An End of Year Resolution


            Tis’ the holiday season; for most of us it is the height of family and social ritual.  A time meant to expound joy and celebrate life’s many gifts.  It is a joyful time.  It is a loving time.  It is a sacred time.  Yet there is another pole to the holiday season, the “South Pole” we might say, a pole that is not distinct from joy and love, but amplified because of it.  At this pole, there is sadness and there is mourning.  It has something to do with celebrating something so familiar like the holidays with so much no longer there. 

            Everyday we are forced to confront in some way those we’ve loved who are no longer here as they once were, our own mortality, and the sweet yet certainly passing of time.  There’s something about the holidays that is like a rush of blood to the head (and heart).

            It confronts us in music and in shops, in tastes and smells, and in the playfulness and innocence of children.  “This is life,” is the message, “Hear me.” 

            There’s a lot of other things besides confronting what seems absent in the holiday season that sounds less significant but can be traumatic as you go through it.  It is the financial stress of budgeting for gifts, food, and travel.  Traffic jams and human traffic at store’s playing that song that you swore you were going to scream if you heard it again ten minutes previously.  That family member you don’t care to see or have done such a skilled job of avoiding for 364 days but this one upcoming.  Did I mention December is the darkest month of the year? 

           Then, there’ knowing what you want for Christmas.  Oh God.  In the Soprano’s Tony complains that he knows that everyday is a gift, “But does it have to be a pair of socks?”  For many of us, a pair of socks is all we can come up with to ask for.

            Then, there is the end of the year quick approaching.  “Did I have a new year’s resolution?  Did I accomplish it?  What was it?  I don’t remember.”

            All this being said I’m proposing an end of year resolution.  It is not a resolution for the body and doesn’t involve changing your diet or exercise.  It is not about goal setting.  You don’t have to track your progress or get a sponsor.  It’s a resolution focused on the soul; A commitment to your soul. 

            Not a search for the soul but to be with the soul           

            Not listening for the soul, but with soul

            Not looking for the soul, but as soul

           As Aelared Squire said, “Man does not have a soul, he is a soul.”

            When it comes to the complexities of the season, the mystery, the intensity, it takes experience at a soul level, to truly comprehend.

            Not in a physically, or materialistic, temporary way; Not in a psychologically, dog chasing its own tail kind of way; but at the soul level–living in the now and feeling the all of it–having not a plethora of emotions as much as a wholeness of feeling. 

            It may not be easy in that it involves an entirely different type of work than we equate the term work with.  It requires that you relax.  It demands that you listen attentively instead of talk unceasingly.  It requires receptivity, patience, willingness and open-mindedness.

There’s a lot of practical ways we can go about it.

Get a cup of tea and sit outside.  Just sit and drink your tea.

            Go walk on the beach, and just walk on the beach.

            Read something you like slowly and just sit with it.

            Just do what you do for no other reason than being yourself with what you are doing.  Being your self is the accomplishment.  You may be amazed at what reveals itself, not just to you, but as you.

            The soul doesn’t give us material gifts, but it does help us embody greater truth, understanding, vision, perspective, identity.  Being a soul means experiencing a rhythm of life, one we are primordially a part of, and living in awareness of it, things have a way of falling into line.


josh reeves









One Response to “An End of Year Resolution”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Being present is the biggest challenge for most human beings. To not vacillate between the past to the future is difficult at best as the ego lives in a self centered state of fear. Connecting to Divine through prayer and meditation is the only way I know how to stay present. This happens best when I am consciously breathing in Divine light and connecting to my heart center. Going to SBCL helps me do this as does yoga. I like the idea of just drinking tea or going for a walk on the beach to stay present. On average the mind has 70,000 thoughts a day and 90% are the same ones! Practice being present by breathing in God!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.