the guise of attending a personal development seminar. And, really it was just a great excuse to escape the humdrum life of sunny Southern California, almost always 74 degrees and beautiful.

The mere thought of New York City gets my blood flowing. It’s exciting. It’s gritty and alive. It’s a myriad of cultures piled high into the towering buildings. It’s rich with all the great things this land has to offer as well as humbled by the homelessness that haunted me at every turn.

Christmas in the city is brilliant and bright. The smell of roasted almonds and chestnuts fill the air as well as the garbage piled high each evening waiting for the midnight crew to pick it up.

There was a definite theme to our weekend amidst horns honking and sirens screaming. (I seriously wonder if the horn honking isn’t merely a tool New Yorkers have tucked into their emotional toolbox to release stress, rage and aggravation.)

And so I digress. The theme of this weekend and of the past few months of my life has been “believe”.

We attended Radio City Music Hall’s Holiday Rockets show. It was sheer unadulterated delight. The costumes were magnificent and the cancan kicks in unison are nothing short of amazing. They told the story of Christmas and Santa made a special appearance to remind us all to just believe.

BELIEVE. It’s such a simple word but requires some real strength and mindfulness to stay in the thought pattern of believing.

After a magical evening last night, I drifted off to sleep thinking I wanted to write a post about believing. And in my dreams I saw sign that said believe.

This morning, I woke up thinking but I need an image that says “believe” for my post. And as my friend and I set about on our last day in New York City, we turned a corner to see a big and bold and sparkling sign on the Macy’s building. There it was. BELIEVE.

I’m a big “believer” in positive thinking and manifestation. You have to see it and believe it for things to happen.

Yes! This is all true. But one thing I have learned is that it takes more than just belief alone. Manifesting our dreams–no matter what they are–take belief coupled with inspired action.

Sitting around believing without any action will not produce any results.

And when it came to me getting sober, belief alone couldn’t cut it.

Speaking of that, let me be very clear here. I did not believe for a second that I could actually achieve sobriety. The truth is I believed just the opposite. I believed it was going to be impossible for me. I believed that I was beyond hope and beyond help.

So yes, now that I am sober, belief in all things possible is something that encapsulates my soul. It’s a gift of this magical miracle of sobriety.

Before I got sober, I wanted to die. Life didn’t feel worth living. I was a prisoner in my own hell.

This year as I breathe in all of the scents of New York City, I also breathe in belief. Belief in humanity. Belief in laughter and children’s innocence. Belief in the melting pot of this country. Belief in social connections with amazing women. Belief in customer service. Belief in dreams. Belief that I can now have a joyful and fulfilling life.

I believe.