The end of December feels for many of us like the time to close one cycle and start a new one. Does it give you a sense of loss, or of open possibilities?
I believe that both things can be present at the same time! The challenge is to stay with both feelings without trying to solve one or running away from it.
The idea of starting a new year, especially if you had a busy one, with many struggles, sounds like a chance to start again, to reset.
We love the idea of open possibilities. And at the same time, as the paradox of choice tells us, it may lead to an overwhelming state, where we can’t move anymore.
Do you feel comfortable with open choices?
I’ll suggest two exercises to you. Try them both, and notice what happens to you in each one of them.
1. Dance your emotions:
Set an alarm for 3 minutes. Notice the emotions that are present in your body, and move with them for the next minutes.
2. Moving the spine:
Play this song. Focus on your spine, slowly moving your attention from the top to the bottom and back to the top. Imagine that your spine is bamboo in the wind, and let it move.
Notice the emotions or thoughts that arise, and let them influence your movement.
How does your reaction differ? With which kinds of exercise do you feel more comfortable today?
Liminality and the in-between
The transition from one state to another has been related to the concept of ‘liminality.’ According to B. Thomassen, these are “moments or periods of transition during which the normal limits to thought, self-understanding and behaviour are relaxed, opening the way to novelty and imagination, construction and destruction“.
As first suggested by Arnold van Gennep in the book “The Rites of Passage” (1909), liminality has three phases in transitioning from one phase to the next one:
- the pre-liminal rite of separation (separating from the beginning state);
- the liminal rite of transition (a phase of testing and stepping into the unknown);
- the post-liminal rite of incorporation (integrating the new status).
If we apply this idea to the transition to the new year, we understand that we can’t really make a change if we’re not willing to separate from the current state and step into the unknown. This process is filled with ambiguity and may create fear and anxiety.
Can we stay present and embodied during the holidays?
Being a season already full of challenges for many people, brought by the pressure and expectation of travelling and family reunions, what happens when we add the extra pressure of closing a cycle and opening a new one? Often, people end up not really dedicating their time and attention to either.
If at this end of the year you’re both preparing to leave the current state behind and going through the celebrations rush, remember to:
- treat yourself kindly and compassionately;
- be present in each moment, with yourself and others;
- create moments during your days when you stop and feel your body;
- honour the transition by taking time and space for it. Be intentional in this preparation!
In January, you can find support from structured programs:
Every Monday in January
Starting 2nd Jan
19:30 – 21:30 (CET)
Fokus (1070 Vienna)
19th Jan – 13th Apr
19:00 – 21:00 CET (online)
CEREMONY – 5th Jan
SHARING CIRCLE – 12th Jan
I’ll be part of the cast of
RESET 2023, by Craigberoch Business Decelerator
8th Jan 2023
17:00 – 19:00 CET