Solstice is the day near year end when the sun is furthest away from the Earth, and immediately begins to come closer again. Solstice marks a celestial turning point, and it’s no coincidence that we celebrate the end of the old year, and begin a new year of birth and renewal at this time. It’s a time of new beginnings, of letting go of the old and generating the new. Many of my clients come in looking for a new way to see or do things, or a way to let go and refocus.
What kind of renewal do you want to generate in your own life?
• Are you feeling too caught up in things, and you want to let go a little, to learn to relax more?
• Is there a new goal you want to make happen in your life?
• Are you isolated and lonely, and want to generate more activity and more friends in your life?
• Do you have a relationship that needs a re-charge?
• Or are you happy and delighted with your life and the past year, and you just want to begin another that will be as good?
Just as the sun is making its turn in the heavens this season, try making a turn in your outlook:
If you’ve been holding on, struggling to make something work, try letting go a little. Take it less seriously, laugh a little more, breathe more deeply, and walk a little slower. You’ll be surprised to find out that things still get done. Let the returning light make your life a little brighter, a little easier, and a little less frantic.
If a goal has been eluding you, try giving up on it for a moment, and then re-approaching it with a new attitude. Often, goals elude us because we’re trying too hard.
If life seems empty, boring, or lonely you can also turn it around. Anticipate the returning warmth, and let it affect your life. Give whatever you can by getting involved in volunteer projects, helping others, or working pro bono. Remember, no matter who you are, you are always welcome as a volunteer somewhere. By turning your focus around toward giving, you’ll enrich your life, and you’ll find others doing the same thing who will want to be your friends. By giving of yourself, you’ll learn more about true intimacy with others. As you learn, the other relationships in your life will change, too.
Perhaps your turnaround will be within a relationship. Are things not as good as they could be with a lover, with family, with a friend? How can you see it differently? It can often be helpful to let go of expectations and acknowledge that the other person is different from who you’d like them to be. Or, maybe you need to listen more to what the other person is telling you, and learn something about yourself. It’s also possible to be too giving or accepting, and if that’s the problem, you may need to learn to take better care of yourself in all your relationships. Is there a relationship that has not been working for you, that needs help?
If things are going great, and you’re really in a celebratory mood, this is the perfect season for that, too! Give thanks for your wonderful year, enumerate one by one all the blessings you received this year. Congratulate yourself, give yourself a big pat on the back, and throw yourself a party! Then, let it all go. Life is about change, and the traditional time of change is upon us. There’s a new year coming, a new start, a new day.
Life blesses us with this opportunity constantly. No matter how bad or good today is, like Little Orphan Annie says, tomorrow is brand new. We get another start. We can slow down, speed up, make changes, and do it over. There is nothing we can’t approach differently at the beginning of a new day. At this time of year, when the old year is ending, and the new about to begin, I like to remind myself of the opportunity this constant renewal brings.
I am grateful for this reminder, this yearly re-focus of my attention and dedication. Just as the world renews itself, no matter what wars, pollution, injustices and problems are going on, I have the opportunity to renew my self and my life; no matter what drama may be going on in it.
I wish you joy and peace, love and laughter, and a New Year full of dreams come true.
Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. “Dr. Romance,” is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California, with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction (New Page); How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free (New Page); The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again (Wiley) and The Real 13th Step: Discovering Self-Confidence, Self-Reliance and Independence Beyond the Twelve Step Programs (New Page.) Her newest books are Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage and The Commuter Marriage. She publishes “Happiness Tips from Tina”, an email newsletter, and the “Dr. Romance Blog” and has hosted “The Psyche Deli: delectable tidbits for the subconscious”, a weekly hour-long radio show. Online, she is “Dr. Romance” with columns at ThirdAge.com, Divorce360.com, Healthapalooza.com, and Yahoo!Personals, as well as a Redbook Love Network expert. Dr. Tessina guests frequently on radio, and such TV shows as “Oprah”, “Larry King Live” and ABC news. Follow her on www.twitter.com/tinatessina, and www.facebook.com/tinatessina
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