Mystics and sages have always known the power of the in-between. The most powerful times for magic, for example, are in-between times: dawn which is the precipice between night and day, and dusk, between day and night. Midnight is the fulcrum between today and tomorrow, noon the tipping point from morning to afternoon, and so on.
In nature, swamps are in between earth and water, fog is in between water and air. Doorways are in between rooms and are always considered potent places. “Portal” is just another word for doorway.
The four “greater” sabbats of the natural year are the in-between days, those that fall precisely halfway between the solstices and the equinoxes; Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas, and Samhain, while the solstices and equinoxes themselves are considered the lesser holy days. This is because of the power of the in-between.
The biggest in-between of all
I tend to think the period we’ve just entered, the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is the biggest in-between in our modern lives. I base this on how much we notice the in-between time and how much it impacts our existence. By those standards, this week is the biggest in-between of the whole year!
We’re between the final festival of 2019, Christmas, and the first day of 2020. It’s a whole week during which we are in a state of full-on transition. So why not capture that energy for positive use?
This is my week of review
Each year during this final week of the year, I dive into year-end review mode. I look at every book I’ve written and published, to see which are selling and which are not, which individual titles, which series, which price points, which covers. I analyze every promotion I have run to see if it was worth the cost and time, and then I look carefully at the patterns I find and use them as one aspect of planning my year ahead.
I will be doing the same thing with the Bliss side of my business, analyzing which posts have had the most views, comments, shares. Which readings are most popular. Which products are the bestsellers in my shop. I’ll be looking at every graphic I’ve made in both my businesses, to decide which images and phrases worked and which fell flat.
It's about more than work
I look back on my life, too. What were the things that I enjoyed most about 2019? What were the events I took part in that felt good to me, and which ones did I regret, if any? What felt most rewarding? Who did I spend time with and how was that? What were the daily habits that helped me most, and which were time-sinks without any perceivable benefit or pleasure?
Which things did I spend the most and least time on, and how would I prefer that balance to look in the year ahead?
Without even digging too deeply, I know for sure that the days I began with an easy 15-minute meditation were my very best days, and weeks during which I meditated every day were weeks when I was more productive and generated the very best ideas. My intuition is razor sharp and lightning fast when I’m meditating regularly.
I also know periods when I was exercising regularly were my healthiest times, and bouts of low energy and illness almost always came during my couch-potato periods. (With my tater-tot bulldog, Niblet, by my side.)
It's not a guilt review
Remember not to fall into our culture’s popular habit of culture of deeming something purely fun as something unworthy. “I watch too much TV” is an oft repeated refrain. There is no such thing as watching too much TV or reading too many books, for me. I live for great storytelling. I am a storyteller. Basking in the storytelling of great storytellers is one of the best ways I can spend my time. It feeds my creative well with juice! But even if I wasn’t a storyteller, there would be no need for guilt over enjoying story. We don’t have to justify why any pastime is worthy. If we enjoy it, it’s good!
Nothing that brings me pleasure is an activity I feel I should do less of. “All acts of love and pleasure are my rituals,” says the Goddess of old. “You didn’t come here to fix anything. You came to have fun,” is one of my favorite Abraham quotes. I do not regret any time I spent dancing or singing or having a massage. In fact, one goal for the coming year is going to be a lot more massages. And time spent with my daughters and my grandchildren is the best time of all, and time spent with my friends replenishes my soul. And time spent outside during the spring and summer and fall are probably the most positive energy basking fests of my entire experience. The pond, the fish, the gardens, the natural beauty. Oh, it’s all just so good.
My goal will never be 'work more'
My work becomes more fun, and that’s key. It’s more pure as I lean into writing only when I feel inspired to write, shopkeeping only when I feel compelled to that task, blog posting only when something is clamoring to be shared. I continue to improve in this area of not working to deadlines or to pressure from readers, but working only from a place of pure inspiration.
When I begin my days with meditation, I can then settle into my morning routine and wait for inspiration to strike, and it always does. Whatever is calling to me, that’s what I’m going to do that day, or even just for that hour. Sometimes it’s “make chili!” Sometimes it’s “watch something on Gaia.” Sometimes it’s “go for a walk.” Sometimes it’s “write this scene.” But I can’t hear the calling unless I first quiet my mind. That’s why meditation is the core habit for me. My center. My set point. As spinach is to Popeye, so is meditation to Maggie.
Embrace the in-between
So this week, why not join me as I dive into the energy of this great big in-between time of transition. Review the old, decide what you liked and what you didn’t, what you want more of and what you want less of, and then launch your 2020 with those goals and intentions already locked and loaded. I promise, you’ll want to make this an annual tradition too.
We pretty much do this anyway, this time of year, but doing it consciously and with purpose is even better!
May 2020 be our best year yet!