Ancient Romans named the month of January for Janus, their god of gates, doors and beginnings. Always pictured with two faces—one looking toward the future, the other back at the past—Janus is a fitting symbol for the turning of a new year.
As you step through the doorway from one year to the next, it’s natural to do as Janus does: look ahead and back. This year, instead of dashing into making New Year’s resolutions, consider pausing to take stock of your life through respectful reflection and compassionate contemplation.
Who are you?
What do you believe?
What do you really need?
When you know who you are at your core, you stop functioning on auto-pilot and start living on purpose with mindfulness, focus and intention. Your choices become more conscious and clear. You make thoughtful, active choices instead of having kneejerk reactions or staying stuck in the mire of indecision.
Here are a few questions to help move you forward. You might want to have a journal or notebook handy to capture your thoughts. While many find that writing longhand helps them really connect with their breath and heart, if typing on a keyboard is what frees your soul, go for it.
What is aching to be expressed?
What needs healing?
What unique gifts, talents and skills
do you bring to the world?
How are you using or not using them?
What or whom do you need to forgive?
How about yourself?
What beliefs are holding you back
or getting in your way?
What would you like to let go of
once and for all?
What are your greatest joys?
Take a holistic approach by considering the vital information that other aspects of your self can provide. When you use only your head, your experience of yourself and the world is more limited.
- What is your body telling you? When someone yells at you, does your stomach tie up in knots? Do your shoulders stiffen when you’ve been too focused on fulfilling others’ needs and ignoring your own? Notice the insights your body is conveying.
- Check in with your heart. Your heart is the home of what is most alive in you. What does your heart have to say about your profession? About how you spend your days? Does it need more play time? According to your heart, what really matters?
- Listen to your intuition, your “gut.” Your intuition speaks volumes, but often gets ignored. What is this form of your deepest wisdom saying right now?
Appreciate what’s already working. Acknowledge and give thanks for the gifts and the beauty and the miracles that are in your life right now. Write them down.
Tell the truth. Now is the time to start being honest about who you really are and what you desire. Encouraging the unlived parts of yourself to emerge can provide an exhilarating sense of hope, possibilities and empowerment for the New Year and beyond.
Author’s content adapted under license, © 2008 Claire Communications
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