“Deck the halls with boughs of holly”. So we embark on filling our homes with shiny, glittery beautiful things. Letting there be light, an invitation to joy and celebration.
Then comes January 6th – Twelfth Night. Sure as night follows day, after the decking comes the clearing of the decks!
I took my tree down yesterday – OK, I know, 7th January, but, so far, so good, no cracking of thunder and fire and brimstone hailing down on me. Not a bad start to the year – I could see it as sticking two fingers up to superstition and “should dos” or, I could slip back into the old habit of fear and failure? Hmm, which is it to be?
Remembering my theme of sticking with the Principle of Solitude for January I am drawn to the similarity of the experience of Solitude, with what I am left with when the green, gold and silver has all been swept away.
An echoing sense of emptiness. A hollow space. And my response is usually an unchecked sadness, a sense of loss. And I want to run away, busy myself with something distracting.
But something else happens if I challenge that view. What if I remember those foaming waves inspiring me the other day? That word that changes the whole experience – possibilities – and that other one – potential.
As I stand looking at the space in my conservatory where my Christmas tree stood, I realise there is another thought that begins to say “step aside” to my familiar post-event sadness. It’s a bubbling curiosity, a kind of “ooh, I wonder” – finger tapping the lip.
Before I know it I’m looking around the rooms, aware of a bubbling energy and motivation to tidy and clean. Clear even more! Hold on, I say, before I’m off to the cupboard and embarking on a new OCD frenzy of cleaning and throwing. Just hold on, the voice gets gentler and the rushing off is caught. To discover what is left behind – what a surprise, even more curiosity, accompanied by a little bit of discomfort as I dont follow my usual response to get moving, get doing.
Choices – to stay with what I am experiencing and discover a little more – or to rush off and engage in some distracting activity?
I’m wondering why so many of us avoid giving ourselves some time for Solitude, or Time-taking as the subtitle I give it? I wonder if when that space first apears, uncomfortable feelings start to come up, which we’ll do anything to avoid. And yet, if we can remain confident enough to stick around, then those waves keep moving, and we may discover something else, and so it continues.
So, maybe the theme for January could extend beyond that simple word, Solitude, just in case that may seem threatening, empty and even scarey.
How does it feel to extend the idea, from Taking some Time for yourself to be in Solitude, to Embarking on a Voyage of Discovery?!! Why not start that journey of discovery this week, this month, by exercising some curiosity to see what you will find. You could make a decision to carve out some space and time – perhaps a solitary walk, or a quiet sit while everyone’s busy doing something else, or a solo coffee in your favourite cafe – or one you’ve never been in?
I’ll let you know how I get on! I’d love to know how you do too?!