Ancient Romans named the month of January for Janus, their god of gates, doors and beginnings. Always pictured with two faces—one looking toward the future, the other back at the past—Janus is a fitting symbol for the turning of a new year.
As we step through the doorway from one year to the next, it’s natural to do as Janus does: look back and ahead.
But this year, instead of just reflecting on the past year or making New Year’s resolutions, consider using this first part of the year to take stock of your life.
Who are you? What do you believe? What do you really need?
This will help you get in touch with the larger vision for your life.
When we discover who we really are, we stop living on auto-pilot and start to live with intention, focus and purpose. Our choices become clearer. We begin to make active choices in our life, instead of making excuses or passively living with the status quo.
Here are a few questions to get you started. I recommend setting aside some quiet time one evening this week or over the weekend (<em “mso-bidi-font-style:=”” normal”=””>before watching the Super Bowl!) with a journal or some way to record your thoughts.
(I’ve found that writing by hand and without the distraction of a computer keeps me focused and in touch with my heart, where my truest desires reside.)
• What is longing to be expressed?
• What needs healing in your life?
• What unique gifts, talents and skills do you bring to the world? How are you using them (or not)?
• Who do you need to forgive? How about yourself?
• What beliefs are holding you back or getting in your way?
• What can you let go of in your life?
• What REALLY makes you happy?
Don’t forget to consider the vital information that other “parts” of yourself are giving you. When you use only your head, your experience of yourself and the world is more limited.
So, consider these questions…
• What is your body telling you?
When someone yells at you, does your stomach tie up in knots? Do your shoulders stiffen when you’ve been too focused on fulfilling others’ needs and ignoring your own? Notice the messages your body is giving you each day.
• Check in with your heart. The heart is the home of what is most alive in us. What does your heart have to say about your job, or your business? About how you spend your days? Does it need more play time? What, according to your heart, really matters?
• Listen to your intuition, your “gut.” Your intuition speaks volumes, but often gets ignored. What is this voice saying now?
Don’t forget to notice what you already have that is working. Acknowledge and give thanks for the gifts and the beauty and the miracles that are in your life right now. Write them down!
And, finally, tell the truth. Now is the time to start being honest about who you really are and what you would truly LOVE for your life. Encouraging those unlived parts of yourself to emerge can provide an exhilarating sense of discovery and optimism for the New Year and beyond.