And so, whoosh, here we are in 2013!
I know for lots of people come January 1 it’s all about moving forward. Guiding words have been chosen, intentions set, business plans formulated and now it’s time to hit the ground running.
And I certainly feel the shift and the call of the new, but truthfully I’m always a bit slower and I like to honor my own rhythm. I like to savor my transition times a bit longer. And I certainly like paying tribute to January as the month of Janus, the Roman god of gates and doors who looked both backwards and forwards.
For several years I followed a practice suggested by Waverly Fitzgerald of Twelve Days – a time to review the past year and create visions for the year ahead. And last year I ended up creating a little book on Blurb with highlights of the 2011. I’m kind of a technophobe, and frankly I really like creating handmade journals, so using Blurb was a bit of a stretch for me. But it was surprisingly easy and fun and I highly recommend it.
One of the things I really enjoy about reflection at the time of transition is the opportunity to see how the past informs the future, which of course why the symbol of Janus with the backward and forward faces is so appealing. And I like the moment of standing at the threshold. Havi Brooks of The Fluent Self has a lovely expression that I often use intentionally when crossing thresholds: “Enter as you wish to be in it. Exit as you wish to continue.”
And so that’s the intentional attention I like to use as well as I exit one year and enter the new.
I have lots of fun preparing for the new year’s journey. I like to start off with a map of sorts. As in hand-drawn- written-in-code (and other secret languages as well) treasure map. One of the markings on my map is my guiding star for the year; and for 2013 Devotion has selected me. Associated symbols invoking my guiding energy include an upward facing triangle, fiery energy and the color Chinese Red. Goddess Maeve is a marker on the map, and she’s inviting me into greater sovereignty and authority, and there’s an Earth Dragon who will be a traveling companion as well. There are other markings and guides as well, but it’s best to remember they’ll pop up to guide, help and inspire; the actual path is mine to choose. This isn’t a step-by-step guide to rote pattern movement; it’s a journey into creative self-expression on the path of life. No way to predict the twists and turns and unexpected that will turn up, nor measure the bounty of blessings that will of course be delivered. And that’s the fun of each New Year.
I like my little Janus creation posted above. I think it has a bit of a jester look about it, and that in turn reminds me of the tarot’s Fool. That always seems like the perfect place and energy to embark upon a new journey. Let’s invite the beginner’s mind and call in the fun.
So where are you? Has your Janus moment passed, or are you still enjoying looking both ways? What’s your guiding word for the year? Any other markers on your map? Do tell.
I love the idea of making a treasure map — that feels so delicious and different than a mind map. I’m off to a slow start, too. My word for the year is Joyful Aliveness. I’m so grateful to be sharing the journey with you, Deborah!
Joyful Aliveness is such an exciting path to explore! What a glorious year you’re intending! I’m thinking your treasures are going to be sparkly and sprinkled with laughter and deep passion and could it be, yes, glittery footwear. 😉
I’m finding it easier to pick a word for last year as I look back. Looking forward, well I just can’t seem to decide which word I want to focus on, there are so many.
I do like the idea of the treasure map. I may have to sit down with some markers and a blank journal and make one. Continue it’s story throughout the journal.
LOL – I can relate to decisiveness. I have to say last year I chose an array of words, and truthfully I found that less helpful than one. I probably won’t do that again, although a word and an adjective might be fun.
But in any case, I encourage you to take your time. Inviting in the energy you want to work with for a whole year feels like a big not-to-be-rushed commitment.
I like the idea of continuing your map’s story in your journal – perfect fodder!
I absolutely love that you honour your own rhythm Deborah. You are so right in doing this I feel. As I notice myself coming out of an extremely busy year, part of me wants to keep going without pausing but I’m finding that almost impossible this year. Where’s the break, the pause for reflection in all of that. I love that January is the month you do this for yourself. The rest of your post is also filled with so much goodness and golden nuggets. Love all that I’m learning from you. Blessings! xo
Suzanne-I’m SO an encourager of following your own rhythm. In fact I think it’s the ultmate centering and grounding technique as you’re not pulling yourself out of yourself. I hope you find a pause that is perfectly nurturing and nourishing.
Deborah, I wish you had shared a past map with us so I can get an idea of what this looks like. I like this idea! I want to learn to scrapbook, get crafty or whatever you want to call it and I’m not very good with technology either. In fact, I’m not crafty either but I’m working on that part of me. I love that guiding star is Devotion. I love that word. You talk about a couple of things I’m not familiar with so I will check that out. This really caught me and spoke to me so I think I will have to post it somewhere important to me. “Enter as you wish to be in it. Exit as you wish to continue.”
Thank you for sharing. Be patient with me. I WILL be back. 🙂
Welcome Karen – I’m so glad you stopped by. That enter/exit quote really is powerful isn’t it? To me it feels like such a beautiful practice that invites us to be mindful, but in such an expansive way.
I understand how fun it can be to see other’s work, so maybe I’ll post a map another time. But if you’re interested I urge you just to open yourself to possibility and have fun. There’s no way to get it wrong. And really what could be more fun than a treasure map of your life? Since you’re wanting to play more with art and creativity perhaps you’d like to check out the book “Personal Geographies: Exploratios in Mixed-Media Mapmaking” by Jill K. Berry. The gallery of various “maps” is fun and inspirational and she offers project directions.
I’m off to a slow start with the New Year. On New Year’s eve we received a call that our mother-in-law who is in a nursing home took a turn for the worst. She has a progressive disease and so we have just been grateful that she made it through Thanksgiving and Christmas but the end is dragging on and it is so difficult to watch her wither away. I’ve been practicing my mental telepathy skills as she can no longer speak and it’s quite amazing to converse with her in this way. Today before I left her I told her that I would never leave her, that I would always be with her in this way and she began moaning. That’s when the waterworks opened and the tears began to flow yet again. I know that even though these days seem to be dragging on that these last moments I have with her will be imprinted in my memory forever. And for that I am grateful and blessed that she is here helping me ring in a New Year and TRUSTING that all is in divine and perfect order.
Thanks for asking. ♥
Dearest Julie – I’m holding you and your mother-in-law and all to whom she is beloved in my heart during this tender and sacred time. May you all move through this with grace and in comfort, knowing you are greatly loved.
Deborah, I didn’t know about Janus, but my art sure has its share of gates and doors! I am so glad to hear you mention following your own rhythm. I am pretty good about that, and I do at times feel pulled by all of the how-to re entering a new year. Back to center, yes. I enjoy your art and hearing about new processes like a treasure map. I’m also feeling a push-pull around choosing a word for the year . . . it may be 2 words, and those would be Divine Timing. Feeling a need to have a better sense of when to jump in and when to pause.
Janet, I trust you’ll know your right word/words, dare I say, in Divine Time. 😉