Today is Boxing Day. Traditionally, a time to give to those less fortunate than us, and to show gratitude to those who have served us during the year we are about to leave, and we have a lot of people to be thankful to this year.
I find it a slightly magical time. The space between the consumptionfest that the run up to Christmas has become, and the celebrations of New Year. I think there’s an alchemy to it.
The relative quiet gives us a chance to review the year we’re leaving. To reflect on the highlights, lowlights and surprises – good and less good.
In alchemy terms, “Nigredo”. Boil the year down to its essence. Filter out the useless noise and find the important signal (“Albedo” if you’re an alchemist). Peer into it and make sense of it on your own terms. What did you learn? What was asked of you? What did you need from others? What did you give to others? Did you end the year more whole than you started it? Why, or why not?
Weave it all together into what you might make of 2021. (The Alchemist’s Cintrintas). Shape it into a something for 2021 – not just actions, but the values, relationships and principles that will make 2021 a better year for you and those around you than 2020. For all the pain, 2020 has been rich in learning for those curious enough to reflect on it. A veritable gold mine which can take you into the final phase of alchemy, “Rubedo”. The point at which the “base metal” of 2020 turns to gold, even in small amounts, in 2021.
This quiet time as the year comes to an end is perhaps the most important time of year.
It would a shame to waste it.