I’ve always struggled at this time of year, for many reasons. The change in season is one. But it’s more than that. It’s all the manmade stuff on top of the weather, shorter days and lack of sun that I really detest. The Christmas holidays to me represent all that is wrong with the world today and in the way we live our lives (in the Western world at least). It’s a time of excess, gluttony and waste (in food, intoxicants and money), followed by self-loathing, guilt and a host of unrealistic false promises made to oneself about ‘doing better next year.’ (I loathe New Year’s resolutions even more than I loathe the consumerist version of Christmas that drains our bank accounts and destroys our livers.)
The truth is I have never really been a fan of Christmas, nor New Year’s, and yet I feel obliged to celebrate these holidays with a smile on my face and with gusto, each and every year. And boy does this holiday drag. From early December when the lights are lit, the songs come on the radio, and the supermarkets and high streets gear up to start taking our cash in abundance, we begin a chaotic dance of splurging, spending and overeating, right up until the first proper week back to work in January when we are forced to confront our bank balances, bathroom scales, and ourselves, with dismay.
Why? Well there are many reasons, some of which I allude to above, and could whitter on about for hours… But instead I want to share with you a status update which I came across earlier today on Facebook that sums up all my musings on the subject and hits the nail right on the head as to what I believe is wrong with New Year’s resolutions, and our very perspective on time, space and life in general.
(Taken from the Sacred Dreams Facebook Page.)
The Spiral Path~
With the rollover to another 365-day cycle, man looks ahead expectantly, at least for a moment. He dreams of all the things that he wishes to accomplish in the new cycle, and tries to imagine what will be different this time around. What does earth-life have in store for him? Can he make his earth-bound dreams a reality?
Before answering those questions, it will perhaps be helpful to understand what a cycle is. In layman’s terms, a cycle is a full 360-degree revolution which ends where it begins. An expansion on this can be found in man’s definition of a cycle:
– any complete round or series of occurrences that repeats or is repeated
– a round of years or a recurring period of time, especially one in which certain events or phenomena repeat themselves in the same order and at the same intervals.
Did you detect a theme in the above definition?
Our years are simply 365-day cycles that repeat themselves over and over ad infinitum. Nothing really changes. The seasons will turn, on schedule, with each alternating solstice and equinox. Man’s routines will remain the same: planting in spring, growth in summer, harvesting in autumn and hibernation in winter. He will do the same things on the same days at the same time of year as in years prior. Rising, shining and fading will proceed with clockwork precision and predictability.
The thing about a cycle is that it is a closed circuit. There can be little or no change manifested by something that revolves in an endless circle. Using a bicycle tire as a crude analogy, we’ll find that the only thing one can expect from millions of turns of the wheel is a constant wearing-down that leads to a structural weakening of the tire, eventually ending in a blow-out.
So what can man expect of the “new” year? More of the same, unfortunately. Oh, there my be some microscopic growth in the life of the individual, but it will be almost hard to detect. One may get a new job, new car, new house, but that is not true growth. What of the person? Has the entity made any progress in pursuit of the One Goal of Humanity?
Perhaps now would be a good time to look at the definition of a spiral.
– coiling around a fixed axis in a constantly changing series of planes; helical.
– to advance or increase steadily; rise
Again, there is a theme here, one that is in complete opposition to that found in the definition of a circle.
A spiral is a path of growth. Like a circle, it is a revolution around a fixed point. Unlike a circle, it is not a revolution on a flat plane. Each point in a spiral is plotted just beyond the preceding point. This results in a forward-upward movement. A key feature is this: the spiral also has a start-end point, meaning that it ends where it began, but due to the helical motion mentioned above, the new spiral always begins on a higher plane than the previous spiral.
