For me, January is the time of year best suited for reflecting on the one just past and assimilating her lessons before setting new intentions for the year ahead. While I used to be a person who jumped into the new year full of resolutions that rarely made it past the first two weeks, I’ve finally accepted that January 1st, as a start date, simply did not allow adequate time for discerning the best way forward.
Realistically, who has time to contemplate and integrate the lessons of the old year in November and December? Not me. Ever. Not even this year when the holiday season was more low-key than usual for my family. My youngest son, who is a firefighter/paramedic, was working both Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. My eldest son was in the Caribbean eloping and honeymooning with his beautiful British Bride. Hubby and I didn’t even put up a tree this year or host any family gatherings. Mom’s health took a pretty devastating turn in 2018, so I took my covered dishes over to my parents’ house for an early celebration on the 23rd—leaving my husband and I with a completely open Christmas day.
Truth be told, it was a relief. Mr. Nesbitt and I were exhausted and trying organize our newly merged households since his big move home in September — a process that began for me July as I undertook renovating our master bedroom, and my home office/slash woman cave that I’ve affectionately dubbed the HERmitage. We were blessed with perfect timing for the sale and closure of his house just a week before he retired and came home for good.
With that said, I could easily spend all of 2019 reflecting on the events and lessons of 2018 and I may spend a good chunk of it doing just that. But, there is my attempt to squeeze the highlights into a nutshell.
2018 felt like both the longest and the shortest year of my life. Short with respect to how quickly it flew by, and long because it seems impossible that 365 days could have held so much. As I walk back through those twelve months, I find myself thinking “that was just last year?” Indeed, it was an eventful year for me personally and in the collective, and I’ve heard many people express the same feeling.
Here are just a few highlights from the year that was 2018:
Graduated from Haden Institute’s 2-year Dream Work certification program.
As my final project for the Dream Work program, I published a 42 page e-book on combining Dream Work with SoulCollage® that is free to download here.
Filmed and edited a series of promotional videos for the Haden Institute.
Moved into a new role as Executive Editor for the two monthly SoulCollage® newsletters. You can subscribe to the public newsletter, the SoulCollage® Community Update, here.
Conducted a SoulCollage® workshop at the Tennessee Woman to Woman retreat, for the fourth year running.
Wrapped up my second year of Sunday Morning Mandalas by presenting my first (and hopefully not last) experiential workshop at a meeting of the Spiritual Friends Network of Middle Tennessee.
Created this video montage to celebrate another year of mandala making.
Guest posted at Abbey of the Arts about my Sunday Morning Mandala practice.
A multitude of metaphors spring to mind as apt to describe the year that is past. Roller-coaster ride has frequently been used to describe the collective experience. Shifting sands, changing horizons, and resetting of the game board, could all be applied to my overall personal sense of the year.
For me, the year ended in much the same way that it began, with what seemed to be the hand of fate opening a door, and closing it almost as quickly. In fact, the entire year felt like a waking dream with doors rapidly opening and closing, leaving me bereft and bewildered. Time and again I was left wondering, as I wrote in my journal last November, “Why did God bring me to this place, show me all of this, and put it on my heart that this was a way opening, only to have it fall apart as quickly as it started?” It was clear to me that I was being shown something, but my discernment was clouded somehow.
While the fog seems to be lifting slowly, the only thing that seems certain at this point is uncertainty itself. I have been making near-term plans, and prioritizing next right steps, but resisting the urge for resolutions, or even picking a word of intention for the year. For now, I abide in liminal space — that time of waiting between what was and what is to be.
Liminality has never been a comfortable place for me. Is it for anyone? Our sojourns into liminal space come with rites of passage where our shadow selves come out to play, and to survive we must confront life as it is in the present moment—not as we wish it to be. As David Whyte reminds us in his poem, The Winter of Listening, that “what disturbs and then nourishes us has everything we need.”
Indeed, 2018 has given me much to digest as I go forward into this new year which promises more change and perhaps more disturbance. As Whyte clearly understands, Winter is a time best suited for listening. Like an animal in hibernation, I surrender to the slow rhythm of this season, and feed on what I’ve accumulated and stored for this time — trusting I will be sustained and prepared for when it becomes clear it is time to move forward into the light, and stride confidently towards whatever yet unknown horizon that awaits.
Until next time, much love.