The hidden gift of November

We have a tendency to skip over November. It has one rather nice American holiday–Thanksgiving. But after all that eating, and even taking a moment to be grateful, November typically gets hustled out of the way. Its primary function, it seems, is to usher in the “real” holidays of December. And there are oodles of them: Hanukkah, Christmas, Eid, Solstice, Kwanzaa…every spiritual tradition has a festival in December.

Why? Why is December celebration central? Because it is the natural culmination of the earth’s life cycle. Solstice marks the longest night of the year, the entrance into death and darkness. And in the cold and the dark, the seed of life is born again. The earth does continue to spin, and as humanity applauds, the sun does indeed rise again to renew the cycle of the seasons. Our ancient ancestors saw this cycle and burned a big fat log on a long cold night to celebrate the earth’s renewal by the light.

We may have forgotten why, but we keep coming together all December long in spiritual and secular celebrations. We give gifts, go to parties, light candles, shop like crazy, eat massive amounts of glorious food; why, some of us even pray.

But what does all this have to do with November? To find the riches buried in November, look at a calendar. Last January, you entered 2010 with new hopes for a better year, right? As winter faded into spring, and spring into summer, did those dreams melt or morph into something else? Are you today, 11 months later, living the life you hoped for on January 1st? Most of us would say no. Some of us would whisper a weak, “Not exactly.” Some of us would scream,”HELL, NO!”

Why? Why, if we have such high hopes on January 1, do we not experience what we want? Kevin Spacey has the answer. Yes, really. Kevin Spacey. Listen to Kevin Spacey for 1 minute 45 seconds. It could be the most important spiritual message you hear all year. Listen

Now, do you see why you aren’t experiencing your January dreams? Because desire is not enough. Dedicating every breath of your body is.

So what does this have to do with November? Everything. November is the cusp month. It is the month when the cold and dark settles in. (At least in the Northern Hemisphere.) In this dark, you stand at the threshold of a big decision. Am I ready to dedicate myself to become the person I’m here to become–not for the “stuff” but for the joy of being my full, authentic, holy self?

When you make that decision, you shift 180 degrees from desire to dedication. In that moment, the Great Paradox springs to life. Jesus and Buddha taught the Great Paradox in remarkably clear and similar language. When you dedicate your whole being to living your divine purpose, the universe has no choice but to provide everything you need–even things you didn’t ask for. It works. Just look at Kevin Spacey.

I made the decision to shift from desire to dedication last November. At the time I had no idea what I was doing, or how profound a step I was taking, or that I was about to stumble headlong into the Great Paradox. I just threw myself into intense daily deep soul writing and spiritual practice in the hopes of fending off bankruptcy. I knew desire alone wasn’t cutting it–that was painfully obvious–but I didn’t know then that dedication was the magic. I didn’t know that making the commitment to achieve the life I’m here to live would not only transform my life, but yours as well.

So I give you the gift of November. (Well, I don’t; Life does.) Take it. Open it. Stare at it. Ask yourself what you really, really want. If it’s a bit more “stuff,” try the popular conception of the Law of Attraction. Maybe it will work for you.

But if you want to play big, if you want to fulfill your soul’s purpose, if you want to make a difference, if you want to bring your gifts to full, vibrant, raucous life… then, recognize this cusp moment of November. Explore it. Write about it. Digest its possibilities. And make your decision.

You have a choice. A sacred choice. You can waltz through December as you always have and see what the new year brings, or you can walk consciously and intentionally through each and every day of December, engaging in spiritual practice and deep soul exploration, and wake with the sun on January 1, knowing you are ready to call in a magical new year.

I’ve made my decision. On November 29, I’m going to begin The Lotus and The Lily telecourse not only as a teacher but as a daily active participant. One year ago, this process changed my life, but I sense there are even more miracles ahead. And I’m ready. I’m ready to say yes to the life I’m here to live, even if I don’t know exactly what that looks like.

Somehow, even though the outcome is unknown, I feel safe and guided. And excited. Like Tony, I’m singing:

Something’s comin;
I don’t know
what it is
but it is
gonna be grand.

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Just what is your “intuition?”


When you get that gut feeling, that knowing, that “intuition” to do something or more frequently not do something, what is sending the message? Is it you or something outside you? And can you trust it?

What has happened to you when you’ve heeded or ignored your intuition?