• Emily Dawson

The Void

Updated: Dec 27, 2018

The space between Christmas and New Year.

In the void time does not exist with no agenda to attend, routine or reference to day of week, measurement of how much you may have eaten, drank or spent, and certainly not ready to face that reality just yet, welcome to the space between Christmas and new year and how we can navigate this territory to our best advantage.

Some will return to work for a few days between these annual celebrations and some will take off on a holiday to escape this uncomfortable in-between feeling.

For those of us that are left to clean up Christmas dinner, a little bloated and perhaps hungover, neither of which encourage the season's cheer that got us to this peculiar self-induced place again, of which I talk about the science of in my last post Festive Fluffy Feelings

For many across the world, we are living by the dates of a Roman Gregorian calendar set in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII which means the celebrations of the new year are in January. According to https://www.history.com/news/5-ancient-new-years-celebrations January's name comes from the Romans after a deity called Janus, depicted as a two-headed god looking back at the past and into the future, representing change and new beginnings.

Interestingly https://www.livescience.com/57342-why-is-new-years-january-first.htmlthe tells us that we did not have a fixed date before the Gregorian calendar, the new year was celebrated and moved around by the ancients, for example, the Greeks celebrated over the winter solstice period from December 21 for 12 continuous days, the Romans in March, the ancient Egyptians on July 20. The Chinese new year is lunar and celebrated between January 21 and February 20. The Islamic calendar is also lunar, known as Arabic or Hijri the dates change each new year. Judaism celebrates their new year, Rosh Hashanah between September and October.

Australia is also on the Gregorian calendar, but due to the time difference of the southern hemisphere brings in the new year eleven hours before the sun rises up to the northern hemisphere, each country heralding in the new year at different times. It is the beginning of January when we are closest to the sun and this is scientifically called perihelion.

I think it is fair to say that for the majority, religious persuasion and or belief that the new year provides us, even if just a little bit, that there is the opportunity through the transition into a kind of start over, a transformation of sorts. The representation and recurring theme that we have an imaginary clean slate to work from, a timeline and a focus that gives us the year-in and year-out opportunities to reflect on the past year, our success, failures alike and look into the year ahead often with a list of great optimism at what we will do, what we will no longer do, and how we might better do it.

How will you use the strangest of weeks between the celebrations to decide what you will be releasing from 2018 and bringing into 2019 to make manifest your grandest dreams and desires? Below I give you some thoughts to ponder.

A New Year ceremony practice

Set aside a little cosy quite time for some self-reflection and ask these 3 questions before or on new years day.

  • Make yourself a hot drink find a cosy spot, if you have a young family you might need to head out to your favorite coffee shop for an hour.

  • Prepare with a clean sheet of paper/journal or open a virtual file.

  • Note down what you feel have achieved in the past year.

  • Now write down what you think you have either failed or simply not seen through

  • Note beside your highlighted fails what you have learned from not achieving and if you want to dump it, move on from or carry it into the new year and try again?

  • Finally write down what your new intentions/goals are for 2019 would like to see though and succeed in the year ahead?

Keep your notes somewhere you can retrieve easily, maybe desk top of your computer a journal or a personal file, you can refer to these notes when feeling off track, overwhelmed or just read over at the same time next year.

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