I am writing this just at the end of a year that has been like no other. In the last 12 months, there has been incredible suffering, uncertainty, separation, division, great loss, and powerful hope. I am sure you are glad it’s nearly over and gone. I am just grateful that I and everyone I love survived.
The Festive Season.
Even this year’s festive celebrations have taken on an entirely different shape. Every therapist knows the festive season is never easy and can be one of the most stressful and anxious time of the year. Yet, this year we have even more factors to consider due to the ongoing presence of the pandemic. We are living in times where gatherings are limited, restaurants, and other recreational activities seriously curtailed. There can be the collective pressure to feel happy when you might have lost a loved one, suffered a separation, lost your job, and be struggling in parenting. And against this background, we are moving into 2021 with the realisation that this time is not over yet.
This year more than any year, let’s try to find a key from rituals past to open the door to a connected 2021.
Open the door January 2021.
According to Michael Meade, renowned storyteller.
The month of January is named after the Roman god of doors, and thus, endings, thresholds, and transitions. Depictions of Janus show two faces looking in opposite directions, representing the old and the new. The backward looking face of Janus appears in modern rituals of reviewing the year and composing lists of the best and worst events. Looking the other way, Janus appears behind predictions for the coming year and in all the New Year resolutions for improvement that people make.
It seems more important than ever to allow a moment to reflect on the year past.
What are you reflecting on at this moment in time?.
There have been many meaningful conversations with family and friends on what really matters over the festive season and the year that’s nearly past.
What really matters to you right now and going forward?
If you don’t know, take a moment to light a candle, go for a walk in nature, doodle, swim, or meditate.
Let go and surrender anything that does not need to be carried through into 2021. ( I do not mean this glibly). If possible, forgive yourself ( I know forgiveness cannot be forced, it comes when it’s ready or never) and others. We need each other more than ever during the times ahead.
New Year’s Intentions.
I almost feel reluctant even mentioning intentions at this moment in time. However, unlike goals, Intentions are in the present moment. Intentions are lived each day, independent of reaching the goal or destination. They are about the inner relationship with yourself and others. Being intentional allows you to focus on how you want to be in the moment, independent of whether you are “winning or losing”.It is as much about the meaningful journey than the destination ( the goal). This does not need to be complicated in parenting or life. There is so much out of our control right now and trying to keep matters simple, earthed, and practical may be one way forward.
Some Simple Examples within Parenting
- Don’t believe your thoughts.
- Increasing kindness and connection to self and others.
- Spending conscious time together.
- Taking pauses!
- Allowing more gratitude.
- Be kind to yourself when setbacks happen.
In addition, finding connection and meaning with whoever and whatever may help. We need some soothing balms to ease the waves of uncertainty and challenges arriving at the edges of our shores next year.
Whatever happens, you still have the power to be present and the capacity to choose from moment to moment. We can still bring good things into our lives and the lives of others. Even if, we have to discover and engage inner resources and creativity that we thought we never had. We are going to have to dig deeper in the year ahead and remember to be gentle gardeners.
So for now, I look forward to working and connecting with you in whatever form in 2021. From my heart to yours, wishing you a safe passage from 2020, I hope you find the key to open the door where every possibility awaits in 2021, With love, light and so much gratitude Catherine.