February. It’s one of my most favorite times of the year; wild violets are in bloom…and it’s my birthday month….which means, for me, it’s my new year, my time of setting intentions and forging new beginnings. Come to find out, February has signified a time of new beginnings and letting go for many for a long time now. Every February 15th, the Romans would have an annual festival of purification named Februa. The Hopi peoples named the late winter moon (which occurred around the month of February), Powamuya, which translates to the Purification Moon. And the Christian calendar always celebrates Ash Wednesday – a time of fasting, purification, and prayer – during this time of the year.
You might ask why is this month been known as a month of purification for so many societies for so long. For our ancestors, the late winter season meant food was running low, if not gone. And therefore, they would find themselves in a period of famine and scarcity – hence, a perfect time for purification and letting go. They knew the late winter would bring scarcity, and yet, they celebrated it. Heck, the Romans held a festival of purification every year to honor it! Which got me thinking, how often do we celebrate that which isn’t?
Obviously, these days, the late winter has a famine effect on our emotional state of being more than our physical state. We are more likely to be starving for affection than starving for food. We are more likely to have a scarcity of health than a scarcity of food. And we are definitely more likely to experience famine in our bank accounts over food famine. My point is this: even though we may not be experiencing food shortage, we are experiencing all sorts of other emotional, financial, relationship, and personal shortages.
What if we celebrated these periods when abundance is lacking, instead of struggling against them? How would your life change if you accepted and appreciated things exactly as they are right now- whether it’s in a phase of lack or in a phase of abundance, or anywhere in between? What if, if we were single and feeling alone, we celebrated this time to focus on ourselves and be with ourselves, get to know ourselves better, and discover how to love ourselves? What if, if we were sick and scared, we celebrated the clear messages our body was telling us about our lifestyle? What if we were low on money, we celebrated the opportunity to learn how to enjoy life with less? I’m not saying bad things don’t happen, but how many times do things just happen and we interpret them as bad? What if most, if not all, of those times of lack were just opportunities to purify, to clean out that which no longer serves us – whether it’s the food we eat, the thoughts we think, or the relationships we create.
My challenge to you this month is to ask yourself, “What needs purifying in my life? What no longer serves me?” and “How can I celebrate it? How can I appreciate that which is, as it is?”
On a side note, today (Feb 8, 2016) is a new moon, the perfect time for new beginnings.
Share your ideas below, or send me a message with your thoughts.