Epiphany | Plunging into the New Year!

Epiphany | Plunging into the New Year!

With the flurry and celebration of Christmas in the rearview, Epiphany is an opportunity for all of us to begin the new year with a sense of wonder. In Western Christian, Epiphany is a celebration marking the moment when the Magi beheld Jesus and the manifestation of his divinity to the Gentiles (non-Jews). In the Eastern Orthodox Christian church, Epiphany celebrates Jesus's baptism.  

Place yourself in the Magi's shoes. You receive news of the most extraordinary kind... that a baby has been born nearly a thousand miles away from you who is the Messiah and will be King of the Jews. Now, I imagine that the Magi had seen and experienced all manner of important, truly significant moments in their lives, but it was this news that prompted them to travel for what we think was years to see and experience the presence of Jesus. The nativity scenes we so fondly display are inaccurate in the sense of who was present at Jesus's birth. The Magi's trip was so long that when they arrived in Jerusalem (not Bethlehem), Jesus was a child. Our nativity scenes are actually a representation of the Advent story, which concludes with Epiphany. 

Over time, Epiphany celebrations developed. In the Eastern Orthodox tradition, these festivals featured guests plunging themselves in ice water (now known as Polar Plunges) as a personal reenactment of Jesus's being submerged in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. 

Being celebrated in January, Epiphany is apropos as we begin 2024. Whether or not you subscribe to the Christian faith, some of the takeaways from the history and traditions of Epiphany are useful and worthy of reflection. 

Reclaim your sense of wonder. Wonder is a state of being that, as we get older, seems to fade. Like the Magi, take wonder seriously, as it's often the door of creativity that leads to transformation. Do whatever you need to do to reclaim your sense of wonder, even if it takes a while. One way is to slow down. That way, you can actually recognize the invitation to wonder. Use our 20-Minute Mindfulness Candles to dedicate time each day to practice. 

Come into 2024 with reverent expectancy. Look forward to seeing and experiencing something new this year. Be grateful for the year that's ended because, good or bad, it was a powerful teacher. Our More Than Gratitude Journal can help you capture the good, a practice that, when done regularly, actually changes your brain's wiring - a huge health benefit for body, mind, soul and spirit!

Plunge yourself anew into your passions. It's no wonder that ice swimming - or as we now call it, Cold Water Therapy - is a key part of the tradition of celebrating Epiphany. Re-awaken yourself to what or who you love. This love is the fountain of youth and a major joy-generator.  Try our Sprinkles of Joy card deck, which includes 50 cards of ways to return the spark to your life!

Go on! Start the year off strong, Merry Makers!

P.S. You might want to bring a warm, fuzzy robe with you for the "recovery" part of the Cold Water Therapy. ; )

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