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Reframing New Year's Resolutions

Updated: Feb 5, 2023

As we get closer to the new year, bringing 2018 to a close and preparing to welcome in 2019, I’ve been thinking about how so many people set new year’s resolutions with intentions, attempting to set themselves up for success, yet year after year, fall flat on their face in a matter of months, or sometimes days! I’ve been pondering why this is, and here’s what I’ve come up with.

We are not working with the natural energies of the earth to support us in succeeding

For a number of years, I’ve been taking time to retreat from my day to day duties and responsibilities during my period. I call it my ‘moon time retreat’. I literally hang out at home for 1-3 days and am fully present with my body and flow. This is what has taught me most about the menstrual cycle.

You might be wondering how this correlates with new year’s resolutions, let me explain.

Understanding the phases of the menstrual cycle, has given me a deeper understanding of the moon phases, the seasons, the cycles of womanhood and the cycles of life.

News flash: they are all intimately connected

Every year, Winter Solstice happens in the Northern Hemisphere somewhere between 12/20-12/22 depending on the year.

Winter is the season that’s associated with the menstrual phase of the cycle. Solstice is essentially day one of menstruation. We’ve reached the darkest of days. Things can’t get any darker than this. It signals the return of the light. Yet we are deep in winter.

Winter and menstruation are a time of rest, stillness, reflection, stillness, emptying out, tending to the roots, releasing that which is not serving, hibernation, inward focus, visioning, renewal, clarity and direction.

Our 24/7 lifestyle in the western world has us living in complete disregard for the natural cycles of life. When the days are dark and cold and the earth is sleeping, we’re blasting through our days, business as usual. The earth is reminding us to rest and be still and we’re not listening.

Women are not resting when they bleed and our culture is not resting when it’s winter

And yes, New Year’s… I’m getting there.

As of late, I’ve been looking at the whole year, with all four seasons, as one giant menstrual cycle beginning with the winter solstice. Essentially, we are still in day one of menstruation by the time new years rolls around.

This is not a time to begin new goals and it is not a time to take action. It is a time of rest and everything else mentioned above.

So here’s my theory…

The reason why so many New Year’s goals fall flat on their face (aside from them being too lofty, unrealistic or not in alignment with your deeper truth) is because it is not the proper time to set goals and take action on them.

Another holiday I observe is the Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year takes place on the second new moon after solstice. The date changes every year because of this. This marks the lunar new year.

The New Moon is the moon phase that is associated with winter and menstruation. Are you starting to see the connection here?

As we arrive at the second new moon after the solstice, the energies of the earth are slowly starting to shift. The new moon, winter and menstruation are all a time of emptying out, releasing that which is not serving and a time of setting intentions for the upcoming moon phase or menstrual cycle.

However, it is not a time to take action.

I know this is hard when we live in a culture that teaches us that we want what we want and we want it now and that if you’re not taking action you’re not being productive.

Sometimes the most productive thing you can do,

is to do nothing at all

Here is my invitation of experimentation. Wait until the Chinese New Year on 2/4/19 to set your goals and intentions for the rest of the year. You still don’t need to take action yet. Let this be a time of visioning. Wait until you receive clarity and direction before implementing anything new.

The energy and momentum really starts to build once we start getting closer to the Spring Equinox. The energies of the earth are beginning to stir, new life is getting ready to emerge.

For now, while we are still in winter, allow yourself to be in the energy of resting and emptying out. Renewal wants to come to you, but in order for that to happen, you must surrender. Let go of taking action and know that the time will come.

Have patience. The energies of the earth want to support you, you simply need to align your energies and intentions with them to best set yourself up for success.

Once the energy of the moon begins to grow, this is where you implement the action steps and how you’re going to go about achieving your goals.

I’ve never felt called to set New Year’s resolutions. It feels arbitrarily placed. I’m still in a place of rest and reflection when the New Year hits and will be working with the energies of the earth to set myself up for success.

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