Death + Birth = Life

by Scott Noelle

“Happy New Year!”

Why is the birth of the new year always a “happy” occasion when it also marks the death of the old year? Unlike other kinds of death and loss, the end of the old year is a happy time because we focus on the birth it makes possible.

But in fact, death and birth always go hand in hand. When something dies, literally or figuratively, it always makes room for something new to be born. And when you give birth to something new, you enliven it with energy you’ve withdrawn from old creations.

The arrival of your first child marks the birth of your parenthood and the death of your pre-parenthood self. You are not the same person you were! Through all the stages of parenthood, you will die and be reborn many times.

Goals, desires, and intentions are like children you give birth to, except that you normally outlive them. You nurture them with your creative energy, and they die when their purpose is fulfilled or when you choose to let them go, making room for new intentions to be born.

Knowing this, you can transform any loss, failure, or disappointment with a simple, two-step process:

1. Let go — Take some time to appreciate whatever has “died,” grieve if necessary, and integrate major changes with the help of rituals and community support.

2. Open — Relax and settle into the emptiness you just created, knowing that Life abhors a vacuum and will offer you plenty of inspiration to fill that space. Ask “What wants to be born through me now?”

You can use this process to create a Happy New Year, or do it daily at bedtime to make every tomorrow a Happy New Day.

Or make it a continuous practice and have a Happy New NOW! :)

Originally published on 2014-01-01
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