It’s a new year! New beginnings can sometimes bring along with them a bit of the ”same old, same old” in tow as baggage. It’s our choice whether to winnow away some of that baggage or just try to keep it at bay and hope it doesn’t crowd our path. Of course, new year resolutions are often one of those mechanisms we use to deal with old baggage. The truth is, they can sputter and fizzle out as the days and weeks go by while we scheme to simply do something different or new…to make a change.
We’re still in our first official month of winter that began way back with the Winter Solstice on Dec. 21. The word solstice is derived from the Latin sol (“sun”) and sistere (“to stand still”). That’s because at the solstices, the sun’s declination appears to stand still. That is, the seasonal movement of the sun’s daily path (as seen from earth) stops at a northern or southern limit before reversing direction.
Sometimes, as we’re looking to make improvements or change directions in our lives, we first need to step back at the proper moments and simply stand still. Being still, observing and taking inventory is often more important than the diving in and taking action to accomplish what we think needs to be done. That’s because what needs to be done may not be as obvious as we believe and can even ironically get lost in our whirlwind of activity trying to address it.
This past month has also been the season of Christmas which, in contrast to its historical roots with the singing of “Silent Night” and the like, is perhaps the least still and silent season of the year! Though, if you follow the Western Christian calendar, you’ll notice that the 12th day of Christmas actually concluded on Jan. 5, and the day of Epiphany (meaning to “reveal,” “show,” or “bring to light”) has now emerged. We can even notice the days slowly becoming brighter and longer…at least if we stand still long enough to look intently at the workings of this world around us.
Well, the solstice has long past and the sun has been on the move, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be. So, as we enter a new decade (depending on how you count it), take some time to stand still and let the light in. It just might give you the opportunity to see with clearer vision and insight as you navigate this year of 2020 and well beyond.