Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Endings and Beginnings

I have heard talk about December 2012 being the end of an era lasting thousands of years, with the conclusion of a cycle in the Mayan people of South America’s calendar.  There are dire predictions of the end of the world or at least the end of the world as we know it!  Personally I am not expecting anything out of the ordinary.

Endings and beginnings are part of the natural cycle of life, so beautifully depicted by the ancient Chinese symbol of yin and yang.  In this image we see a dot of light in the area that has the greatest amount of dark.

In December we mark the end of the year and anticipate the beginning of a new one.  In the Northern hemisphere it is also the winter, a time of withdrawing energy, long dark nights, short cold days.  In times when people lived lives more connected with Nature winter was a time for rest with little work to be done in the fields.  A quiet time, a time to pause, reflect and prepare for the next year.

In modern times the pace of life hardly varies, there is less need to stop. Indeed with the attempts to have a ‘perfect’ Christmas it can be busier and more stressful than any other time of the year!  However we are still a part of nature, we are still aware of the darkness and cold, longing for the return of light and warmth, so not that different from our ancestors!  We still need the time of pause to mark the endings and prepare for new beginnings.

I have found Reiki to be a perfect way to remain in tune with the natural cycle of life and thereby stay healthy and happy.  Reiki encourages rest, offering a time to pause and reflect.  Whether this is through receiving a treatment from someone else or self treatment, it offers a time to stop all the busyness, rest, reflect, be in the moment and feel warm and comforted.  Some people actually experience Reiki as light, lifting the spirits and enhancing a feeling of well-being: a perfect balance for winter.

This need to pause and receive comfort can also happen at any time of year: in 2012 the lives of three dear friends of mine came to an end (two people and our dog).  When the losses occurred I give myself time to pause and receive Reiki treatments, feel my grief and shed some tears.  I was then able to move on, embrace what came next.  The pause was a preparation for the next phase, continuing my life without their physical presence, just as the winter is the preparation for spring.

Before I had Reiki’s help with this, like many people I resisted endings, trying to pretend they weren’t happening, declining to acknowledge when something was over, not wishing to see it end.  This led to distress, anger, pain and sometimes depression.  However endings, as we have seen, are natural.  When we allow them, they make space for new beginnings.  Reiki has helped me to live more easily with the natural ebb and flow of life.

I gather that the Mayan people saw making it to the end of an era as cause for celebrations: that sounds good to me!  So as 2012 comes to a close, may this be a time for acknowledging and letting go of what has ended.   The seeds of new beginnings have already been planted: in letting go we make space for them to grow. Let’s celebrate!