Today is the Feast of the Epiphany - capital E - in the Catholic church in which I was raised - as well as many other churches. It marks the end of the 12 days of Christmas and is the day the three wise men brought gifts to the nativity. Here are a few Epiphany gifts for you.
1 - A story
Often in my psychology curriculum we are talking about relationships and love and infatuation around winter break, so I often take the time to read to them one of my favourite Christmas stories - The Gift of the Magi by O Henry. It's a story of young love that hits all my sap buttons and I can't get through a reading of it without choking up - which just adds to the entertainment for my students. If you haven't read it - here it is: The Gift of the Magi
2 - A new celebration
I just discovered that in Ireland, Epiphany is also celebrated as "Women's Christmas" - a day when women gather togther and celebrate amongst themselves. I often hold rest and reflect gatherings for my female friends early in the new year and discovering this feels like I had tapped into something passed onto me intuitively from my Irish great-grandmother. The author Jan Richardson has more about this and a free PDF to help you commemorate your own Women's Christmas.
3 - A poem and a wish
Beyond the capital E Epiphany, I wish for you a year filled with little epiphanies that guide you ever closer to your self. This poem by Alison Joseph captures this wish perfectly:
The difference between what’s required
and what’s desired is the difference
between the chocolate and the cake,
the car and the new car smell, the nightie
and the night. There’s so much I want
to twist round my fingers, to stroke
and stir, sketch and stretch, but so much
I should sweep and scrub, strip
and sterilize. But I’d rather wring dirt
from my pores, turn it to ink instead,
rather scurry to my driveway to study
the moon’s abrupt phrases than kneel
with bucket and mop to banish shadows
that have sprung up on my kitchen
floor, darkening my soles as if I were
anointed, a kind of low-rent henna
for the lazy and uninhibited.
I should keep the unmentionables
unmentioned, nudity prohibited,
purses to a minimum, but I thrive
on clutter—my gaudy bras and bags
of yarn, my malfunctioning pens,
last chance reams of slightly damaged
paper. The difference between what’s whole
and what’s held, what’s withheld
or revealed, what’s real and what’s
revelation—that’s what I seek,
rest of my life spent in search
of little epiphanies, tiny sparks surging
out of the brain during the clumsiest speech.
Though the grocery store racks are full of magazine covers on organizing, decluttering and losing weight - don't forget to make time for your heart and soul in the midst of all the new year hub bub.
The world needs more wise women.
You may want to consider joining me and Julie Daley in our WildSoul Book Club winter session. We are reading a book by one of my treasured wise women - Marion Woodman. The book is called Dancing in the Flames and is all about tapping into your deep embodied feminine - a great source of wisdom. Click for more details.