On Change & Progress & Seeing Neither


I wrote myself a letter from myself on December 31, 2016. Actually, I wrote from me in December 2017 for me in December 2016, but you understand.

The point of the letter was to assure myself that despite the fact I was making some big changes this year I didn’t need to feel discouraged that come mid-January not all that much had changed. Patience, young grasshopper, and other things to that affect. I’ve reviewed that letter almost daily, taking comfort in knowing future me is right, even if she isn’t real.

This morning I woke up to an inbox filled with messages about tonight’s full moon. In case you haven’t heard, it’s a big deal. Not only the first of 2017, but something to do with a new 9 year cycle. I’m not an astrologer. I don’t know. What I have learned, however, is that there are many people out there still looking for a fresh start.

Isn’t it funny the amount of pressure we put on the build up to these things? I often wonder what exactly is supposed to happen at the stroke of midnight. Is a weight supposed to melt off my shoulders? Am I supposed to be enlightened? Enlivened? Ferociously impassioned? Turned back into a pumpkin? You see, my experience has taught me — despite my love of ceremony — that 12:01 looks a lot like 12:00.

It is beautiful to celebrate letting go and moving forward, coming into and falling out of, death and resurrection — but it is just as beautiful to sit in the messiness of the process and watch yourself unfold.

Whatever your celebration of choice is for change (New year, Full moon, New moon, Epiphany, Lent, Sunday Funday . . . ) it is important to remember that something new rarely emerges fully formed.

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” — Cynthia Occelli

Maybe it’s your finances — paying things off or saving things up. Perhaps it’s a business venture, healing from a broken heart, learning to speak French, losing that last (or first) five pounds, overcoming grief, coming down from unimaginable joy or continuing to ask for forgiveness where none is being granted. There are any number of journeys you may find yourself on in this moment and so many of them feel incomplete or even frozen in their current state.

Yet, there is something to be said for consistent persistence. First, it sucks. Second, however, is the knowing that there is no such thing as hard work that does not pay off. It may not pay off in the way you expect it to, but it’s coming around. The diligence of simply continuing is a forward-propelling motion in itself.

So wherever you are on your journey — be it a New Year, New You or a journey that started long ago in a galaxy far, far away — don’t give up. Don’t berate yourself for not blossoming overnight. We are changing seeds for most of our lives, and this process is the most magnificent of all.

xo, A.

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