In cultivating something new from something old, today I set some time aside to look back and to look forward.
I’m most especially grateful to Susannah Conway for her Unraveling the Year which has inspired this practice. I first found her online workshop to find a word for the year one year ago (my word for this year was Focus – I have my word for next year, but that’s for another conversation).
Today was a bit of balance in the midst of the mayhem.
The end/beginning of a year,
all these holidays associated with all these belief groups,
the altogether headfucking climax of consumerism and consumption,
the magic and
the glitter and
the feelings and
All that stuff.
All of it.
All the tradition.
- the handing down of statements, beliefs legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth by practice: a story that has come down to us by popular tradition.
- something that is handed down.
- a long-established or inherited way of thinking or acting.
- a continuing pattern of culture beliefs or practices.
- a customary or characteristic method or >manner.
blah etc blah ….
So much is ingrained at a young age end passed on by generations.
For so many people.
Not me, not any more, I’ve made some adjustments to my ways, and that’s what I came here to tell you about today.
I don’t hark back to happy sparkly memories of childhood holiday fun. The people I was with at the time are all gone. This isn’t the place for detail – this isn’t a rabbithole of self pity – it’s just the context for what I’m writing about. And a nod to those who feel the same way. We know we aren’t alone, and we know we aren’t supposed to talk about it – it’s something like the emperor’s new clothes thing – if we begin to question why everyone is getting so tangled up in a frenzy of guilt induced consumption and confusion it all could just fall apart before us.
Here’s what I’m doing: I’m making my own traditions.
They are just for me. I don’t have kids, so these aren’t the foundation for any future other than my own. I started this a year ago, and in repeating them they’re evolving into my new traditions. They have meaning. They are a framework and a structure in an otherwise fairly arbitrary layout of days and free-floating lifestyle.
These short days and long nights at the turn of the year are my retreat. Amongst the usual duties of the days, amid the outside chaos, I’m squeezing in some extra time. Time in my home in candle glow, with my books and my music and my thoughts.
Balancing on today’s apex I look out in both directions: Reflecting & Consolidating; Planning & Wishing. Taking time to just soak in my life, look at what I’ve done and felt and learnt since the last time.
Since this time last year I’ve been blessed to meet and share time with some wonderful people who’ve brought me new understanding and genuine heartfelt joy. I’ve uncovered new music, new ideas, new strategies and new wisdoms.
I’ve begun to take better care of this body and soul. Forgiven her indiscretions and daftnesses. Appreciated her well meaning and abilities. Accepted her doings and goings as the best she could have done given what she had and knew at the time. Acknowledged she needs time, she needs peace and she needs rest, I realised no-one but me can allow this.
I’m trying to show her more kindness.
I’ve released a bunch of judgments.
I’m learning to reframe.
Wherever you are in this season, I wish you and your dearests an abundance of wellness and peace. Go gently, dear friends, be love. X