Depending on when you decide to celebrate your New Year date, you either are well into or just starting your new year’s resolutions. Some start at Samhain, some at Yule, and some follow the calendar year just for convenience. For me, I think I start at Samhain and transition through the end of the calendar year. I am not good at just stopping or changing dramatically. I can’t feel like I am being neglected or left out or missing out on something. I have to build up motivation and often times it take a few trials and failures. So, I wind up doing “warm up’s” through the last couple months and then get serious at the calendar New Year.
A couple years ago I began dieting seriously and I ended up losing over 75 lbs. My next task was to quit smoking and so last March (the 15th) I had my last cigarette. I knew I had started smoking twice as much when I started dieting and that would be an issue for me. Well, it’s been 9 months of no smoking and I have put about half the weight I lost back on. It seems I trade one habit for another. I know that I need to find something more productive to do, especially when I am stressing out or under pressure. I tried chewing gum, that didn’t do anything for me. I hated mint candies. They messed up the taste of my other vice….Dt. Coke. For a while I did well with cinnamon jolly ranchers and Fireball jawbreakers. However, after a couple months of that, I started knocking fillings loose and my dentist wasn’t too happy with me.
So that bit of my “bad habits” history was so that I could talk about my resolution for rebirthing the new me this sun cycle. I am not going to count calories and consume myself with time consuming nutrition info on every meal. I know how to lose weight and how to keep it off. What I need to work on is the mental part of it. How to control my emotions, my stress level and my response to stress with something other than munching or smoking. I could journal or something similar as a stress reliever but I don’t know that I would commit well to that. My plan is to do some really deep shadow work.
I struggle, like many, to cope with the winter months. The lost connection to the outdoors is a welcome break at first but after a few weeks I feel lost, disconnected and drained. Negative temperatures don’t afford the opportunity to get out daily with bare feet on the bare ground. I need that connection to the Earth. Without that I feel ungrounded regardless of other techniques I have tried. I am most at home with my hands and feet in the dirt and there just isn’t a suitable substitute that I have found.
The holiday season swamps an empath with more emotions that I can handle. All the work I done all year on being a more positive person feels lost out the window. I struggle not to serve judgment, criticism or negatively respond to things I normally gracefully look the other way of. I start to feel myself sink into a hole. Communicating with other people gets difficult. I find judgment in everything they say which only adds to the struggle that I already face. I start to fold inward on myself and find a safety net within my own mind, cutting myself off from others, even sometimes completely avoiding or withdrawing from things I normally would enjoy.
This is what I refer to as my sun cycle of life. I go through it yearly and during the same times. Now is the time for rebirthing the me that I have hidden away. To be born again better than the time before. Build on my tools throughout the year for a more graceful cycle the next time around. Hoping to acquire skills that will build a suit of armor strong enough to shield an empath from long winter days without too much collateral damage to have to spend the rest of the year repairing.
This is the time of year that I hear people talking about letting go of relationships that don’t serve you well, negative people, etc. For me, this is the worst time of the year for that. It’s easy to find fault in other people and their actions when you are not grounded and centered yourself. These are decisions I find best to make when I am in my emotional, mental, spiritual prime and that is during summer. I feel that I am best at that time to make sound judgment and decisions with an open mind and heart that is perceptive to other possibilities and points of view. However, there are times that this cannot be avoided and we do find ourselves in damaged relationships during unplanned times. It’s a good idea to revisit the whole ordeal later on. Look at how I acted and reacted and I will work on ways to handle things better in the future and apologize, if I feel I was in the wrong.
As part of my resolution of shadow work, I will study myself. People make a mistake to think they are complete and their work is done. We are always evolving, changing and growing. To think of you as a completed work is to neglect yourself. We are works of art. We should always strive to make ourselves better through knowledge and understanding of how and why we tick like we do. These are basic concepts that many of us don’t even know about ourselves. So, in 2018 I will continue my shadow work to try and bring myself closer yet with the divine….. all the while being content to love the me of today!