Let Them Bake
Some things happen just a little TOO abruptly.
First time parenthood. Returning from holidays. Monday mornings.
Returning to normal life following festive debauchery reminds me of when the clock strikes 12 and a wired, drunken Cinderella is kicked out of the nightclub.
Her limousine is now a pumpkin and her hunky henchmen look suspiciously rat-like .
The glamour of the party season is faded behind the door of yesterday.
We gaze around the cold, wet streets of January wondering if it was all just a dream.
Was it all a dream?
By the squeeze of the jeans, the haemorrhage in the bank account and number of empty wine bottles filling up the green bin (and the mountain of soggy cardboard and bubble wrap piled by the door) it would appear not.
So, in this moment of dazed ex-party season bewilderment, we have two choices.
Hang around in the wet street and get cold.
Or, dust ourselves off, slip on some flats and manoeuvre ourselves elegantly back into normal, cosy, homely routines.
At this point, New Year Resolutions can become little shining angels of hope.
Like saviour monkey bars that we can grab and hold onto and wriggle ourselves into some sort of hopeful persuasion that we will diet away the five boxes of Quality Street that were demolished before the Christmas holidays started.
For me though, hammering out some die hard resolutions doesn’t ever seem to do the trick. Over the years of setting resolutions, I’ve found them about as effective as a bag of Haribo in nourishing the energetic shift that I require for a January of fresh energy, growth and gorgeousness.
What I’ve realised is that many of us require something far more gentle.
Something to ease ourselves out of the festive bonanza and into 2017 with slowness, intention and a chance of sustaining us beyond an unused gym membership and a diet that fails two days in.
I’ve come to believe that by taking things slowly in January, we gracefully align ourselves with the true, natural flow of our bodies and the seasonal cycles that we exist within. We’re recognising that the twelve months of the Gregorian Calendar contradict the moon, the cycles and the natural rhythms of life – that we are part of. At this time of year – in the Northern Hemisphere, our bodies and minds aren’t snappy and perky and New Years Haribo Resolutionary. They are, in fact, bear-like and sleepy and feeling called to hibernate, dream and vision.
There’s no race to set and execute the perfect resolutions for 2017.
We don’t have to have it all straight in our heads – our goals, our fitness plans, our life plans.
(If we do have it all straight – that’s cool as well, but if we don’t? It’s not a problem).
This January, I am stepping into a deep, warm, rabbit warren of stealth creation and I invite you to join me, dear reader.
Spend some time this week to get cosy by the fire, make tea, get out a journal – or your 2017 Daybook if you have one – and take time to reflect on the adventures, gifts and challenges of 2016. Really make the effort to close last year down properly and allow the dreams you have for 2017 to bubble and bake gently in your imagination. You will love it, I promise!
You could look back over your photographs and remind yourself what events took place over the last year.
Pull the things that have happened from your journal, your planner or your diary.
As you look back over the last 12 months, pluck out any themes that wove through the year.
Gently consider what you would like to experience during 2017, maybe choosing a word, an image, a phrase, or a quote to represent this.
Write down whatever you come up with.
Use this word to assist with decision making, planning, and beyond. Does the action you’re considering align with your year’s intention? If not, it may help you say “yes” or “no” with confidence.
As January moves around you, notice what calls to your attention.
Do you feel that your body is in need of movement? If so, could you sign up for yoga classes. Does your home feel neglected after the Christmas decs have come down? Take tiny actions to restore it, one day at a time.
Choose with care and gentleness.
Answer the small callings.
Listen deeply and allow space for your true, deep longings to speak to you.
By cultivating this level of patience, you prepare powerful ground to plant the goals and practices that you long to see flourish in your life this year.
So let’s do it.
Let’s leave 2017 to bake until she’s ready to come out of the oven.