If you’re excited by all those enthusiastic emails flooding into your inbox telling you it’s time to make this change, set new resolutions, stop reading now. This is definitely not one of them.
If, however you’re irritated by the enthusiasm and energy of those people telling you that THIS time it will be different, you’re definitely on my wavelength.
I know how tempting it is to get sucked into setting resolutions, goals or intentions and signing up for courses because you feel like you SHOULD and not because you WANT TO. I’ve done that myself. Then it’s a surprise when days or weeks later everything falls away and you’re back to square one; well maybe back to square minus one because you’ve added some self-criticism and resentment into the mix.
January is not the time to start new things
In London it’s the middle of winter and definitely not the time of year to be rushing about starting new things. Through my Yin yoga practice, I’m learning more about Traditional Chinese Medicine and the seasons. I’ve learned that winter is the most yin time, it’s dark and cold, a time to be still and quiet and direct energy inwards.
So just like nature, I will be directing my energy deep within so I can recharge and replenish my reserves. I intend to spend time being still and to simply be instead of busying myself doing. I will be turning inwards, spending time reflecting, resting and contemplating. So when spring arrives I’ll be ready to move.
I’m not going in empty handed
My inbox is also overflowing with emails suggesting that I complete a review of the past year by asking myself a myriad of questions. In the past I’ve done this enthusiastically and, whilst some can be useful, to me there’s only one important question.
What does your heart want?
I’ll be taking this question into winter with me, allowing it percolate until the answer comes from deep within. I’ll be asking it during my meditation and journaling practice, allowing it to connect to the source of my knowing.
2018 was huge for me and also a year of two halves (almost exactly as it happens). Obviously the highlight was the publication of my book Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness in June. After taking both an actual and metaphorical ‘lie down,’ the second half of the year was more reflective as I asked myself the question, ‘and now what?’
I have some thoughts, some seeds I’m nurturing, and others I’ll probably let go. But I haven’t made any firm decisions yet, until I’ve spent time connecting to my heart, because it always knows the way.
I encourage you to do the same, sit quietly for a few moments and ask yourself, what does my heart want? Or maybe, what is my heart telling me to do next? If you have a meditation and/or journaling practice use them, let the question rest.
Then wait until Spring
The answer might come to you now, or in spring and, just like a seed it will start to move when it’s ready. Spring is the time when growth begins, when you start to see shoots and buds. This is also when I will return to activity and the energy I’ve been nurturing will be ready to for me to use.
Your heart ALWAYS knows the way
When I was in the midst of grief I didn’t know where I wanted to go all I knew is that I didn’t want to stay stuck. My heart said, take a step, and then another, and another and before long I’d travelled a long way. Many friends have said how brave I am and courage is certainly one of my core values but most steps didn’t feel courageous, because each on its own was small and deeply connected to my heart.
I’ve travelled a long way by following my heart and taking one step at a time.
You can do this too.
And finally, here’s a secret
I’d like to end by sharing a secret. We both know that your heart wants you to find happiness and joy. It wants you to shine as the beautiful butterfly which is hidden inside you.
Please take time to listen to and trust your heart when it says ‘take that step’.
There are many, many paths to this place we call childless and there are an equal number of paths out. I found mine, and I share it in Finding Joy. My path won’t be exactly the same as yours which is why I also share 19 others.
Please make this the year that you take the first step.
What about you?
Does this resonate with you, if so please leave a comment below.