Finding focus through silence
This text is written for and published in The Echo World, December issue. My article can be found at page 14.
As a very young child, three or four years old, I was participating in a skiing competition. The weather was perfect and the snow all nice and soft. It was not a long distance, but I saw a squirrel early in the race and immediately took off into the forest. My parents and other adults ended up looking for me because I didn't come back together with the other children who reached the goal.
I was lost in the forest. It is maybe a cute story about getting distracted as a child. But it also says something about staying focused, staying true to your goals and intentions. In this case I was there for the skiing, not the squirrel.
The hardest thing is not to set goals, not even dream big. I think one of the most challenging parts of life is to stay focused, to just keep on the hard work. Not to wander away in some other direction, following a momentary distraction, even if it as cute as a squirrel.
I guess it is very easy to get distracted these days, with new trends all the time, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and television and NetFlix. There is always something else to do. And I am struggling with this, keeping my intention and just keep on working as I've planned. Not changing the plan all the time.
The dark time of the year is upon us now. Nature is unusually silent, in a state of hibernation and pure energy saving survival mode.
I've come the the point of the year when I end stuff. I sum up what has happened, good and what could have been done better. It is a rather slow process that requires a lot of honesty.
And this time of the year is surrounded by a raw honesty for me. I see things how they really are, like a clear crystal. It is like the cold air, snow and ice is very helpful in this process. I experience less disturbances in the cold air. This season is like a magnifying glass, that gives me all the details of the present reality.
It is time to focus. Let go, set new intentions and focus, focus, focus.
And as a leaf bud I start to prepare for the new year.
In one way this time of the year is one of the most important. This is now I completely evaluate, feel and plan for the year to come. This is the time. The summer is to bright and busy, but now there's still energy to do this work.
I plan for what I really want to invite for the next year. It is not quickly done. I usually need the time from Halloween until Winter solstice for this work. But it is worth it. It gives a profound ground to rely upon. So that I can keep focus the coming year.
The seasons shift. And until the winter solstice the turning of the year is in a way the most creative and important part of the year. I create a mindset and make important decisions and sketches for the new year. All in silence, with the company of hot tea alone.
I also use to invite a new force into my life. In the year 2017 will be deeper more focused and stubborn. I invite the elements of fire and earth.
I invite growing and courage. To keep focus.
The ceremony for the new year
At first I take a cleansing shower and prepare myself mentally. I think about the purpose with my simple ceremony; to get hints and information of what will be extra important to work with the coming year. Some stuff I of course already know that I want and need to work with but here I invite an other dimension of my future. I ask for subtle signals that my conscious self are not yet aware of and guidance from spirits and the universe itself.
And I brush my teeth.
Then I begin.
I sit or stand in front of my altar, relax and take some deep breaths. I burn some incense, at this time of the year I will choose nag champa. I make sure to have some offerings to the spirits. I usually offer rum or tequila. I also have s small bowl of water. I light candles in a chosen color and make sure that the altar and the place around me feels safe and strong. I always have all the elements represented in one way or another at my altar.
Then I make sure that I am as comfortable as I can be. And I listen to everything around me, even the noisy street outside the house. And I accept all the sounds and noises.
Then I invite forces or spirits that wants to communicate with me. And I make sure that my mind is open and that I am willing to listen to whatever strong and difficult stuff that may appear. Then I listen and perhaps silently talk to whoever is there for as long as I need to. It is like a meditation with a purpose.
The information that I get, the thoughts and feelings that occur I just write down. Simple words or drawings to remind me of what has happened.
Then I thank every spirit and the universe itself for being present with me. I stay in the room in front of the altar as long as I need to.
The feelings that comes with me from this time serves as a platform to keep on working with throughout the new year.