As the year comes to its end, we might be planning get-togethers for friends and family, perhaps thinking about what this year has been about, and starting to think about what we want for the year that is coming. For some, it’s a time to celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, or the summer or winter solstice (depending on which hemisphere you live in). Whatever we do, or not do, there is something significant about us reaching the end of a year – that point in time where we come to an ending and then re-start, where January 1 marks the re-beginning of a journey that will take us all the way through to the end of December again.
For thousands of years, humankind has marked significant social and natural events through ritual. Rituals are symbolic events, often participated in by large groups of people. They are ways to create meaning. At this time of year, you may want to spend time reflecting on what all the activity, the interactions, and the effort of the past 12 months means to you. Do you look back over the year with a sense of ‘well, that was good’, ‘thank goodness that’s over’, or some combination of both? Do you want to live the same ways in the coming year, or do you want things to be different? And if you want things to be different, what are you going to do so that you create something different?
So we at AccessEAP invite you to take a moment to reflect – perhaps create your own small ritual. You could light a candle, sit in a favourite chair, go to a place in nature which you find particularly peaceful or beautiful, and take time to think through what this year has been like for you, and what you want for yourself in the year to come. If we are always involved in doing, it’s very hard to break out of the existing patterns of our life. If we make time to reflect and consider, it creates a gap, a small space of new possibility where we can insert a new thought, experiment with a new way of being and behaving, make change so we move in a different direction. When we do that, something different will happen. It can be an experiment we run within our lives.
So try something new, something that inspires you a bit more, that moves you towards something that you will be proud of. A way of being, that when you look back from the vantage point of approaching the end of next year, you can say ‘that was good!’
Wishing you a restful, replenishing and reflective time as this year closes and the next begins.