Friday, January 1, 2016

Janus and Living in the Now


Janus

Janus is the two-headed, animistic god of doorways, bridges and passageways, who symbolized endings and new beginnings. From the Latin ianua, which means 'door', the word is the root of January, an important time when many of us ponder the past and its lessons and look to the future with firm resolutions to do things differently. Janus is the guardian of the New Year and keeper of the calendar, whose two faces look both backward and forward in time. Interestingly, the word is the root of 'janitor', or porter, someone who guards the doorways, entrances of properties.

With so much emphasis on looking into the past and future, there isn't much discussion of living in the now. How many of us avoid the present moment? (Isn't that why the present is called the 'present', because it is a gift many of us overlook?)

Janus and the Ouroboros

I don't normally make New Year's resolutions, because I don't always want to wait for a new calendar year to break old habits and start new ones. But if I were to make such a promise to myself, it would be to live more in the moment. To savor every nuance of every day, as if it were my last. Difficult to do, maybe, but in my opinion, very worth it. 
My daughter and me at the entrance to a Bronze Age tomb, Pylos, Greece
Do you have a New Year's resolution? And do you find yourself living more in the past, thinking about the future, or are you a 'present-dweller'?

18 comments:

  1. Amanda, like mother , like daughter. You definitely can tell she is yours. I know I don't live in the past. It is done and gone. That confounds my husband who clings to the past. Guess I don't live so much in the future either, at least not as I have gotten older. Isn't it strange how we change with age? I love hearing about Greek mythology from you. Thank you. Happiest new year too. Oh, and I do sometimes make resolutions and wish upon stars.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like your attitude - I wish I had that kind of approach to the past, as I tend to think about it more than perhaps necessary. Must be the Cancerian in me!

      Delete
  2. I used to make resolutions, but just didn't stick with them. Now I just try to make good decisions each day. Day by day. I don't live in the past and am not much for making plans for the future. The latter part confounds my husband.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good for you Michelle - again, a present-dweller like Donna!

      Delete
  3. Your resolution is among the most difficult! Happy New Year, Amanda!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Happy New Year!
    Starting off with goals is a good thing. How else do we get the energy to clear closets, make lists, engage in new pursuits, and look forward to twelve months of unplanned chaos that life will bring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True that Rosaria. We need to ride the energy of the New Year.

      Delete
  5. I couldn't agree more. And yes — to appreciate the present in its fullness and intensity is a continual daily occupation, not just a yearly resolution. Buddhist mindfulness has a lot to offer here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed, Robert, about mindfulness. I highly recommend Jack Kornfeld's books.

      Delete
  6. I think I dwell in the past a lot and I don't like to think of the future much. The present in fine and I agree with you that we should savour every moment because it quickly becomes the past. Happy new year Amanda.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good advice, Loree. Happy New Year to you as well! xoxo

      Delete
  7. Be. Here. Now.
    we only exist in the present. i try to remember that.

    happy year ahead, amanda xo
    love
    kj

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beautiful, KJ - thank you. I hear Be. Here. Now. by Ram Dass is supposed to be a great book. xoxo

      Delete
  8. Beautiful post! Trying to stay mindful and present. Not too far in the future but still a bit of a worrier ... working on it! I wrote down things I want to let go of on New Years, and on the other side, the things I want to bring in ... then burned near the ocean and let the water carry the ashes away.

    Happy New Year to you!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a beautiful ceremony - to burn your wishes near the ocean and have the waves carry the ashes away. Also love the idea of contemplating both the letting go as well as the bringing in. Happy New Year to you also Lucinda! xoxo

      Delete
  9. I lost my mother in May of 2015, I find myself seeking her like I was 5 years old. I need to move on, I know I will eventually. Your post reminded me of being in the here and now. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yoli, It's so wonderful to hear from you again! I'm so sorry about the loss of your mother - mine died 23 years ago and I still miss her. Even though we do eventually find our way through the grief, I don't believe the connection ever goes away. Goddess bless and sending a big hug xoxo

      Delete

Thank you for visiting♡