The Cook Awakening

The Twelve Holy Days

December 25, 2014
Posted in: Integrating Lifestyle Changes, Life on Life's Terms, Meditation, Seasonal Change

This is an edited post from January 7th, 2014. I’ve deepened my understanding of the Twelve Holy Days. May you find value in this exploration of an age-old spiritual tradition.

Hood River ice storm

Hood River ice storm

It’s winter for real, now. The light may be returning after Solstice, but for most of us the air is cold and it’s more comfortable indoors. Or maybe under the covers.

Today is Christmas. I’m not particularly Christian, but I find value in many symbols from many different spiritual traditions. Tomorrow begins the Twelve Holy Days.

Solstice, December 21st, marks the moment in the northern hemisphere when the day is shortest, the longest night. The tightest contraction, if you will. There’s a span of time where things stop. The days aren’t immediately longer. There’s a resting. When early Christians chose the 25th of December as the birthday of the Christ, they did so for a reason. This is when we begin to experience movement again, just the inkling of expansion. The Sun appears again.

Those first 12 days of expansion are a time when you can experience the coming energy of the year. What will come into your life? What intentions will you set? The 12 Holy Days are a time when God or the Universe or the Holy Spirit or your Higher Power, whatever words resonate for you, can be heard in the quiet. Some traditions say the 12th day, January 6th, is when the Magi visited the baby Jesus. When Yeshua was baptized. When the Sun became known to the conscious mind.

Some say the Earth Mother has been inhaling, pressure increasing – the contraction I wrote about above. She has completed her in-breath, and these 12 days are the resting point before she begins her long out-breath. In this stillness angels circle the earth and want nothing more than you tell you what they know. Are you ready to listen?

When my husband Tom and I teach meditation on the breath, we often suggest paying attention to that moment at the top or bottom of the breath. It’s a moment when people often get lost – distracted by a thought or sound. We forget what we were intending toward.

This is how authentic New Year’s Intentions can come – from your Highest Self speaking to you about your next steps in life. It’s not something you want to miss in the distractions that often come our way at this time. If you are celebrating a bit of time off work, or are traveling to visit friends and family, make sure you take moments to tune in. Make it a priority.

I plan to end each night with a prayer for insight into my coming year. I’ll record any dreams I remember during the night, or in the morning. I’ve read that each of the 12 days represents a month in the chronology of the year. So, tonight may bring insight into January of 2015. Tomorrow night, into February. And, so on.

Think of the intentions you generally make for the New Year. Feel them in your body and in your heart. Do they really resonate with your higher purpose in life? Are they realistic given who you are and the shape of your life? Are they infused with self-nurturing and love?

Or, do they feel trivial? Unrealistic? Full of self-judgment? Full of “shoulds”?

From where do your intentions originate?

We’ve been told over and over again that we’re not good enough in this world. We are flawed and we need to be improved. It’s a trance we have fallen into as a culture.

Your Higher Power does not believe you are flawed. Any changes the conscious part of you and the Universe wants to make are about natural evolution, not a reaction because there’s something wrong with you. The changes we invite are simply because it’s time for the next step, not because we need to be fixed.

Can you feel the difference in setting intentions from a place of listening closely rather than from a place of self-judgment? And, now – do you know how you will approach realizing them?

Some dreams are a trivial rehashing of your daily life. And, some can be profound messages from inner/outer guidance. I had a dream a few months ago where I was making what I called “Everyday Wands”, because, “Everything You Do Is Magic!” They were pencils and spoons and paintbrushes made into magic wands, with crystal points and other semi-precious stones embedded in them. I woke up incredibly energized, with a firm knowing that this was a next step in my life. I told my husband, and, honestly, he thought I had gone a little bit bonkers. I had to reassure him that I wasn’t planning to quit my “day job” of counseling, but this was a way to bring in fun, and help people have a tangible object that would help them focus on their intentions. Having visual and physical prompts can be huge assists when we are working toward making changes. Why not something beautiful to write with, or paint with – or COOK with!

The response has been very gratifying. I have almost sold out of my initial inventory of 45 wands, some bought for Christmas gifts, some bought for personal use. Now I’m working on a number of special orders, both of the “Everyday” variety, and some more serious wands for strong intention setting, with wood cut by me and custom picked stones and other beautiful objects with meaning for clients. My website hasn’t caught up with this new development in my professional life, but I do have photos posted on my facebook page if I’ve tickled your fancy for a power object to help you make change.

I also had a number of my original artworks printed in note card form. Here they are!

That’s one way that listening has worked for me. I could not have planned this development. My cognitive mind wouldn’t have created this change. What could listening rather than planning bring into your world?

This has become a tradition in my work-in-the-world – for the month of January, I offer my three session counseling intake package at half price when you make a three month commitment to counseling. That’s a total of a 6 session commitment to yourself. I invite you to step into the next phase of your natural evolution, with support, guidance, and self-awareness. Hearing those intentions is one thing. Realizing them is sometimes not easy. We have strong, ingrained habits of being and understanding that may not want to change simply because we say we want them to.

Visit my counseling page to learn more about my offerings. Email me to schedule your complimentary phone session. Let’s see how we can work together.

You’re worth it.

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 25th, 2014 at 6:42 pm and is filed under Integrating Lifestyle Changes, Life on Life's Terms, Meditation, Seasonal Change. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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