new year

Looking backward to look ahead

happy new yearThe Romans celebrated the first day of the year as a festival to Janus, their god of gates, doors, beginnings and endings. They named the month of January after him, and portrayed him with two faces: one looking back and one looking forward. Janus presided over transition from past to future, the passage from childhood to adulthood and into old age. One of his faces was often portrayed clean-shaven with the other bearded.

Gates and doors are both portals from one experience to another. We enter through a gate and leave a part of ourselves behind; we enter the world of the unknown when we transition from one phase to another. Sometimes we seek change, sometimes we embrace it. Other times we fight it – holding on to the past for dear life. However we approach change it is, of course, inevitable. No matter how hard we wish for the day to remain, the night will come – followed by the next day of new beginnings.

For many, the first day of a new year is a day like any other, and to think otherwise is just a trick of the calendar. But a magical life is filled with symbols and meaning, and the passage through the doorway into a new year can be filled with the magic of transformation.

I love the African concept of “Sankofa,” which literally means “it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot.” The word “Sankofa” comes from the Sankofa bird which flies forward while looking backwards. Sankofa teaches that we must look backwards to look forwards, reclaiming and preserving the past as tools for the future. In this way we can pass through the gateways without losing any part […]

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By |2018-11-19T21:17:51-05:00January 1st, 2017|Inspiration|5 Comments

Don’t just make resolutions this new year; change your life instead!

new years resolutionThere’s something about the turning of the new year that gives us the feeling that we want to start over, and the making of resolutions as the new year begins is a time honored tradition that goes back to Babylonian times.  In those days the New Year was celebrated near the Spring Equinox in March.  This tradition continued into the Roman period but the New Year was changed to January 1 by Julius Ceasar to honor Janus, the god who looks both forward and backward.

When the ancient Babylonians made New Year resolutions, they were actually promises to the gods and they were taken very seriously.  Today we make the promises to ourselves, and our success depends upon how committed we are to improving our life. To many people, the New Year’s resolution is a bit of a joke; it was Mark Twain who said “Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.”

This year, don’t be one of the New Year Resolution Statistics. instead of making resolutions take a good and thorough look at your life.  Write down all of the things that you want to change, and take an honest look at the blocks that are keeping you from moving forward.

It’s not enough to write down your resolutions on January 1st – it’s important to continually remind yourself and reaffirm those intentions throughout the year.  Keep your list handy and read it daily so that you will remember what is important and refocus your attention in that direction.

I have a special to help you get started – every year I offer 30 minute Visioncrafting sessions for $35 to members […]

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By |2020-11-03T13:28:11-05:00January 2nd, 2009|Inspiration, Visioncrafting|Comments Off on Don’t just make resolutions this new year; change your life instead!