I mean, one other than the one you suspect you have. Will it fit in the doorway? Match the décor? Can you feed it well? Are you even doing the so called, “right stuff”? Do you even have it or know what it is? Is this line of questioning making you nervous? Have you made your resolutions yet? Happy New Year!
There will be no shortage of people at this time of year who will be offering lists of how to set goals, realize your dreams, manifest abundance, make resolutions, cause revolutions, and cook the perfect soufflé with superfoods, double organize your cabinets, and all that. We'll feel the pull of needing to improve something, do something else, renovate, motivate. This post is to remind you that we are not meant to be only big destiny doers; there is, for one thing, timing, that I have learned over the years works like a universal law. If you violate good timing, what you want may not come to pass. But this isn’t a loss, per se. It points to the idea that learning good timing is an intuitive skill worth exploring; it takes patience, diligence, grit and wit. Most of us muck it up more than once. Figuring out when to hold on and when to let go and when to just do it and when to just don't even is an art. More on that throughout the year as I learn better how to work with this energy currently in my own life, which is another way of saying, I don’t yet know fully what the heck I am talking about. And that’s okay; it's emerging.
For now, whatever you decide to do this new year, take care, and have fun; we are all a little wounded as we deal with multiple pressing issues right now. I don’t recall a time in my life where so many pieces were up in the air at one time. And then, for me, Saturn returns. Sheesh.
"Every 27 to 29 years, Saturn returns to the degree and sign that it was at the time that you were born...When you're going through your Saturn return, you're experiencing how you're evolving and transforming with time..." (Elena Nicolau, What is a Saturn Return?)
It was about 30 years ago that I made a sincere commitment to the path that I am travelling now. It went in fits and starts for the first several years; still does. I was so young, then, yet not all that young anymore and I yearned to live a meaningful life. I wanted to do something important with it, to make my name. Whatever the hell that means. I had an enormous attraction to the spiritual, magical, and healing arts; that pull was a clue. As soon as I acknowledged it and that I was always putting it on the shelf for some other, more practical sort of (career, corporate) quest, a pamphlet appeared to me one fine summer day, illuminated by the proverbial shaft of light from heaven on a pedestrian, trendy looking coffee table in a newly renovated train station in Nashville, TN.
From what I recall, on it was a picture of four people surrounding another in the middle. The four surrounding were beaming something from the center of their hands at and into the person in the middle, with squiggly lines that were meant to represent some type of mystical energy (at least pleasant energy- the one in the middle was smiling). The wording on the pamphlet was something about a thing called qigong, which I'd never heard of. In a few pages it covered a little about what medical qigong was and how it was used in hospitals in China. I learned how it involved healing by touch or by hovering hands and healers who were required to learn to heal themselves first. Kind of like magic, and kind of like a hidden, but accessible healing physics that was not that hard to learn because it is intrinsic to our nature. By the final page, I understood without a doubt that qigong was my calling and part of the pattern of my destiny. No more, no less.
I almost put the pamphlet in my pocket to study later but hesitated and put it back on the table because it didn’t look like there were any others and probably whoever put it there did not mean for it to be taken like a brochure, but shared with anyone who came over that way. My friend and I walked through the building, Cummins Station, for those familiar with Nashville. It seemed dedicated to arts & crafts shops, cafes, and healing practices. We saw in the hallway a few doors down, two women working with another who was laying on a massage table. They were hovering their hands above and around her and I was excited- within a few minutes of learning my destiny, here were two people who might teach me about it! Kismet. Except it wasn't qigong they were doing- similar, but not quite it. Kismet plucked away. Or was it?
And so it was that I learned about Reiki, which was my introduction to the world of energetic/ spiritual medicine. It wasn't qigong, though, so I sneaked back over to the coffee table to snatch the pamphlet, which by that time had mysteriously disappeared (no luck, grasshopper). It would be another few years before I started qigong practice and many more before I took formal training, but this, I've observed, is how Destiny plants her seeds. Reiki became the foundation of my work as a healer and I'm glad to know it and to have the privilege of being able to share it through treatments and teaching. It was in a sense a backdoor entry into the arts. Over the years, I may not have developed a large following or had yet a truly profitable business, but I am happy with where I am right now; none of my time has been wasted following this pathway.