So how does one pursue this spiral growth? He or she must embark on a new Path. Not one that revolves in constant repetition, but a Path that leads one from power to power and from glory to glory. Most human beings are content with the cyclic path, the path of the masses, as it offers no surprises. They know what to expect, more or less. They can pursue their desire to experience the same things over and over again. Let’s face it, how much does Christmas or New Year’s change over time? Man does the same things every year, like a cuckoo wired to pop out of a clock when the hour strikes. That is not living. It is a zombie-like existence, masquerading as “life”.
When one begins to seek The Way Out, he approaches the Spiral Path. When one discovers and understands the doctrine of the two nature-orders, he stands at the doorstep of the Spiral Path. When one makes the voluntary decision to forsake the material world, choosing to be in the world but not of the world, one can begin to walk the Spiral Path, the Path of Liberation; the Path of Return.
Resolve this year to abandon the cycle of death and climb aboard the Spiral of True Life.~
It is no coincidence that I saw that on my Timeline today. Just a few minutes earlier I had written a status update on the Healing Network and my own page about New Year’s resolutions. I was compelled to write it because I have come to realise a lot of truths about myself recently, and about life, which came to a head today. I have realised that it is time to make some changes, to take control of the destiny of my life and to reclaim my power. And the time is now. For too long I have been putting off acting on the things which I know I need to do in order to progress – to move onwards and upwards. And so here are my ‘New Year’s resolutions’:
1. Self Care: to make my health and wellbeing my number one priority ;
2. To let go of what no longer serves me – by not only recognising my actions and feelings for what they are, but then acting on those realisations to allow for growth and positive change ;
3. To have faith in myself and the Universe: to believe that all is as it is supposed to be, and to trust in myself and my own intuition to keep guiding me along my path ;
4. To surrender, but never to give up;
5. To practise love, gratitude and compassion every day – to myself and others.
Having now read the above text from the Sacred Dreams page (about ten times), although I stick to my choices of ‘New Year’s resolutions’, I wish to rephrase them as ‘intentions for life’ – as they were as relevant on 1st January 2015 as they are today, and will be tomorrow, or any day (or moment) from this point forward.
To add to those intentions, or perhaps better, to give them a sense of direction, I will commit to moving towards ‘achieving’ these goals in a spiral fashion, meaning I will practice them in as many moments of as many days as I am consciously able, rather that waiting for another 365 cycle to end before I recall them, dwell on them, and feel guilty about not having ‘succeeded’ in achieving them.
I will reject the circular vision of reality that defines our material culture, as I know that it is a mirage – and that life (energy, prana) can only move upwards in a spiral motion. (And I know that if I surrender to that and have faith in myself and the Universe, I can move freely with it.)
Life is always in flux and nothing is for certain. Everything can (and will) change. (The only thing that is certain is death.)
We can only move ‘onwards and upwards’ in our lives – to rise up, evolve, and move closer towards our true nature and our true purpose – if we move freely in the flux; if we surrender to change, to uncertainty, to unpredictablity and to fear. It is there for the taking, for all of us, if we could only get off the hamster wheel.
Why did I delay acting on my ‘New Year’s resolutions’ before 1st January 2015? Why did I put my own health and happiness on hold, instead succumbing to the pressures, stresses and indulgences of the Christmas holidays? Why did I choose to stick to the confines of a circular vision of reality instead of stepping into my true power and moving forward, onwards and upwards along a spiral trajectory to the Heavens (to peace, fulfillment, joy and love)?
I won’t bore you with the answer here… although maybe I’ll revisit it for another post. I do know however that I am on my way to figuring it out and to making positive steps to change things. And I encourage anyone reading this to do the same, because this is as good a time of year as any to be reflecting on our lives and setting positive intentions for the future.
But don’t set yourself up for failure. Choose intentions that will serve you now and always, and that are true to your own (real) needs and desires, not those of others. And whatever you choose I encourage you to put self-care as number one, as only when we care for ourselves – in body, mind and spirit – are we able to move freely and with ease along our paths, upwards and inwards, like a spiral.
It’s time to change the circular patterns of behaviour that no longer serve us and clear space to move into the light that shines from above and from within.