I was on a call with one of my rockstar mentees the other day, and she mentioned this “New Year, New You” marketing trend and how it makes her feel like she should be doing more this time of year.
I can relate: I spent years feeling the same way. When January 1st rolled around, a younger version of me would have felt inadequate if I didn’t have my resolutions written down and vision board complete. Or if I gave myself space to rest before launching into a work plan to achieve my goals.
All that did was make my inner critic chant “not good enough” even louder.
Over the years, I got curious about the history of why we celebrate New Year when we do. January 1st is the first day of the calendar year in the Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian calendar was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 as a replacement for the Julian calendar (proposed by Julius Caesar in 46 BC as a reform of the Roman calendar). The idea was to space out leap years so that each year had roughly 365 days and more closely approximated the ‘solar’ year.
To me, that just sounds artificially tidy. Like trying to match the sun instead of simply following the sun.
I prefer to move in rhythm with nature: the cycles of the seasons, and the cycles of the sun and moon.
For example, the equinox and solstice: honoring the longest and shortest days of sun light.
The full moon: the apex of the month, a time of letting go.
The new moon: an empty vessel and an opportunity to put whatever you want to nurture over the coming cycle.
We are affected - quite literally - by the sun and the moon.
The sun gives us life, energy, essential vitamins we need to survive.
The moon affects the tides, and since we are made mostly of water, the moon has a natural effect on us too.
Ever feel emotional around the time of a full moon? Think about it - as the moon gets fuller and fuller in the lunar cycle, so too, do our emotions become fuller.
When the sun doesn’t shine for a few days, or when the days get shorter in winter, how does it affect your energy levels and mood?
There is no denying that the natural cycles of our natural world affect us.
So honoring the cyclical nature of more or less sunlight, full or new moon, feels more aligned with my natural rhythm than a calendar that has been tinkered with since Roman times.
When I read “New Year, New You”, to me it implies that the current me is not good enough and I need to change into a new version of myself before we roll around to January 1st again. Like Cinderella running home after the ball before the clock strikes midnight. Fairy tale conditioning!!!
If that speaks to you, too….I’m here to remind you of this inherent truth:
You are enough, just as you are. You are not broken. There’s nothing to fix.
We all have space for growth, expansion, and renewal. We all have goals and dreams that we want to work towards. And we’ve all experienced failure, contraction, feeling void, grief, and needed time to heal. All of it is a natural part of the cycle of human life.
To put pressure on ourselves every January 1st steals the wonderment and joy out of the process (the ‘how’) and puts more importance on the clock (the ‘when’) and the destination (‘where’).
I’m always more interested in the process. Whether it’s during a full or new moon, a new season, or at the start of each day as the sun rises to greet the us, my sadhana is self inquiry: checking in with my body, my energy, and my heart to notice what ‘season’ I’m in personally. What is my intention? What do I need to function at my best? Based on that, what is my process?
I remind myself to stay present, have grace and compassion for myself and to trust the process.
It’s a practice, to be sure, and one that has served me over and over again in taking pressure off of myself at the start of the calendar year, and opening to a natural rhythm that works for me.
I share this in the hopes that it comes at the right time and speaks to whoever needs to hear it.
All of my offerings are designed to support you in whatever season you are in. Reach out if you’d like support.