Keep Moving
     At the time of the December Solstice, a festival known as the Feast of Juul has been observed in Scandinavia for more than two thousand years. It is from Juul that we get the term 'Yule'  for this time of year in the northern world.
     Traditional Juul celebrations included the lighting of fires to mirror the return of the light and warmth of the sun after the shortest night. A large log was brought to the hearth and set ablaze as a tribute the Norse god Thor. The ashes of this Juul log were thought to have special powers, and were carefully stored for use as a charm or a treatment for sickness.
     The word Juul is said to come from the ancient Norse word for a wheel, and it is applied to the arrival of the wheel of the sun reaching it's low point before rising again.
     The word solstice is from the Latin word solstitium, meaning 'Sun standing still'. The second syllable is from sistere which means to take a stand, or to stand still. The sun appears to stop and stand still in its travels across the heavens at the time of the solstice.
     It may be paradoxical that we should contemplate both a moving wheel and a standstill as we monitor the same event, yet we do. Paradox requires that we engage our thinking and tease out the meanings for ourselves.
     There are many other English words that share sistere as an origin: assist; desist; insist; and subsist, to name a few. Carl Jung coined the phrase “What you resist, persists” and it is easy to see that when we refuse to move, the conditions we are resisting will do so also.
New Year
     As the new calendar year approaches, many of us take time to review the last twelve months. The year has moved forward, like a wheel, and the next one beckons: there are no pauses in the passage of time. Even so, it is important to make sure that we, too, have continued to move and grow and change.
     Human nature might find contentment with that which is familiar,  yet life without novelty quickly grows unrewarding. All of life moves, and if we find we have elected stagnation in any part of life, this is a good time to challenge it. 
     Insisting on changlessness disconnects us from the flow of our personal development.
     We might remain working in a place because it has a good pension plan, even though we are no longer stimulated by the work, or we have lost track of the importance of our contribution.
     Under those circumstances, we cut off opportunities for career development, for learning new skills, for inspiring new people. Stagnant relationships, whether with friends or family or romantic partners, can prevent us from having the time and opportunity to meet important teachers. Relationships that are not growing can even become toxic and arrest our progress towards authentic expression.
     The New Year will immerse us into new vibrations; our responses will include all the experiences we have had to date.
There are many reasons to celebrate the lives we lead. We will grow as individuals and communities when we take a stand for a brighter world. The idea of standing beside someone has come to us as the word assist. 2016 is the ideal time to stand up for ourselves and assist in the work of expanding the souls of all the people in our sphere of influence.

     I have been supporting clients through change and growth since the 1980s.
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