Adding to the drama for me, 2022, marks the year of my Saturn Return. Soon to be the Year of the Black Water Tiger. I am a little scared, because I don’t know yet what to expect. And I'm still not sure what I want to be when I grow up. Or even if growing up isn't a little over rated; it seems I would have done it by now if it was truly worth doing.
Some things to do if your destiny is still too shy to talk to you:
If you are considering the direction of your own growth for the coming year, this beautiful poem came across my Facebook feed, posted by the page “Cosmic Dancer” is a wonderful list of things that might be of use to you. Though it appeared in my feed as a Christmas message, it has a good reach beyond that if you take a mind to do some compassion work. Have a good time if you are able; accept where and who you are so far as you know it, and good things can follow your lead.
End a quarrel.
Seek out a forgotten friend.
Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust.
Write a love letter.
Share a treasure.
Give a soft answer.
Keep a promise.
Find time for others.
Forgo a grudge.
Forgive your enemies.
Apologize if you are wrong.
Try to understand.
Examine your demands on others.
Think first about someone else.
Be gentle. Be kind. Appreciate.
Laugh a little.
Laugh a little more.
Express your gratitude.
Gladden the heart of a child.
Welcome a stranger.
Take pleasure in the beauty of God's creation.
Speak your love, speak it again and yet again.
~ Author unknown
Other perspectives to consider:
“Unpopular opinion: I don’t think your life has to have a purpose, or you have to have a grand ambition; I think it’s okay to just wander through life finding interesting things until you die.” From a fb post shared by @ambernoelle, whom I don’t personally know, but I hope she’s gone viral with this one.
Toast to the Old You:
Pour yourself a cup of your favorite drink to toast with (no judgments), then:
“Toast to the Old You: if you feel inspired to use the new year to help you reset or change habits: Great! And yet- the Old You has survived every terrible time, every hard thing, every fearful circumstance, and every heartbreak you’ve ever felt. The Old You is a fighter and that deserves celebrating.”
(FB post from Sassypants; New year, 2020)
Daodejing, Chapter 9
(Laozi, Red Pine’s translation)
“Instead of pouring in more
better stop while you are can
making it sharper
won’t help it last longer
rooms full of treasure
can never be safe
the vanity of success
invites its own failure
when your work is done retire
this is the Way of Heaven.”
Yijing Project 2022:
First oracle cast for this year:
January 2nd through January 8th, 2022
52: Gen (Mountain)/ Keeping Still
No lines were changing
Mountain over Mountain
“Commentary on the Symbol:
Mountains, one over the other
An image of Keeping Still.
Whatever the superior person thinks
Does not go beyond his duties in his position.” (Huang, 414)
Comparing passage from the Daodejing, Chapter 52:
"There’s a maiden in the world/ who becomes the world’s mother’ those who find the mother/ thereby know the child/ keep the mother safe/ and live without trouble/ those who block the opening/ who meddle in affairs/ live without hope/ those who see the small have vision/ those who protect the weak have strength/ those who use their light/ and trust their vision/ live beyond death/ this is called holding on to the crescent.” (Red Pine, 104)
And, why the heck not: Related to navigating between action and stillness, I came across this the morning I was getting ready to post this article:
“On a moose hunt north of the Arctic Circle, Bathsheba Demuth observes two contrasting narratives manifest along the banks of the Ch’izhìn Nji: one of conquest, another of quiet knowing and restraint.” Read the stories here: Living in the Bones
Welcome to the new year! I hope we all do our part to eliminate suffering, illuminate spirit in our own ways, and speak/ act with kindness, compassion, and forgiveness as often as is possible. Without going beyond, or falling short, being able to let go when it's done or when we're not ready, may yours and all of our year unfolding in 2022 flow in just the right way.
We made it! Let's do more! (or not, your choice),
References not linkable:
Huang, Alfred. "The Complete I Ching: 10th Anniversary Edition". Inner Traditions, One Park Street, Rochester, Vt. 05767. 2010. www.InnerTraditions.com
Red Pine. "Lao-Tzu's Taoteching: Revised Edition" Copper Canyon Press, PO Box 271, Port Townsend, WA. 98368. 2009. www.coppercanyonpress.org