ROMJUL: THE BEAUTY OF BEING BETWIXT
Romjul. The beautiful Nordic word that defines that liminal time between Boxing Day and New Year. The fallow period of rest after the indulgence and bustle of Christmas Day. The week of duvet days sometimes called ‘Twixtmas.
This has nothing to do with the similarly named chocolate bar. Instead, it comes from the Old English term, ‘betwixt’.
To be ‘betwixt’ means ‘to be between’. In this case, suspended -- as if by magic -- between the old year and the one that is to come.
3 LESSONS THAT ROMJUL CAN TEACH US:
1) EMBRACE THE RHYTHMS OF NATURE. LIVE SLOWLY.
SOFTEN INTO THE SEASONAL SHIFT.
It is now that we most need to slow down and stop, savouring where we have been and where we are going.
Nature is at a gentle hum, conserving its energy, laying the groundwork for the activity of spring and summer.
And we must do the same.
We instinctively already know this, deep down, often slackening our pace after Christmas.
There is a reason why, from Boxing Day til the fireworks of New Year, that we are most often found curled up at home on the sofa, watching festive films and tucking into our selection boxes!
2) DREAM. PLAN. PLAY. CREATE.
New Year’s Eve brings with it a pop and a fizz of excitement for what lies ahead.
It is a time of dreaming and of pledging new year’s resolutions.
We often go on to break them because we chase too much, too soon, too eager to race beyond nature’s timetable.
So, dream your dreams. Make your plans, but do it with a light touch, do it with gentleness, do it with a spirit of playfulness and creativity.
And do it with nature’s support, fully aligned with the rhythm of the seasons.
Make it a game, an aim, a gentle intention.
Not a chore or something to throw yourself at full-pelt.
Not something to admonish yourself with for not achieving all you had hoped by the deadline you had set.
Shift with the seasons and keep dreaming til spring… then watch yourself bloom in summer!
3) ACCEPT YOUR TRUE NATURE. LIVE IN THE NOW.
BEING ‘BETWIXT’ IS AN ILLUSION.
In the stories our mind creates, we are always betwixt. Caught between the past and the future. The then and the now. The stories our past has taught us, and how they play out in our lives on an endless repeat.
But the reality is: this is an illusion.
We are never betwixt.
We are all, always, living in the here and now – the only time there ever is.
While we reminisce about our past or project into our future, we live in our memory or our imagination.
What stories have we told ourselves about who we have been in the year that has passed? And across our whole lives? What are the stories that we would we like to write into our future?
Take what serves you from the past and transform the rest into something wondrous.
In the stories you tell yourself, be not only the pheonix that rises from the flame; be the whole damn flame. You can burn down your stories and create something new from the glowing embers.
But, ultimately, know that you are more than your stories.
The essence of you is beyond any story or any label.
Embrace the slow pace of Romjul, but see it as a reminder to wake up within the present moment.
Let’s make our resolutions, but remember to live out our intentions with gentleness and joy.
Let's inhabit the moment we are living in right now. Not the imagined self who used to be 10 pounds lighter. Or the future self who has achieved x, y and z. Neither of them exist, except in our mind.
Live with the truth and joy of who you are now.
Live with the rhythm of the seasons.
This is not about living between the future and the past, or about waiting for our future to begin.
Instead, it frees us to work with our natural energies rather than against them, gifting us with the ability to flow into the new year, with grace and ease and purpose…