Guest Author - Meredith Ball
Taking stock of where you have been and where you are now will help you to move forward with all of your dreams and aspirations clearly laid out. The passage of a year comes with the four seasons, the growth of trees, the shedding of leaves, and the hibernation before the process begins again. The passage of a year comes with a natural rhythm and it is this rhythm that can help you to dive into the new year with your goals set.
First, look back on the first part of this past year. From January through March. For many,depending on where you live, your winter was colder. You saw snow and darkness. During that time, nature was quiet, getting ready for the spring, getting ready to sprout into beauty. What did you do during that time? Were you hibernating, storing up energy, gathering your strength to jump into your time to blossom in the spring months? Think back to where you were during those months, how you managed and what you loved about that time period this past year. Think about the people who were with you, the memories you had and how those influenced you for the next phase of the year. If you journal, write about it. If you are a poet, rhyme about it. If you enjoy music, sing a song about it. Find a way to express your reflections.
Second, look back at spring, joyful spring. From April through June, the birds began to sing louder as they built their nests beneath new leaves. The sun shone longer and the first flower of spring poked its head out to see the world. Such promise. Life survived the winter in one way or another and dared to live in the glory of spring even with the knowledge of another impending winter. That is the cycle of life after all. Hope carries all life through all seasons. Think about the activities you engaged in during the spring months. Did you have more energy then? Were you able to start new projects, take more initiative? Again, express these reflections in a way that fits you best.
Third, look back at summer, from July through September. For some, autumn began in August, and included the changing colors of the leaves, while for others summer bought heat, more heat, long lazy days of salty ocean air and lulling waves. Ice cream cones, ice pops, and iced cold lemonade are but a memory away on our tongues. Was your summer relaxing, too long, hot and humid and draining, or a time of respite? Express your reflections on those hazy days of summer.
Fourth, the months we are finishing up now, the autumn into winter months. The leaves have given some of us an amazingly spectacular show of brilliant colors. From red to gold, autumn shared how beautiful life can be right before death. The last flaming burst from a candle is always the strongest right before it goes out. Those same leaves dried up, turned brown, and fell to the grown, but with grace and acceptance, they flowed into the breeze. As your life flowed from the changing of the leaves to less time in the sun to colder weather, did you look forward to this time to reflect on the beauty of the cycle of life? Did you have the chance to see how the rhythm of the four seasons is really the rhythm of all life, of your life?
From what has been, to what is now, to what is to come, this is your life and your choice. You are able to decide how you will survive and thrive in each season of the year, and each season of your life. You are able to decide your dreams, especially if you look back to see where you have been, love who you are now, and then see clearly the road ahead toward where you want to be.
The snowflake doesn’t stop and fear the melting that will take place ahead, it only forms in its own unique way and then shares its beauty before it becomes another amazing life form in water for the land. The snowflake knows its destiny, where it has been, where it is now, and where it is to be. The snowflake accepts that its own uniqueness has a purpose in nature and simply goes with that flow. Do you? Take the time to find your aspirations this new year by looking at where you have been, where you are now, so you know where to be. Follow the rhythm of the seasons within yourself and each moment will be your purpose.