New Year Your Way
Ringing in the New Year?
As the New Year approaches, most of us are barely catching our breath after a year of unexpected change, reflection, and loss.
At the beginning of 2020 none of us could have anticipated the diverse challenges and obstacles to progress we would face in the year to come.
Some of us will have tragically lost loved ones this year and there is little balm for those wounds here. Grief is personal and individual, and there is sadly no way of circumventing it.
We have all lost something during the pandemic, be it health, income, purpose, sense of direction, or sense of security and safety.
We must remember, however, that during times of adversity there are always gifts, even if it seems impossible to acknowledge them because of the pain of loss.
We have all learned, and a lesson has the power to invoke the tiniest spark of gratitude within us, if we allow it.
We have learned to live more presently.
We have had to let go of the comfort of knowing that a holiday or time with relatives is just around the corner. This kind projection is often what gets us through the tough bits, and we have learned to press on without it.
Many of us have had our financial security thrown into question and have learned that we can exist with levels of uncertainty that we are unfamiliar with, by appreciating that our present needs are pretty basic and that in times like these, the present is all we have.
Most of us have found new ways to perform our jobs, shop, socialise, communicate, entertain ourselves, and connect with those important to us.
We have learned to adapt.
Most importantly, in such uncertain times, we have learned to recognise what we value, and, in many cases, what no longer serves us. These are good things to acknowledge when reviewing the year to which we are saying goodbye.
As the New Year approaches, just as at the start of 2020, none of us can begin to imagine what lies ahead. Doing this is also projection. When we project ourselves into the future, we alter our body chemistry to mirror how it would be if those events were happening to us right now. When, however understandably, we do this in fear; it does not serve us well.
How then shall we ring in a New Year?
Consider that we are in Midwinter. Everything in nature tells us that this is a time of standstill. In the Northern Hemisphere, animals are in hibernation, deciduous trees are bare, and beneath the soil, bulbs lie dormant, awaiting Spring. Nothing in the natural world is stirring. It is a time for rest, reflection, and regeneration.
This is true for us too.
We have much to digest and reflect upon if we only allow ourselves the time and space to do so. How does this sit with the making of resolutions and the pressure that we put upon ourselves to keep them?
Does it seem contradictory?
Is it nourishing to place expectations upon ourselves for a whole year when, as we have seen, it is impossible to predict what we may have to face?
These are certainly points worth considering as we move forwards, encouraged by the 'overculture' to observe our usual traditions.
We would encourage you to make New Year’s resolutions, only if it feels right. If you feel drawn to do it then do it consciously, tapping into your intuition and examining what you really need. To do this, it may be helpful to revisit the article we wrote earlier in the year about Self-Care and its
When making resolutions you may also wish to consider our article about setting clear intentions:
We would warn against emotional attachment to the keeping of resolutions.
This means NO self-deprecation or admonishment if things do not go to plan!
For reasons we have discussed before, no-one is harder of the Self than the self. This is NOT growth!
If the very idea of making New Year’s resolutions leaves you feeling depleted and exhausted before you begin – we hear you. You may be being called by inner forces to attend to your Self in a more primal way.
Find a quiet, comfortable place where you will not be disturbed
Sit, relaxed, with your spine straight
Take your awareness to your breathing as you have done before
The tidal in and out of your breath
Aligning with all the cycles
Patterns and symmetry of the Natural World
You are of the Earth rather than upon it
Feel the connection
Find yourself in the midst of winter
Walking in ancient woodland
Where ghostly skeletal trees
Reach their spidery limbs and fingers
Upwards into a vast, winter sky
Cloaked in endless white mist
Made of intricate ice crystals
Unique and perfectly formed
Suspended in the frozen woodland
Everything that lives here sleeps
In frozen slumber
Drawn completely inwards
Retreating from the outside world
Sharp, angular icicles hang
From dormant branches
The silence of these woods
Presses in on the ears
And almost makes a sound of its own
Like one pure note of music
The sound that can only be heard
When everything is in standstill
And perfect balance
A place of non-action
The stillness of midwinter
The space between
Reflection of what has been
And anticipation of what is to come
Nowhere in the Universe
Does there seem to be a
Quite like this one
As you stand completely still
You feel your senses begin to sharpen
You become aware of the extreme clarity of vision
The acuteness of your hearing
The hairs on your arms and neck
Picking up the tiniest of changes
Both within and without
And you move effortlessly away from
Nothing else is required of you here
In the Frozen stillness
Of the woods
Gently bring yourself back to full awareness and consider carefully which aspects of ‘Ringing in the New Year’ are likely nourish you, and which may pose a risk to your peace.
After the thaw, and when it is time to take action again, you can then do so with conscious attention to your own wellbeing and that of those around you.
Happy New Year