When I was doing my student teacher training almost 20 years ago, I was mentored in a class of eight and nine year olds. One day, a student wrote me a note that started— Dear Ms. Alien, and he told me thank you for being his student teacher. The note was sincere, didn’t seem tongue-in-cheek like I was expecting with a greeting like that, and so I figured he misspelled my last name Allen.
Or did he?
As to the sock photo, when I opened this Festivus present from my daughter, yes I celebrate all the things this time of year—I couldn’t stop laughing, and I remembered that kiddo long ago, and thought, he was abso-freakin-lutely right.
I am an alien. Or I aspire to be—an alien who sees the world differently, rejects those cultural practices that don’t bring alignment, deeper consciousness, and joy. An alien who refuses to accept old paradigms and opens to a larger perspective. In my alien point of view.
What common paradigms of the old world do you reject? Which do you want to release, and claim your Alien-ness?
Maybe we can start with rejecting the idea of New Year’s Resolutions. Since this is a source of blame and judgement, guilt and irritation by about the middle of January or earlier, and nobody needs that, we can let it go, or at least make it work for us.
How did we come up with this idea anyway? I did a little research, thank you internet, and turns out this is an ancient celebration that doesn’t fit the rhythm of the Earth. The Babylonians kept records of Akitu, a celebration of the new year, a time to honor commitments to pay debts, return borrowed items, complete rituals to cleanse homes, and commit to an honorable life. Sounds familiar, but they celebrated the New Year at the first New Moon of Spring Equinox, when the earth is greening, plants are growing, and the world awakens in the northern hemisphere. Their celebration was perfectly tuned to the energetic rhythm of the planet they walked on, so their alignment was effective.
So how did we get this important celebration in the dark of winter, when our part of the world is asleep and hibernating?
Thank those hardworking Romans.
Their invented calendar dragged the New Year into January to honor the goddess of the home—Janus, with a hope to bring good health, and good fortunes. Records say the Romans worked at least part of New Year’s Day, being lazy was a bad idea. A focus of better health and finances, also sounds familiar. The top five modern resolutions involve exercise, losing weight, paying off debt, and quitting smoking/drinking. Sounds very Roman— but also, not tied to the rhythm of Nature— when the world calls for quiet reflection, joyful family time, organizing, cleaning and preparing for coming Spring, we are totally out of sync as we battle to start that new habit, work harder, or release a habit to comfort our overstressed nervous systems.
Could this be why we aren’t successful?
Not only is this a natural season of rest and reflection, planning and cleaning; according to eastern philosophy of how energy moves through the earth and all its creatures with different rhythms, that fit the seasons, this is the time of the element of water. What happens in the seasons of the Earth echoes in our own energy systems.
An imbalance in the water element can show up in our subtle energy bodies as imbalance; over energy, stagnant or under energy, or frozen energy. We may feel anxious, a little paranoid, worried or bored, lonely, sad. We may have trouble making decisions, moving forward with plans. Think about flooding waters— how stressful that is, or stagnant pools with no life.
The way to feed the water element is to do daily mindful practices to focus our energy, align us with the flow of Earth’s energy, drink plenty of warm liquids, broth soups, get enough vitamin D, lots of sleep.
My resolutions will be simple; a dedication to realign with my inner child; remembering those activities that brought me joy as a youngster, and creatively finding ways to express those loves in my current life. Play Stevie Wonder while I clean the house, maybe.
I believe in touching the earth every morning with my bare feet. Just for a few minutes, to say good morning to Mama Earth, to connect. If I don’t do that, I massage the soles of my feet with a spoon to reconnect my energy, get everything flowing, so I can absorb healing energy from the earth, and release energy not needed. I clear and balance my chakras, and I meditate every day, but I often do it with movement. Sometimes just swirling around in my room. Sometimes I lay on the earth and just breathe for a while. So lovely.
I think swimming is healing. Especially in salt water. I meditate while I swim too.
I think making cookies is meditation. I love cookies. Why do things have to be ‘the enemy’? Someone told me they were putting ‘the white devil’ in their tea, and I was imagining some awful Hindu demon infused concoction when he said, ‘You know, sugar.” What?
In my alien mind, if we aspire to an aligned, compassionate life; there is no good and bad, righteous and evil, there is just a tangle of energy that needs loving attention and a bit of patient untangling. Also, there is no perfect way to be a good human. There is no ‘right way’ to be, think, do, live while we navigate as kindly as we can. In my alien perspective, with a wink of my big green eyes.
What alien way of living would that be to live without judgement, only compassion. I can hope for that Beautiful Community while I do my best to bless and forgive every human I encounter. Mostly. And then forgive myself when I don’t.
My only other resolution is to deeply explore the things I am grateful for; even the struggles, the tough things, the aches in mind, heart and body. If I can find love and joy in the tough stuff, I can do anything.
Reflection is so natural at this time of year; repeating mantras to build my resilience, so I can truly transform in the coming year. Simple, easy wisdom— I flow with confidence, courage and kindness. I trust.
Tapping is a wonderful way to shake up ‘stuck’ patterns of energy; take a look at my resource page for links to a wonderful Tapping website focused on tapping techniques and meditations, or check out one of my 5 Mindful Minutes videos for a few simple acupressure holding points and tapping points to bring release, ease, and calm.
Happy New Year!