I made an agreement with myself just before the holidays, to limit to “only necessary” my time in social media. The tiredness of being present daily in a few applications, news’ sources and emails has been creeping on me during the last few weeks of the year, so it wasn’t hard to drop a substantial part of the social luggage off, for time with the family and outside with my girl.
Coming back, as expected, the social feed had plenty of new year resolutions, retrospections and wisdom of things not done. Until certain age, the need to have a possibility for a fresh start grows with passed experiences. It’s in our human nature to strive for improvement, for more acceptance and “adequateness”, whatever that means in different frames of reality. In order to fit in, one needs to be able to accommodate change and new trends – in fashion of looks and behaviour. So it’s natural to pick a time point, which whole world recognizes as a new beginning. But isn’t it overwhelming, that many of us strive to do that once in 365 days?
Together with leaning to like haiku, living (at least trying to) the Ikigai, often admiring pictures of the spring blossoms in Kiyoto, I came across the Japanese way to define a year. The Japanese calendar, which is based on the Chinese one describes 72 segments, 72 seasons in a year. Could we for a moment consider, that if we only wish so, we can consider 72 opportunities to notice a change, to make a change, to appreciate a change? 72 new starts and continuations, 72 good byes and welcomes. 72 times one could begin a day with an intention for something new, 72 declarations to life. 72 times we can decide to connect with our surrounding world and bring the best of it to ourselves in exchange to the best of us to it – at this particular moment. 72 times of it all in only one year.
The Japanese calendar is tightly related to nature and the changes with seasons in it. It embraces names like “East wind melts the ice”, “Grass sprouts, trees bud”, “Distant thunder” and “First rainbows”. How ordinarily poetic is that?
I came across this calendar, while doing research for my final paper of the 2 year education I’m completing. My topic involves intuition, psychological flexibility and more. I found the google suggestion of the 72 seasons simply inspiring. The presentness, in order to notice those changes, is a condition one needs, if aiming at following this detailed counter of time. Embracing change and feeling not threatened, but comfortable with it is nothing less, but emotional and psychological flexibility. And yet again, nature is the gentlest and at the same time most powerful facilitator for the processes of acceptance and adaptation to occur. This little and this much.
So what would it take us to explore what are the subtle ways nature grounds us, brings the deepest of our wisdom to our knowledge, comforts us? A regular reminder to immerse in a nature surrounding? A calendar? A hobby, which feels best done outside? A friend, who has always been the outdoorsy type? A dog?
There is so much we haven't yet done, experienced, noticed, appreciated. May we all be blessed with the opportunity to find what triggers the need in us to be a part of a natural world, and follow it. A kind 2024 to us all!