Monday, January 13, 2014
So here we are coming up on "the ides of January" and the question is this: how many of you are struggling to keep the New Year's Resolutions you made or have given up on them all together? Sure, the idea of a "New Year, New Me" has a nice ring to it and certainly energizes us to make some positive changes in our lives. However, I have to wonder whose bright idea it was to take a perfectly good concept and have it become just one more cross for us to bear? I'm sure that fitness centers, diet plans, and advertising agencies are seeing their resolutions being fulfilled very nicely.
Whenever I am challenged by the ideas and concepts of the man-made world, I return to nature for lessons and answers to guide me. Not only have I found them in my garden and in the cycles of nature, but also in my animal relations and the teachings of my ancestors. For hundreds of years the ancient ones, the grandmothers especially, would point to brother bear to teach us about how to use the winter months. Bear hibernates. They called this The Dream Time. Bear goes into his den and dreams of spring, of new birth and new growth, of cubs and honey combs to come. Likewise, the native people would take to their long houses and huts and use the time to repair hunting and gardening tools, and prepare for the coming of spring. But they would also use the time to teach the children. Gathered around the communal fires, children listened as grandmothers and grandfathers told the teaching stories that would guide the lives of these children when they were grown and had families of their own. They were told the creation stories, the lessons from their animal relations that taught things like honesty, kindness, community, commitment, the importance of family and respect for every living thing. They also learned about Creator, or God, or The Great Mystery, or whatever they called that which gave them life. When spring arrived, they greeted it rested, renewed and wrapped in the love of their families, their village and The One Who Created Them.
What a lovely idea! Why not take this time as our Dream Time? Why not use this time to dream of what we would like to achieve, or change, or improve, or create? Taking our time as we repair ourselves from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season just passed with gentleness, love and respect will get better results than beating ourselves up. Making a plan goes much easier with a hot cup of tea and a rested mind. Take good care of yourself by feeding yourself healthy foods after the extra holiday indulgences. Repair your body, mind and spirit. I know we can't hibernate in our caves until spring like brother bear - we still have to go out into the world every day and face the cold, the snow and the jobs. How much easier would that be, however, if we approached it from a place of renewal?
So in my cave I have stocked up on books to read (thank you to the person who gave me a Barnes & Noble gift card), the ingredients for healthy meals, empty journals and plenty of pens and pencils. I have all that I need to repair the tears, heal the soul and challenge the mind. I am joining my brother bear in The Dream Time, dreaming of the new me who will greet the spring. Won't you join me? There's plenty of room around the fire.
And so it is.