Our Fireplace – Decorated for the Holidays
Celebrating the 12 days of Christmas – Yule – Winter Solstice. The time between Christmas and New Year’s we are fortunate to have the time off from work and school to be together. We will be visiting with friends, going to see a movie, and enjoying other fun things together. I am also using this time to clear away the old, plan ahead for the future, and energize my motivation for continuing to improve my inner landscape and future spiritual goals.
The days following the Winter Solstice (Yule, Christmas), the longest night, are an inbetween time, filled with centuries of traditions and magic from many cultures and religions, a time that is not a time (out of the ordinary, existing outside the day to day rules and routine). In ancient Babylon, these days were seen as the time of a struggle between chaos and order, with chaos trying to take back over the world and many traditions for this time of year are associated with driving away evil spirits for the start of the new year.
The origin and counting of the Twelve Days “is complicated, and is related to differences in calendars, church traditions, and ways to observe this holy day in various cultures. in most of the Western Church are the twelve days from Christmas until the beginning of Epiphany (January 6th; the 12 days count from December 25th until January 5th). In some traditions, the first day of Christmas begins on the evening of December 25th with the following day considered the First Day of Christmas (December 26th). In these traditions, the twelve days begin December 26 and include Epiphany on January 6.”
No matter which days one decides are best for celebrating the 12 days of Yule it is an good time for reflection, gaining wisdom from the previous year and setting goals and magical intentions for the upcoming new year.
Rather than making “resoultions” that if not met by year’s end or are abandoned within a few weeks of the new year’s start which can lead to giving up, guilt and negative feelings of self worth, I will be focusing on small, doable steps that are part of a broader overall plan. I will also allow myself to be flexible, realistic, and adapt as life unfolds and circumstances warrant.
What I will be doing during the 12 days of Yule:
An overall life review – what have I neglected, are there goals I need to discard or new ones I want to add; what habits and practices are positive and life affirming for myself and family, which ones need to be discarded, added or tweaked. Followed by a simple new year’s eve ritual to give thanks for the previous year (embracing the mistakes, the ups and downs, both the good and bad times, releasing the old hurts, stress, negativity) and blessings for the new year (clearing the way for a fresh new year and welcoming the new lessons to be learned, the good and the bad times, opening heart, mind and spirit to wisdom and love).
Setting a focus for 2012 – to add meaning and overall purpose for the upcoming new year, I will be focusing on a theme for the year and settting an overall flexible plan that is on going to manifest my overall them and positive steps forward. I will kee my plans reasonable, with doable small steps for the upcoming year, and visualize and set forth intentions, followed by real world activity to manifest my goals.
My overall theme for this year is organizing – this has been my goal for decades, and in the past I’d always feel bad that I didn’t “finish” getting my entire house done and my life organized. But realistically in the past my health and pain levels and lack of time (since I work full time and other life demands that require my time) made it impossible to get the entire house and my life organized to perfection, so I was setting myself up for failure. This year my health is much better and since losing over 170 lbs my pain levels are very low. However time constraints and the massive amount of organizing that needs to be done are still obstacles. But rather than set a goal of getting the entire house done I will set as my goal to consistently work on much smaller tasks that I can achieve, such as a bookshelf at a time or a few boxes sorted each month, etc. Each small accomplishment will one more step to the larger goa, and I can feel positive about each one along the way without beating myself up if the house isn’t “perfect” and completely organized within a self-imposed deadline.
Tips For Resolutions and Goals: keep goals simple and doable (break down big goals into smaller tasks); make sure your goals are realistic within the time frame you’ve set (i.e. don’t set a goal like save a $10,000 dollars in a year if your expenses and debt are overwhelming – instead set a goal of paying down debt and creating a budget; don’t set a goal of building a website in a year when you don’t know anything about computers – instead set a goal of taking a computer class); don’t overwhelm yourself with too many goals and tasks; create categories to organize your goals (i.e. self improvement, home, work, family, spiritual, community, etc.) with only one or just a few goals in each category; be gentle with yourself and adjust your timetable as needed. Build in positive feedback and rewards for yourself along the way. For example to help change your inner landscape and clear away inner obstacles create daily positive affirmations, inspirational music to listen to, inspirational amd empowering books to read. Create positive feedback in the physical world, for example take a big positive step to start off the year that will create a positive environment for smaller changes to continue reaching an overall goal; create a symbol of your goal that you see daily; give yourself positive rewards along the way as you complete tasks.
Wishing everyone a healthy and happy new year filled with bright blessings, Lady Rose