Today, I find myself quite stumped as to what shall I write? The world around me is caught up in the pre-holiday frenzy. In a world that already seems over the top with busy-ness, I find it fascinating to watch the intensity of that increase. The ten plus years I was in the wine business as a seller or buyer were crazy at this time of year, whew.., I was always counting down the days until the New Year, for on January 2nd, the sales would fall off. Everyone was embracing their New Year’s resolution to not drink so much and get in shape. By the third week of January, the sales would start to pick back up and steadily increase as we got closer to patio season and summer play time.
We are funny cyclical creatures, almost despite ourselves. It makes perfect sense that we would intrinsically be this way, for nature and the earth itself follow a cyclical pattern. The tide comes in and goes out. The seasons swirl each year (I realize some places stay more consistent). A farmer gets to work around the cycle of his crops and animals. Night and day rotate on the twenty-four hour time clock and life and death create their own complete turn. There is a comfort in the loops of our life, a knowing of something coming around again, the grace of ebb and flow.
Now is our time for immense intensity in many places around the world, a time of festive celebration. Last night, I gifted myself with a walk in the dark, a great way to relax the body and free the mind before bed. I used to do this quite often, but due to my early 3 to 4am wake ups, I am often down for the count and already enjoying the idea of dreamland before the stars can beckon me forth. It was quiet, so quiet last night. The air was still and slightly heavy, the inversion still clinging to the atmosphere. I listened to the layers of silence, the clop of my shoes as they hit the sidewalk, and the occasional passing car. I enjoyed viewing the Christmas light extravaganza, taking in their unique expressions.
I caught myself free falling into a space of questioning. Humanity is a curious thing to explore, for we rage against that which we perpetuate. Denying our chosen cyclical patterns which we partake in over and over again. Perhaps it is our quiet way to stay stuck, to not raise the bar, for then we will have to show up, shine, be real and openly authentic. So, if we hit repeat, we know what comes next. Quit drinking for awhile, then gradually increase throughout the year until we can quit again. Start a serious workout routine the beginning of the year, only to gradually give up and come back again next year. The quiet promises spoken about not watching so much TV, getting more involved in the community, volunteering, spending more quality time with the family, make more money, get a better job or start a business, take better care of the body, mind, and spirit….
I must agree and admit guilt when it comes to enjoying the sensation of a New Year, for it does feel like you get a new opportunity to get it right. To try again from a clean slate. Here is where I marvel at people, we make these resolutions and commitments and think that miraculously overnight we will change our ingrained comfortable habit. So, we start out all gusto, only to inch our way back to the known behavior and pattern. How often do we have to hear that it takes at least twenty-one consecutive days to change a pattern? That a new way of being will not happen overnight? For me, metaphorically it is like weight training, a new muscle does not form, without consistent effort and focus. Why should we think behavioral patterns are any different? It takes daily CHOOSING and sometimes moment to moment CHOOSING. Like the Detox I have coming up for people through my Health Coaching, they will get to CHOOSE to stay true to the dietary guidelines or cheat on themselves. Behind closed doors the thought will be, “no one will know”, the sweet little lie we tell ourselves, yet the most important person already knows – YOU.
In our funny life ride, we are at CHOICE to perpetually deny our cyclical patterns or accept them. Frankly, some of them I want to accept and keep, for I like them and they make me smile with nostalgia when they come around. Others do not serve me, thus it is time to develop new muscles in those arenas, to CHOOSE day in and day out a new way of being. Gradually the New Way will take over and I can wave bye bye to the old cyclical pattern.
As you go out into the Holiday cheer today, take a real look in the mirror, what cyclical behaviors and patterns do you wish to accept and keep? Which do you want to notice and no longer deny hurt you, so you can make a new choice? A.C.T. (always choose truth) with the knowledge that you do have cyclical patterns to honor or discard.