January always seems like an odd month to start a new year to me. Smack in the middle of winter, sliding right in after the holidays, January seems more like a time to lay low, huddle by the fireplace, and browse seed catalogues. My new year seems better suited to starting in the fall, when school goes back in session and the summer fades away. Putting away summer clothes, cleaning out the pantry, buying lots of school supplies (a real weakness of mine), and feeling the crisp newness of the fall air trigger that whole new-year-intention-setting thing for me. So when January rolls around and the airwaves are full of resolutions and expectations for change, it feels like a been there/done that mind set.
But it is winter and that is a lovely time for introspection and muddling over. In the midst of cooking pots of steaming soup and hearty casseroles, I settle a lot of issues with myself. Like being OK with life, myself, and everyone else. Winter is a good time for that inner dialogue. I seem to hear my internal voice more clearly when the wind is rustling, the temperature drops, and snow is falling. I know there is good reason for that.
In Five Element Theory in Chinese Medicine, winter is full yin time- the season of outer rest and inner work. Nature rests in the winter, gathering strength and resilience for the energy rush of spring. That bursting forth of buds and sprouts is the renewal of hope for the next cycle of growth and abundance. So it is with us as well. In the winter I nurture myself with warm comforting food, flannel sheets, good books, and lots of self-reflection. Armed with a pot of tea and a new yellow pad, I write.
At first it is mostly lists of projects and ideas for the upcoming months, but after that release of mind-clogging information more interesting thoughts emerge. Many pages later I realize why I write. I feel calmer, happier, and more settled with each page. January is a month for making peace, for inviting perspective and for granting forgiveness. Why? Why not?
I am the best version of myself I have ever been. I am older, seemingly wiser, and much less bothered by the turmoil of the world. Life is always re-inventing itself and so am I. In any moment I am doing the best I can in any given situation. That’s enough. I can let the rest go- all of it and any of it. Right now the fireplace is warm and my heart is light. I am grateful for each blessing that comes to mind and find no regrets worth recalling. I make peace with myself so that I can rest and gather strength and resilience for my next cycle of growth and abundance too. Life is so much more than good and I relish that feeling of acceptance and grace. Ahhh…
Blessings my friends.