I know we’re only in December, but I’m thinking about January, because it comes next.
You probably know already, the Romans rushed around conquering things – veni vidi vici – and changing names to Roman ones. It seems the Dark Ages are still hard to see into, and nobody seems entirely confident of the operation of the Coligny calendar (Unless you are a druid, in which case perhaps you know), but Riuros is a strong contender for the month of frost that got shoved out of the way by the Roman ‘January’.
And why they called it January is because in the Roman calendar it’s the changeover from the end of one year to the beginning of the next. After the god Janus, who had a two-directional face, one aspect looking back and the other forward.
So it’s a bit like the handover meeting you get at change of shift in a hospice/care home/hospital, where the incoming staff meet with the outgoing staff to consider what’s happened and what’s up next.
This seems important to me and I don’t want to miss it, so I’m getting ready now. I’m looking back at the way I’ve travelled and forwards to where I am planning to head through the ways of 2015. Which is subject to change by virtue of the plain reality that life is full of surprises and who knows what is coming along the road to meet me (‘Beware, O wanderer – the road is walking too.’ Jim Harrison).
2014 has been a colossal year for me. The simplicity trail of 2012 moved into a quest for solitude and peace in 2013, and in 2014 I’ve had my nose to a health trail, reading the work of Eric Berg, Gerald Green, Mark Sissons and Gary Taubes. You know how frost disturbs the ground, causing buried objects – china shards etc – to rise to the surface? Well, in similar manner this health quest threw up the phenomenon of minimalism; a deeper cleansing and de-cluttering and refining than before. I’ve spent the year cleansing my liver, and getting a grasp of the endocrine system and how the solar plexus chakra organs work – the gut, gall bladder, spleen, liver, adrenal glands and also the thyroid; all of which has been very enlightening in the most profound and comprehensive sense of the word.
The ripples spreading out from this have been a bit tsunami-esque. I had no idea that among all the other toxic stuff the liver hangs onto and has to process, emotional baggage is included. And I had no idea how much of my lifelong jittery, nervous, alarmed, permanently anxious, weary, fearful, jumpy, hyper-reactiveness was not so much my personality as the personality of sugar.
After clinging tightly together for a lifetime, sugar and I parted company completely in 2014, and boy, do I feel well!
But the emotional clearing has brought with it awkward change as well as hope and freedom. Greater clarity and honesty is always something of a mixed blessing socially.
I’m looking back on 2014 with a sense of astonishment at the thorough-going sense of change, the resulting calm, the increased health. I sincerely hope I haven’t got more selfish, but I’ve begun to know what works for me, and let go of exhausting expectation-driven obligations that had a lot of duty in them but no love.
At this cusp of the year, I’m thinking about getting right the balance between kindness and candour – simply and directly reaching for what is right for me, while doing my best to keep a practice of gentleness and respect.
One of the things I’ve carried in my bag a long time and would like to ditch now is a curiously recurring phenomenon.
It goes like this: being in a group of people where it is made clear to me that both a) I have a duty to be there and absenting myself would be reprehensible, and b) my presence there is merely tolerated.
I’m not going to do that any more. One of the next steps of the journey is to spend time with people who enjoy my company – as I really am – and who have a kind and healthy vibe; no manipulation, no spite, no dominance games.
Because I’m a spiky, fiery, inadvisedly over-truthful, introverted, Asbergery HSP, that won’t leave many people in my social sphere – but that’s okay.
Also – and knowing my abysmal track record on this one, I hardly dare write it down – as 2014 has been a Year Of Food (in terms of revolution and enlightenment), so 2015 will have to be a Year Of Exercise. Nothing mega. Dancing, walking and maybe swimming are what I have in mind.
As January approaches, I’d like to reflect some more on the alignment of the ways, seeing where the path now leads, considering what to carry along from 2014 into 2015, and what to leave behind in the handy trash bin at the crossroads. I hope it won’t bore you, and I will be interested to hear of any comparable reflections and map-bearings from your own life.