“Life moves forward. The old leaves wither, die and fall away, and the new growth extends forward into the light.” ~Bryant McGill
It was yesterday, so it seems, that we were in full swing celebrating the holidays. Now, as if in “the blink of an eye,” we are rapidly moving towards the end of January. Before we blink again, I offer you the following reflection as a way to consider the significance of this unique month and the gifts it offers — gifts that I didn’t have the eyes to see nor the wisdom to fully appreciate when I was younger, gifts that support us in our Aging years and encourage us to consciously live more fully into the life that God [Source] has designed for us to live.
To begin with, ask yourself: What significance does the month of January hold for me? I asked myself this question several weeks prior to the New Year in response to a persistent sense that there was something new that wanted to emerge in me regarding the month of January. I thought it would be easy to answer. After all, haven’t we all experienced umpteen Januarys by now? We’ve been there and done that; we know what it is like to travel January’s road.
I found it easy to identify images that I associated with January (i.e. cold, dark rain; bare trees; fog; indoors; fireplace; books; hot soup; warm clothes; time to hibernate; re-entry time after the holidays; etc.), but the ‘new knowing’ was still not evident. Sitting with the unknown without being able to name what was hiding from me was frustrating. I had an urge to give up, call the whole thing off, settle with what I already knew, but then a ‘light’ went on, so to speak. An image emerged: the scene of New Year’s Eve. The clock was about to strike midnight. People all over the world were celebrating in anticipation of the grand moment. A new, fresh year was about to be born. Father Time, in rhythm with Mother Nature, was again closing the door to one year and laying, before all people on earth, a fresh new installment of 365 days to meter their lives.
As I took in this image while reveling in the awesome gift of new life that January so poignantly signifies, the thought occurred to me: What if a person said ‘no’ to the New Year? I am not making the transition into January; I am not going into the unknown. I will stay right here in what I know. Would any of us consciously choose this path of life?
May this image of January serve as a reminder: stay awake to the ego’s tendency to gravitate towards the comfort of what it knows and instead choose to follow your Soul as it leads you into the dark unknown where life is ever unfolding, new and fresh in each moment.
January bids us to appreciate and use wisely the gifts of time, beginnings, and newness of life. It greets us the first day of every year with a fresh reminder that the sands of time are continually shifting under our feet; that life is not a dress rehearsal; that our days on this earth are numbered. Could it be that the gifts that January offers us extend far beyond what we, at best, glimpse and give a nod to on New Year’s Day, before we get back to doing life as usual?
The month of January, not just the first day of it, is a time to consciously cultivate the practice of living in the newness of life as preparation to living more fully through the remaining months of the year.
May you increasingly live in the newness of life,