Does anyone else feel like this whole New Years thing is a bit of sham?
Every year I feel slightly grinchy, but each year it makes less and less sense to me.
January is still smack in the middle of winter, yet we’re told we need to make resolutions and change and plan for the year ahead.
I say fuck that.
Keep hibernating. Keep resting. Keep celebrating. Stop rushing towards spring and summer. Stop rushing the season. Enjoy it. Enjoy the long nights and call to sleep in. Enjoy the comfort food and the tea and blankets. Spring and summer will come without us blazing past winter and neglecting this opportunity for rest and self care.
Now, if you like New Years and resolutions and what not, I’m not trying to change your mind your lessen your personal experience. As I said, it doesn’t feel right to me. It hasn’t for years, but every time I try to explain this to someone somehow they don’t get it. I don’t know if it’s my delivery or just that we’ve been conditioned by society since birth to think of January 1st as the optimal time to start over.
In reality, ANY TIME is the perfect time to start over. Only using January 1st seems like an unnecessary prison to place ourselves in.
If you feel that way too, I’m officially giving you permission to let yourself off the hook. Right now. Let it go. Let go of the idea that you have to choose a specific day or month or time to make a change. You don’t. All we need is the desire to change and the willpower to stick with those goals/dreams/desires.
Now, with all of that being said, I do have a particular date that I think of as a great time to observe the “new year”, or really, the changing of the seasons and embracing the beginning of spring. For me that day is February 1st.
February 1st is also known as Imbolc and was celebrated by ancient European cultures. This day falls about halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. However, in the Celtic calendar, Imbolc (Feb 1st) represents the start of spring.* For some reason, this really resonates with me. Not only as the start of spring, but as a perfect day to start planting metaphorical seeds for the rest of the year.
I also like to use the month leading up to Imbolc to reflect on the previous year. That month happens to be January, which may be another reason why I feel like we’re all being rushed right past the end of winter and our opportunity to reflect. I don’t know about you, but the week (ish) between Christmas and New Years Day doesn’t seem like A) the best time or B) enough time, to reflect on an entire year. That’s why I prefer to stay in my celebratory mindset through January 1st and then start my reflection once the holiday decos come down.
During my month of reflection I take time to read back through old journals/posts, look at pictures, etc. I also try to think about what worked and what didn’t. I make mental notes when I notice thought patterns and habits and work on those as I see fit. Then, on February 1st I actually sit down and verbalize/write down what I’m looking for/intending from the year ahead.
I guess what I’m saying is…
Don’t resolve. Reflect.
Don’t plan. Set an intention.
Don’t just think. FEEL.
And that leads me to what I really learned in 2016. To feel.
I’ve always been big on feelings (I am a Pisces), but it wasn’t until this past year, really the latter half of the past year, that I realized I made better decisions when I made them from a place of feeling/internal knowing than from any kind of “logical” thought process.
This is, I believe, because I started trusting my intuition more, even if it was in conflict to what my mind was trying to tell me was the “best” decision.
So right now, January 5th, that’s my tentative plan for 2017 – to keep feeling. Feel my way through decisions. Feel the conflicting emotions and physical sensations that arise as I face challenges. Let my body be my compass as I continue to navigate through this often-messy experience we call life.
And finally, I leave you with a challenge. Tonight (or right now), take out your favorite journal and write at the top of a blank page…
How do I want to feel in 2017?
Write until you can’t write anymore. Let your feelings be your guide and see how life unfolds with a richness and beauty that isn’t possible when we live solely from our minds.
Be Blessed Friends♥