the story of 2012: claiming your wisdom and coming home to yourself

And so, we come to the end of the story of 2012.

If you’ve been here recently you know I’m celebrating the past year with a series of prompts that help me look at 2012 as if it were a mythic story. I’m letting the words, images, colors, symbols and metaphors tumble out in ways I can’t foresee when I start with a new prompt.

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The first week started with the call to adventure and the inner and outer support we find when we step onto an unknown path or a new year. During the second week the story took a turn, as we revisited tests and trials, loss and renewal, and a reawakening of inner strength and resourcefulness.

Now, at the end of the journey, there’s no denying we’ve changed.

Every mythic journey (and every year) transforms the main character in some way. I’m smiling as I write this, because I know I’ve changed this year. Oh, not in big, shout-it-to-the-world ways, but undeniably in a dozen small ways.

What better time than the end of the story, then, and the end of the year, to claim our transformations and our voices?

Of course, in myths and fairy tales such transformation always comes with consequences. Both rewards and battle scars. Or gifts and wounds, if you will. Sometimes, even, the gifts themselves are buried in the wounds.

I know this can be hard to translate to real, every day life. The first thing that comes to mind for me are the losses I experienced this year, leaving me humbled by the passing of time and the impermanence of life. There is a wound there, certainly, but there’s also a gift within it: the moment when I clutched and held fast (still holding fast) to an old William Saroyan quote – In the time of your life, live. It’s become a mantra that guides me when I feel anxious or sad, and it’s what wanted to come out most when I took on today’s prompts.

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Writing Prompts: -The rewards and gifts I’m taking from this past year into the next are… -The wounds and battle scars I’m taking from this past year into the next are… -The gifts of my wounds are…

Finally, we’ve reached the last scene of the story, a time of coming home and rejoicing.

As the protagonist of my own mythic year, here’s what I share in common with the characters at the end of the great journey stories: I’m full of joy simply because I’m alive. I’m so grateful to have gained a bit of wisdom that will serve me in future years. And I say all this knowing full well that this thing called life can be both wonderful and wily. Still, I’m ready to do it all again next year.

Writing Prompt: -If I could go back and visit with myself a year ago, the wisdom I would most want to share with me is…

Here’s a recap of this week’s prompts, all in one place:

  • The rewards and gifts I’m taking from this past year into the next are…
  • The wounds and battle scars I’m taking from this past year into the next are
  • The gifts of my wounds are…
  • If I could go back and visit with myself a year ago, the wisdom I would most want to share with me is…

I’ve so enjoyed this experiment.

It’s been way more meaningful than simply recapping my past year. (Yawn.) In the interest of full disclosure I should tell you that I do get bored and too much in my head when I stay too long in constant self-analysis. As much as I love writing I need to balance it with the non-verbal. That’s why this process was perfect for me, and just the kind of deep adventure I needed right now.

So, as I say farewell to 2012 my heartfelt wish for you during this holiday season is for space to create small moments of deep joy and meaning. I’ll be doing that by going off-line for about three weeks. See you next year!

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10 thoughts on “the story of 2012: claiming your wisdom and coming home to yourself

  1. I liked it when you said that you needed to balance writing with the non-verbal — I’ve definitely had the same kind of experience in terms of having very different levels of desire to write at different times. The key for me is to pounce on them fiercely when they show up and not agonize over their absence when they’re absent.

  2. Great prompts all, Patty! Worked so many of them out in my journal, journal junkie that I am! Really kick-started my writing and feel I need to write my way out of this Divine Discontent and into another zone altogether. I’m celebrating Solstice tonight, which to me, is huge. I always do “resolutions” or intentions, which I prefer the latter, on Solstice and Equinoxes – this way I have a 90-day challenge in lieu of the whole New Yr. year’s worth. Who makes it a year anyway? Keep it short, simple and you increase chances of success! 🙂
    Have a great holiday season!
    Hugs
    SuZen

  3. The thing that stood out for me is your process of looking at the gifts in our losses. This has been my spiritual path for the last year–looking for the blessing in the so-called bad things that happen. Boy, does it make a difference in one’s ability to experience joy! And by the way, so do you. Here’s to a fantastic 2013!

  4. Patty,

    I always read the comments at a site. I loved your comment to Chris and his to you. I’m still learning to be patient about writing. and you both were helpful.

    Happy new year!

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