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Happy New Year! Happy 2024!

Now with the functions of memory and imagination we are like Janus the two faced Roman God of entrances and exits, who can look behind and in front, and from whence the month of January was named. Many celebrated old times and simultaneously imagined new possibilities ahead. We embarked on a better version of “me" and resolutions were made to jumpstart our endeavors. Perhaps, the subtle lesson of this first of 12-months is to limit dwelling on the past to the beginning of each year, and couple our thoughts with foresight. Yes, as humans we have an extraordinary gift to imagine our futures. We also have a tendency to ruminate over past mistakes all year long. I've been guilty of it and know this spin-cycle of overthinking can be harmful unless changed. But how?

First is to realize there is not a direct line to the fulfillment of our dreams and desires. Common knowledge says there are no straight lines in nature, so we should expect and be prepared for twists, turns, and setbacks. Figuratively speaking, it is not a cruise down Easy Street. You see, the natural course in life is more akin to a spiral. Its special geometry allows one to go round and around as if entrenched in a circular rut. This particular type of holding pattern can result in predictable behavior until your spiral comes to an inflection point. Something happens to send you in a different trajectory. In this case the new direction is either up or down.

If we are fortunate than an event, a person, or a even a thought comes along to trigger an upward spiral. It pushes us out of the seemingly repetitive groove, and can increase us developmentally. A paramount inflection point connects us to our heart and awakens our spiritual self. If we are less fortunate than we experience a decrease. Hopefully, it is only a few steps backwards, unless the subject is weigh loss! A downward momentum may lead to despair or the prolonged depression of another unfavorable spin cycle.

Secondly, recognize what can trigger our upward mobility. Beyond the obvious, I suggest pay attention to your "gut" feelings, your intuition, symbols, and dream imagery, notice those meaningful coincidences known as "synchronicity". The great Swiss psychoanalyst, Karl Jung coined the term to describe those moments when something on the outside of you coincides, with no apparent causal connection, to your inner world of thoughts, feelings, hunches, or dream images.

I am reminded of the Tarot card, Wheel of Fortune, which can read as; feeling lucky, destiny, karma, fortuitousness, or bad luck, resistance to change, and a losing attitude. In a traditional deck, which is numbered 0-21, it is the X or 10th card in the Suit of Trumps. I prefer the tarot's association to the Hebrew alphabet and its ordering. Here, it is Kaf. She is the eleventh letter, her numerical value is 20 and her sound is like "kick" or at times more guttural. Symbolically, she represents the palm of the hand. To learn more about the Hebrew Letter associations to tarot and see an image of the Wheel of Fortune and Kaf click on this website's Street Smarts page

The symbol of the palm of the hand immediately brings to mind the notion of fortune telling. Although forbidden as part of a con game for profit, The Torah contains instances of prophecy. In certain circumstances, the ability to interpret dreams is seen as a gift from God. For example, Joseph explained Egypt’s fate from the Pharaoh's dream and how to prepare for a lengthy famine. The truth is we all carry within us the prophetic abilities which can lead us to fulfill our destiny. We just have to intentionally develop our foresight. Another related interpretation for the palm of the hand is the Hamsa; used to ward off the evil eye and negative energies in Judaism, Islam, and other religions. This unifying symbol goes back to ancient Mesopotamia, the land of Ur and home of another unifying figure, Abraham, the patriarch to Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Contemplate and meditate upon unifying images for a peaceful future in these turbulent times.

Finally, understand that Fortune is in the palms of your hands if you try your best to be a grown up when confronted with negative energies, image the best case scenario instead of the worst, and recognize the propensities or ripple effects of your behavior. In a time when criminals run countries and a wannabe dictator can threaten democracy, now is the time to become your own leader. On your way, develop compassion and empathy as you work towards a better future for yourself, and others.


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