Now is a time between times, this week between the end of one year and the start of the new one.

For some, approaching the New Year is an opportunity to review the year past and to set goals for the upcoming one. I look forward to doing both and envisioning how I plan to move ahead in 2018.

Before I move into planning mode, I need time this week to sit, enjoy being with my husband and spend more time in contemplation, letting the bustle of preparing for the holidays calm; allowing time for a more inward journey.

We don’t talk too much about the time between time. It’s like the rest between notes, or the negative space between and around objects in a drawing. Without silence, music is not possible, without empty space, art does not exist.

Without moments of doing quiet and nothingness, the busyness of our life can become a relentless cacophony of activity.

Taking time to contemplate, or just sit this week, gives me nourishment for the year ahead. Whatever your practice of seeking solitude, you have an opportunity this week to pause, reflect, and draw sustenance for your journey through 2018.

The world will wait for you.

This is a time to identify what nurtures your soul. This is a time to explore the sacred in the every day and ask the darkness for its gifts.

As the Persian poet Hafiz, wrote:

Now is the Time

Now is the time to know
That all that you do is sacred.

Now is the time to understand
That all your ideas of right and wrong
Were just a child’s training wheels
To be laid aside
When you can finally live
With veracity and love.

What is it in that sweet voice inside
That incites you to fear?

Now is the time for the world to know
That every thought and action is sacred.

This is the time
For you to compute the impossibility
That there is anything
But Grace.

Now is the season to know
That everything you do
Is sacred.

Excerpted from “Now is the Time” translated by Daniel Ladinsky in
The Gift – Poems by Hafiz the Great Sufi Master

As you face the darkness of this time of year, you might enjoy this poem by contemporary poet David Whyte:

Sweet Darkness

When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your womb
tonight.

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in

Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

– “Sweet Darkness” by David Whyte, House of Belonging

Before you get busy planning, as I will do, I hope you take time between the years to be a bit quieter and listen to how life is speaking to you.

What will bring you most alive in 2018?

I wish for you a wonderful start to the New Year and look forward to our path together in the coming year.