A Festive Reflection: the Mask of Janus

Janus - two faces At this time of year, Chris and I always hold up a big STOP sign for ourselves. With Christmas on our doorstep and a new year looming, we always take at least a week or so R&R break from the business before starting up again.

But before we head into summer sunshine for a few days, we like to reflect on all that’s happened in 2013. And it’s been a challenging but very fulfilling year!

We’ve delivered several Appreciative Inquiry workshops both locally and interstate, launched our new Chair Chi Training Program for the aged care sector, spent time (in person or virtually) with generous-spirited colleagues and worked on varied projects with wonderful clients.

Hercules in the Augean Stables

Image: Luis García

Much of the year’s ‘challenge’ came from the fact that all those day to day tasks involved in running any business seemed to increase as the year progressed. The legend of the Augean Stables comes to mind. Unfortunately, unlike Hercules, we didn’t manage to find a handy river that could sweep away all those tasks in just one day. But maybe next year … :)

Speaking of next year, we’ve had lots of ideas buzzing away. So, although we’ll put specific planning on hold until mid January, we’re certainly looking forward to a great 2014.

January” was actually named in honour of the ancient Roman god, Janus. He was usually depicted with two faces – one looking to the past and the other to the future. Janus was the god of transitions – of endings, beginnings, gates, doors, passages and time. He was perhaps especially honoured at this time of year, but had a part in all significant rituals and special events.

Roman coin with image of JanusSo this pause – this ‘breather’ – between the old year and the new is a great opportunity to put on our Janus face. To reflect on the past and look to the future at the same time.

And if you’ve ever read Arthur Koestler‘s The Ghost in the Machine or Janus: A Summing Up, you’ll know Janus can also represent Koestler’s concept of ‘holarchy’. The idea that each individual thing (or person) is complete and whole in itself, but is also a part of something greater at one and the same time. And perhaps this is never more true than it is today, in our increasingly interconnected global community.

So, whether or not you put on your Janus mask like we do at this time of year, and whatever your beliefs, traditions and customs, may we wish you all the very best of the season and a wonderful start to 2014!

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