Over the last few days I noticed this incredible urge inside to hibernate. By this I mean just curling up somewhere quiet and undisturbed and just hanging out! I want to let go of the planning, the schedules, the to-do lists, of feeling responsible and being pro-active. I want to enjoy life without feeling guilty or rushed or judging myself. Seems impossible, however…
A friend of mine now has built this into her life: January is her time-out where she goes away on her own and has no agenda. This took some planning and organizing, but now it is something she does every year.
A few years ago I went on my own silent retreat for 3 weeks in January and it was one of the most restorative breaks I ever had. I realized how much time is spent every day fulfilling other people’s agenda as well as my own, how much is said that does not need to be said, how we often fill our time with projects and tasks and TV and reading and work. Items that are not necessarily essential, but create full agendas every day! So, I am looking at a repeat!
It is worth checking in with yourself what keeps you busy. Is taking care of yourself and having some quiet reflective time included in the busyness or does it come last if and only when there is extra time? A lot of people want to feel busy, so that they don’t have to notice what is going on inside them and how it is reflected in their lives. It may even feel scary to stop and notice! What may come up? Would you all of a sudden notice something that you have tried to ignore? Would you realize that your work or relationship is not fulfilling? Does your body need different foods and exercise? Do you like yourself enough to enjoy being in your own company? Would you have to change something??
In Feng Shui, the winter season is the time in the natural cycle where all rests. It is a time of reflection, an opportunity to let new ideas come forward, to play and explore and to begin to plan. For example, in my garden the seeds and plants are now sleeping quietly. This offers me the opportunity to evaluate what worked and what didn’t in terms of colors, location, type of plant etc. I may peruse some seed catalogues and gardening books and begin to imagine how I can create subtle or even drastic changes. Perhaps I will even draw up a plan or write out a list, so that when the energy of spring arrives, I am ready to jump into action.
You can take this example right into your own life. Take a day in January and make it all about you!
• Looking back over the last year, evaluate what worked and what did not. What opened your heart and what shut it down? What did you learn from those experiences?
• Then start looking forward: What are you dreaming of? What is a new skill or experience you can add? How can you take better care of yourself? What do you need to communicate to another? What will open your heart more and more and thereby add more joy, energy and peace into your life?
You may not have the opportunity right now to take a month off and rest and re-group. However, you may want to consider how you can add little time-out periods into your life. These are not “holidays”, but rather “inner exploration” days that allow what has been kept inside to bubble up and be noticed and integrated. True joy and happiness is an inside job, not dependent on outer circumstances or other people. The more you align what arises from your heart with your actions, the more satisfied you will feel in life.
So, get out your calendar right now and make a date with yourself! Create some undisturbed space and time and then notice what comes up, ponder it and only when it feels clear, exciting and expansive start planning.
Are you willing to make 2013 your best year yet?