My original title for this post was going to be “Don’t Succumb to New Year’s Pressure” but then I realized it was just one more thing you’d be told to do or not do in the midst of all this proselytizing that’s going on right now.
I mean, people! Can you even? Everywhere I turn it seems like someone is trying to get me to make a list of goals, resolutions, agreements, oaths, promises, and attempts to better myself and my lot in life.
Don’t get me wrong. I am all for self-improvement. But here’s the thing: New Year’s is a totally arbitrary time to be bombarded with this pressure.
It’s like any holiday – it has its place. It’s nice to give love gifts on Valentine’s Day and it’s nice to remember your mom on Mother’s Day.
But the truth is that all the hype that’s thrown at us on these holidays is actually something that we could be doing all year long, spread out, gradually and consistently. That would take a lot of the hurryhurryhurry pressure off, and it also has a more balanced long-term effect overall.
Letting go of shoulds
Frankly folks, I just can’t deal anymore with hearing how I need to make an in-depth assessment of my previous year, get out a bazillion calendars and planners and multi-colored pens so I can strategize like a five-star general making a battle plan for how to conquer the coming year, and somehow maintain my daily routine without feeling like a complete behind-the-8 ball semi-failure.
So this is my manifesto for you this New Year’s: rise above the pressure by letting it wash right over you. Release the “need” imposed upon you from the external world to do all this hustling, and instead step back and affirm what makes sense for you—and you alone—to do right now.
Assessment can be fantastic and the New Year is a great time for it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking stock of where you’re at and where you’re going. But if all this insistence that now is the time to make a grand and fresh new beginning and this is going to be THE year, etcetera, is leaving you feeling a bit inadequate like it is me, I suggest you go easy on yourself. Remember that for many (if not most) of us, just getting through each day without having any major meltdowns or dramas is quite a big accomplishment.
A four-card reading for listening within
So here’s my non-planning plan for the New Year’s outlook, vis-a-vis cards. This is a four-card draw to help any of you who, like me, wish to turn away from what everyone else is telling us we should do, and turn within to listen to what our inner voice and Higher Self already know but perhaps just need a bit of peace and quiet amidst all this yelling in order to be heard.
- What is my Higher Self longing to tell me now?
- How can I best honor this message and this voice?
- What best expresses my soul’s deepest desire to experience in the coming year?
- How can I fulfill that desire?
Pulling cards can help you find a new perspective because these questions purposely aim at going below the surface of your conscious mind. Card images dig in for responses from your psyche, where you no longer have control over the answers. So, using card imagery to answer these questions instead of just asking yourself how you would answer them allows you to go beyond simply rehashing what you’ve already got rattling around inside your head.
Don’t be surprised if the cards that emerge seem counter-intuitive. After all, this is the tiny voice that struggles for you to hear it, and now you’re giving it space to be listened to. So by all means let it finally speak, and while you’re at it, give it ample breathing room.
In closing, I’m going to advocate just one should:
Self-reflection should be an ongoing dialogue with the Higher Self, the Soul, the inner voice, intuition, the psyche, and with all the wise, knowing, helping spirits, gods, angels, ancestors and beings that inhabit the unlimited liminal spaces in your life, every single day you exist in a physical body on this planet.
Wouldn’t that be easier than cramming on January 1?
Find a practice that you can sustain. And then: practice. Not because someone else tells you that you should, but because it enriches your trust and faith in yourself. In so doing, it helps you defend yourself against all the shoulds that will inevitably come flying at you from all directions once you venture out into the external world.
My wish for you is a gratitude-filled year of hope, wonder, wisdom, and magic. But most of all: trust yourself. You are already perfectly enough, just as you are, right now.
[And if you don’t know how to read your own cards? As a special New Year’s offer, I will read this four-card spread for you for $25 (that’s 50% off my three-card rate), for the entire month of January. Because, for the love of God, we all need to listen a lot less to others and a lot more to ourselves. Book here.]