The New Year is now upon us. We have lived through the year’s Darkest Day and survived it. Now as our eyes gaze to the horizon we will see how the sun in his daily journey is less weary. He is no longer a declining power, stooping low as he moves haltingly toward his death but as a re-born infant he now crawls across the heavens to his ascent. He reaches just a little higher with each day – rising fractionally sooner every morning and because he needs less rest as he grows in strength he sets a little later every evening. The cycle of his life has begun once more. But it is going to take time and a hell of a lot of work to get from winter to the harvest. From the Depth of Darkness to Juicy Fruition.
Nature doesn’t hurry.
Why is it that this time of year feels so difficult for so many of us? After the lights and decorations have been taken down, when the feasting has finished and we face the New Year many of us struggle. We look back at the year gone by – perhaps with joy but also sometimes with regrets and maybe pain. We look at what we have achieved and what we have not. We make our vows and our resolutions as to how we can be different this year, what we will change. Yet many of us are still living within the Dark days. It is not yet Spring. These are still the days in which we should be resting and spending our time in introspection and introversion – in self-discovery. We expect to ping back immediately from Darkness to full Light, forgetting that it is a slow process. It cannot be immediate. In this world of instant gratification we are baffled by the notion of patience.
Being ‘in limbo’ is screamingly frustrating, queuing drives us insane, the slow linger from one state to another is something we find difficult and alien to us, yet it is part of the process of transition. Of change. Yes, change is a cycle too.
This cycle of change is often not reflected in our New Years resolutions. How many of us set ourselves new inpirational goals? How many of us actually reach those and keep them throughout the whole year? Many of us set our New Year resolutions with the very best of intentions and an initial dogged determination but they are so often short lived. Too soon we fall short of our hopes and plans we have forged for ourselves and give up entirely. Perhaps this is because we come at it all from the wrong angle ?
We come from a starting-point that we are not good enough. That we must become ‘better’. We launch ourselves from a platform of failure toward the destination of achievement with our resolutions. We often feel we would be better people and we would be so much happier, more fulfilled and successful if we changed X, Y or Z. So at the turn of the New Year we make a vow to change specific aspects of ourselves or our lives and we usually expect the change to occur relatively swiftly. This sometimes works but often it does not. Because being more this or having more that does not necessarily equate to fulfilment or happiness. Nor does instant gratification. Yes we need to change… but are we changing the right things and allowing time for those changes to happen?
Would it not be better that we changed for the greater good? Would it not be better to be resolute in finding our calling, our individual gifts or talents and to vow to use them purposefully and with a resolve to make the world a better place? Would it not be better to ask “What is my true path this year, what journeys must I take?” and then listen to the answer. By doing so we utilize this Dark part of the year rather than rushing it. We recognise this too is part of the process.
In the darkness we should contemplate. We should listen. Really listen. We should ask the right questions and heed the true answers. We should plant our seeds and nurture them in the Darkness. If you think you know what your gifts are then great! But are you sure? Take time Have you fully explored the extent of those gifts and talents? Are you using them to their full potential. Be intent in spending your year honing them, fine tuning them and putting them to good in this world. But also in finding new parameters, in pushing your talents in different directions, in exploring new avenues and pressing forward to new territories.
If you have yet to find your gifts and talents…How exciting! Make it your resolution to find out. This may mean a time of contemplation. Listening. But then getting dirty. This may mean inching your way out of your comfort zone. Allowing more time to explore yourself. It will mean trying new things. Finding what works and does not work for you. Discovering what you are good at and what you are ridiculously bad at. Trial and error. Trying and failing miserably. Picking yourself back up and trying something else. Not being afraid of mistakes because they lead you to new paths you may not have considered and new people you would otherwise never have met. Embracing criticism as constructive. Using rejection as a stepping stone.
And giving yourself oodles of time!
Nature doesn’t hurry nor does it simply ‘give up’ when things don’t change immediately. No tree ever gave up and stopped unfurling its leaves because it wasn’t happening quickly enough. No Spring failed to emerge because all the flowers didn’t burst forth into bloom on the same day. Nobody expects it to be high Summer the day after Winter Solstice. So instead of struggling this New Year with individual goals why not set yourself the resolution to discover how you can change things in this world for the better. To journey forward on your true path. Be resolute to try hard, to learn, to allow mistakes and not beat yourself up about them. Be determined to reach further than you have before, to step outside your comfort zone and to break new ground. Be intent on allowing yourself to be part of the change and unfurl gracefully with it.