Everybody tries to start resolutions in January. Well, you know I’m not a fan of resolutions. I prefer affirmations. I prefer to embrace a way of being instead of rejecting things that have come before. Seems to lead you to a path instead of a cliff. Helps you to focus on what you want instead of what you don’t want. But I digress…
Regardless of what you call it, January might not really be the month for making plans. Too much proceeds it. November through December tend to be intense times in life. And here you go, adding all this ambition to all that effort. January is a breathing month, I think. February is a good month to take stock. To plan for the coming year. To set seeds. (Happy Imbolc! Happy Candlemas!) Here in the bleak midwinter (they are SO wrong that the bleak midwinter takes place in December…) you have an excellent opportunity for calm and unhurried thinking, feeling and doing.. It’s snow or mud out there. Hunker down a bit longer. Sip more tea and contemplate more deeply. WHAT DO YOU WANT OUT OF THIS COMING YEAR? What can I do now to set that in motion?
For me, at the root of all my desires is that for an unhurried life. Spirit so overwhelms my soul that I KNOW if I had an unhurried life I could be deep inside feeling the overwhelm of spirit instead of rushing about, shoving it into the outer reaches and random crevices of my being. This I know.
Unhurried doesn’t mean inactive. I’m a doer, personally. I have a lot of creative energy and I thoroughly enjoy being in the thick of several projects. I am spring energy. Slightly chaotic and exuberant. On the other side of the wheel are those who move with the glacial power of winter. Oh, I love feeling that energy...deep in the belly. Water coursing underneath the land. Lava moving deep inside the earth. Continents rotating slowly around the core. Spring energy you can cut back hard. Winter energy is unstoppable.
But in order for either (and their in-betweens) to be honored the way they deserve, they need some breathing room. Riotous and exuberant becomes irritable if it doesn’t have time. Doing becomes a chore instead of a pleasure. And glacial movement is a slow meditation. Pushed too hard, its subtle energies get shoved into the corner, marginalized. Everything needs room around it to properly breathe. To properly be.
February is a good time to underwhelm a schedule. To carve out the space for your being-ness.
Today, I am going to do the simple exercise of writing down my perfect day. Maybe writing down several perfect days...I can’t cram everything into one type of day. There are, after all, seven days in a week and 365 days in a year. And this month I’m going to contemplate some ways and means towards those days. What mistakes cost me the most resource? Stress me out the most? What practices make the day-to-day aspects of my life run smoothly? What practices set me up for success in my endeavors?
And THEN...I’m going to notice the feelings this brings up. Do I feel joy? Do I feel unexpected guilt? Do I feel apathy if I have too much time on my hands? What does that apathy mean? Do I only think I should do something? Or do I really want to do it? What musters my energy and drive? Is that spiritually sound? Whose voice am I hearing in my head? Are they encouraging? Discouraging? Shaming? Supportive? What did I find most satisfying in my day or week? What made me sad? Happy? Did I feel jealousy? Superiority? Did I feel connected? Apart from? What guided my words? My actions?
Imma take stock.
But I’m going to do all of the above gently. While enjoying hibernating with soup and tea. Because this is a game. We are playing a game. And life isn’t all that serious. So long as you take it seriously.