Start the New Year Wise

Janus

Beware of rushing into the “new” too fast. Resolutions, intentions, bucket lists can wait a bit. Although December is the ostensible “ending” month of our annual cycle, and January the generally accepted “beginning,” dare to take your time. December inaugurates winter,  time to hibernate and contemplate and savor our experiences of 2016. Pause to honor the past 12 months and allow clarity about what’s really calling to you for the next several years to emerge slowly.

1.Take time for Review and Reflection

  • In 2016, what has pleased you? Accomplishments? Breakthroughs? Courageous experiments? The way you handled challenges?
  • What have been your disappointments? Losses? Endings? The challenges you didn’t handle so well?
  • What have been your lessons? Your hopes? Your dreams?

2.  Take time to go deeper

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Take a December Pause

When December arrives, it always hits me in a profound way. It’s cold, wintery, and the “ending” of the annual 12-month cycle of months of each year.

JanusWithout particular formality, I always find myself pausing to seek perspective…I look back, and I take stock. I pause to look at life in the context of what is ending, what needs to end, and what might begin. I participate in my own way with the cycle of season changes.

Serendipitously, the book EXIT: The endings that set us free by Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, called for my attention. It helped allow the metaphor of the current year’s annual ending to take on broader significance.

There are so many exits over a lifetime.  Those we anticipate and those we choose seem to be the most common in our younger years as we grow and change.  Then there are those that come unbidden, the welcome and not so welcome, and the ones that bring relief or bring pain, or both.

How do we notice them, make peace with them, make meaning of them, and handle them gracefully?   Continue reading

What’s the secret to getting ahead?

Mark Twain suggests that it is simply “getting started.”

I must admit…the core operating principle of my Martha persona has been for most of my life,  “get clear, and get moving.” But, I’m older now. (Sometimes I need a reminder of this reality!)  I seem, these days, to be choosing a more relaxing way to do so. By starting a small daily practice…reminding myself of what I am now caring about.

img_7071Inspired by friends who shared their daily “gratitude practice” in this season of Thanksgiving, I created something I think will work for me. Since a “daily” practice is new for me, we’ll see if I can maintain it in a way that nourishes.  I’ve selected three questions which my readers will undoubtedly recognize, ones which either remind me or serve to acknowledge that I’m moving in the direction of choice as a woman soon to be 77.  They are:

  1. How am I living fully?
  2. How am I aging gracefully?
  3. How am I befriending my death?

Yesterday’s answers WERE nourishing: Continue reading