I have been receiving this greeting over the past few days now--it's what we'll be saying and hearing until mid-January, I guess. LOL.
I have been talking with my children about what things we'd like to do and learn together in this new year. We've spoken, in general, about goals and plans. We've also put together some vision boards and collages (my children enjoy this activity immensely). Visuals are powerful tools for keeping us on track with the things we've said are important to us. I've even gone so far as to talk about the whole resolution piece of the new year. How people make statements as to what they hope to accomplish, what they want to stop doing, what they want to begin doing.
For about seven years now I've been reading the book The Natural Year by Jane Alexander. I read it throughout a year and continue it into the next, and the next and the. . . you get the idea. This book is packed full of alternative health recommendations, tips and explanations. The author points out that by following nature--the natural patterns of ebbs and flows--we might better find balance and overall health emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Interestingly enough, the book begins with Spring--the season of the new year--the new self. In reading the introduction and completing the survey (which helps the reader fine-tune the book to suit her specific needs), Alexander hints as to why so many people who begin the new calendar year with great plans often fall short of them and even give them up before making it too far into the year. (Even the local news is talking about this.)
In reading further in the book, I learned some of the reasons why this is so. First, we are in the season of Winter (Winter just began on the 21st of December). Winter is not the time of beginnings. Just by looking at nature we can see that this is the time of resting--plants have died or are laying dormant; animals have migrated or are in hibernation mode; the weather is typically cold keeping many things inside their homes--including us. Now, just as we're getting into the season of Winter, we're asking ourselves to begin anew--to JUMP back into action. I would suggest, along with the author, that this is one of the main reasons why we don't often find success--we're asking of ourselves something that intuitively we're not in the space to do.
I remember when I first read this book and found this bit of information. I remember purposing then that I would not start anything new until Spring, especially if it involved physical improvements and/or better health habits. Even eating habits during Winter should be different than those of Spring. (Yes, I highly recommend this book if you're looking to make some deep-down, life-shifting changes in your life.)
Alexander shares briefly on the back of her book the book's synopsis:
Spring: The Season of the Body. Spring is the season of new beginnings--a perfect time to bring your body into peak fitness.
Summer: The Season of Emotions. Summer is the time to free your emotions--to open your heart to the natural joys of living.
Autumn: The Season of the Mind. Autumn is the right time to find your path in life, to strengthen your mind and body, and explore what you want from life.
Winter: The Season of the Soul. Winter is a time to make peace with your soul--to seek your spirituality; to investigate the past year and look forward to the next.There is so much more information than what I will go into here. But this gives you a better idea of what I am speaking about.
Thus, I begin my new year on the first day of Spring. Yes, I often conform to the overall general populous in sharing the 'Happy New Year' greeting and even participating in new year type activities--vision board creating and other 'beginning anew' type workshops and classes. But this year, I am making a slightly different choice--personally, at least, and then with my children. I will continue this introspection time--this time of being honest with myself about where I've been and where I hope to be. I will give time to thoroughly explore my feelings, desires, needs, wants, etc.
I have to admit that I have already been feeling rushed. A few people have contacted me to assist them in getting themselves in order, with regards to homeschooling, and while I've been able to do this for them, I really want and need to take additional time for myself and my family.
Which brings me to my plans and intentions for this week. I've only made time for about three of those things and the week is almost over. Planning takes time--meaningful planning anyway. And I must give myself to this. I've learned that being surrounded by nature as well as being in a peaceful/restful type space allows my spirit to open up fully. So the kids and I will be packing up and taking another, longer, trip away. A mini-vacay to start the calendar year. My intentions are to be still and listen; to give myself the time to figure out just what I need and then, what my children need in this upcoming year.
Sure, I have plenty of hopes and dreams and wishes for 2015. Even now I'm remembering how we began 2014--away, in nature, in silence. It was so beautiful. I need this time and instead of talking myself out of it, as I often do (there's just so much to be done right here at home, etc.) I am giving myself permission to TAKE MY TIME.
I will not be mad at you for saying 'Happy New Year' because I expect this year to have happiness in it. I also understand that I am not a typical person and now like that about myself.
What I do wish for you, yes, any and all of you reading this post, is that you will find what it is you're in need of, what you're hoping for, what you're looking to give yourself to this year. I also hope that you'll leave room for the unexpected joys that this year will bring, space to learn new things and flexibility to grow into someone better.
And so, with all of that background, I wish each of you many blessings in 2015.