Friday, November 28, 2014

Peace on Earth Begins with 'Me'

Oh, the holidays…….

Never has there been such a mixed can of nuts as the events, activities and emotions that arise during the holidays.

Having a few dozen seasons of experience behind me, I’ve come to learn a thing or two about this special time of year.

In no uncertain terms, I would describe the holiday experience as both a blessing and a curse. Now, before you start throwing rotten vegetables, and calling me ‘Mr. Scrooge,’ let me explain.

For the record, I love the holidays for all the good it brings. We have beautiful music and breath-taking decorations. There are gatherings, and contact between people who have not seen each other in a year or more.

Overall, people are more generous at this time of year. They are more willing to go out of their way to help someone, and they also tend to be more reflective.

I have to say I love all these things.

What I don’t like with the holidays is the fast-pace, go-go-go, ‘have-to’ atmosphere that accompanies it.

You know what I am talking about. It’s the scheduling and the demands surrounding the responsibilities of the holidays. They sound something like, “I have to get so-and-so a gift.” It could be, “I have to attend so-and-so’s party.” Perhaps it is, “I have to do such-and-such because it is a tradition.” Trust me, there are lots of them. And, I can’t stand it. Yes, as the length of my to-do list gets longer, my ability to see the wonder of the season decreases.

Despite a not-so-subtle undercurrent of people who recommend a boycott-mentality of Christmas, I don’t think that is the answer. Doing so is like throwing the baby out with the bath-water. Christmas and the holiday season are beautiful, wonderful events.

I love the generosity of people this time of year – whether it comes wrapped in beautiful packages or appears as time well-spent during a visit with dear friends. I don’t think we should ever lose that, and I believe we need to let people share their ideas of the holidays in the ways they see fit.

In this month’s A Fool’s Paradise, we encounter The Hanged Man in all his glory. The Hanged Man represents an individual on the cusp of evolution. He is like the person who has grown from the child in awe of the splendor of the holiday season, to the behind-the-scenes adult who serves as an integral part of the magic-making.  He moves forward physically in these tasks, because he understands logically this is what he is supposed to do. But spiritually, he is struggling because he realizes perhaps some of these traditions no longer suit his purpose. The Hanged Man knows something needs to change. He is just trying to figure out what it is, and how he can make it work for his higher self.

And that is why we are here on this earth plane. This is a beautiful place to be, and there is so much to experience and enjoy. It would be a shame to waste this opportunity. However, our souls know we are here to use these experiences only temporarily to learn and become more enlightened. If we stay in a situation that no longer serves us at a soul level, our growth slows to a crawl and we can even backslide. This explains that nagging feeling we get in our chests that urges us on when it is time to make a change. Even though it might be familiar or comfortable to have things stay as they are, we know that can’t happen if we are to evolve from one season of our life to the next.

It is at these points in our lives, we become The Hanged Man. Just like a child’s experience as he matures to see the real magic of the holiday season, we must mature on our paths in life. If we don’t, we cannot grow and we will never assume our true power.

As you head through the holidays and into 2015, use the reflective energy of this month to see exactly where you need to grow, and identify ways to become an active participant in your progress so that you can reach greater heights, and can live the live you were truly meant to live.

Happy holidays! Blessings to you so that you might experience a healthy, positive and powerful 2015.