The New Year marks a point in time, where we move from one year to the next, this is a culturally agreed date. Where you’re from, will influence how you think and the customs you’ve taken onboard as your autopilot. Travelling allows us to see these autopilots. Stepping out of our culture into separate set of beliefs and ways of acting makes us aware of what we’ve taken onboard as truth. But is it the Truth with a capital T? The ultimate truth? I’ll share my thoughts about New Year which help highlight our constricted thinking. I’m going to encourage you to turn off your autopilot and consider your Truth with a capital T. Then make some plans for your New Year and new you!
Which is your New Year?
There are many different calendars around the world that measure the passage of time. In China the first day of Chinese New Year begins on the new moon that appears between January 21 and February 20. This is huge festivity with people travelling home to celebrate with family and their community. It is known as the Spring Festival and its traditional for every family to thoroughly clean their house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for incoming good luck. This ritual is a conscious way of letting go of the past year to step into the New Year, clean, fresh and ready for opportunity.
The Gregorian Calendar is the most widely used calendar system today. New Year is celebrated on the 1st January. Wikipedia explains the variety of dates used by different places. You’ll notice the link between location on the globe and the amount of sunlight. Because the New Year is about the start of the new growing season. This is true for us internally as well – that’s why we make New Year’s resolutions to consciously develop our growth in ways we want.
To ancient people the return of the sun was a time for celebration. It was the start of the New Year. More daylight meant spring was on its way, a time to plant crops and more food security. These were a very knowledgeable and sophisticated people. Neolithic people used stone tools and they had a very accurate understanding of the passing of the seasons through the movement of the sun. The Winter Solstice on 21st December marks the shortest day of the year and the longest night. After this, we in the northern hemisphere get a little more daylight each day up to the Summer Solstice on 21st June. I travelled to Newgrange a Neolithic tomb to be part of this ancient celebration of the return of the sun.
Stonehenge in England a famous standing stone temple that lines up with the summer and winter solstice. There are more detailed carvings on the stones facing the Winter Solstice, showing that this was the more important orientation. The return of the sun was the most momentous time of year. Travelling to Newgrange to be part of the Winter Solstice celebration was a new experience for me. I was following my intuition. I knew I should be there, but I wasn’t sure what to expect.
At Newgrange I learned that Neolithic people clothed themselves using hides from deer and other animals. They knitted using the fibres from sheep and dogs. Dogs! I realised that I had culturally accepted that we use the fur of sheep. Dogs have fur, that’s soft. They need their coats cutting so why did this seem a new concept to me, as it is an obvious use of resources? I had just shone a light on a cultural autopilot. If this is one, then what else to I accept that isn’t True? What do you accept that isn’t true for you?
What is your Truth?
When I went to Newgrange, I realised that New Year for me was the Winter Solstice. I had been tidying my house and clearing out the old, so I could welcome in my New Year. It had been something that I just needed to do my internal compass was guiding me. Acknowledging where I’d been and what I’d learnt in the previous year. The return of the sunlight and longer days was a powerful feeling of renewal. I had been preparing for my New Year.
At Newgrange I clearly felt that Christmas is now a cultural festival of bling and consumerism. I know what it is and I don’t renounce it, I’m just not getting subsumed by it. I choose what Christmas means for me. It is a time for family to come together and relax in each other’s company. It’s a day off in winter, a time to rest, nurture and feast. We do this by sharing great food, a key part of our way of showing our care and nurturing each other.
The changing of the season though on 21st December was a powerful internal force. My Truth, my time to choose the path of my future. To make conscious decisions to move in the direction of my dreams. I spend time setting goals for myself, so I can develop myself in all my aspects – physically, spiritually, with family/ friends, improving my home, my career, travelling goals and volunteering.
Conscious choice – set some goals for the year
What is your Truth? When do you feel the internal compass spin and a need to move in the direction of your Truth? No matter what others are doing, what calendar they are following because “that’s the way we do things around here”, you should follow your gut and do what’s correct for you. Spend time reflecting and learning from the past year. Then its time to look forward and plan where you want to go. Break it down as I do and set little goals in each area of your life.
Travel is a wonderful. It shines a light and allows you to see how you have just fallen in to autopilot. The unfamiliar environment, new people, may be even a new culture helps you to notice how you operate and how you could do things differently if you chose to. Think of it like this. A snake grows and a some point its skin then become restrictive. You have been growing over the last year, you now are at the point where you can internally choose to stay as you are in the same skin that feel familiar and safe, but a bit uncomfortable as it’s limiting, or you can choose to grow. This means leaving the safety of your old self, choosing to do things differently, to challenge yourself, to allow yourself to make mistakes and grow. You may feel vulnerable, but you will allow yourself to do new things, have adventures and be proud of your achievements. If not now when?
To understand the importance of setting goals to make your dreams come true read: https://explorediscover.me/2018/09/04/stuck-or-grow-which-will-you-do/ If you want support in this process then book a free Discovery Call and we can discuss how I can help you build the life you want.
When will you chose to develop into the New You? Next week? Next year? In five years time or now?