Connecting dots can help us see how to be happier and more fulfilled.
Incan May Pole for ancient Aymara celebration.
Modern May Pole.
These symbols from the past and now represent a prismed reflection of the energy of the sun. Connecting the dots between times now and past can help us broaden our horizons.
May Day is the official Labor Day holiday in Ecuador but the roots of this celebration probably date back to Incan times when after the harboring of corn… the laborers could rest.
Positions of the sun and the crops were the prime motivators of ancient Incan festivals and celebrations.
They tracked the movement of the sun using sophisticated arrays of stone pillars. Their biggest celebration was Inti Raymi, June 24 which in the Incan empire was the winter Solstice.
The Incan calendar, similar to our current calendar with approximately 365 days in the solar year, helped decide when to plant and harvest.
May in the Incan Solar Calendar was the month when corn was harvested and the corn harvest celebration to this day is called the Festival of Aymara.
Then in September the La Jora Festival celebrates the time to plant new corn, beans, chochos, and quinoa.
Float in Cotacachi Ecuador celebrating corn.
Being Irish with a Scottish grandfather and having spent a lot of time on the Isle of Man, I pay special attention to May Day which has its origins in the Celtic festival of Beltane. This ancient festival, often marked by huge bonfires, is celebrated in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man and marks the beginning of summer and end of long nights of winter.
This is a cross-quarter day, marking the midpoint in the Sun’s progress between the spring equinox and summer solstice, or vice versa south of the equator.
May Day celebrations range from the here and now to thousands of years past. Some took weeks. Others are as short as a day. Some are government sanctioned. Others are unofficial. Some are about autumn, others about spring. Some represent flowers… other corn. Yet there are dots of similarity that connect. All are about having trust and faith. These are celebrations acknowledging the fertility of renewal… festivals about sowing and harvesting. These are holidays of thanks for the never ending cycles of life that acknowledge change.
May has always been an important month for me. My first trip out of the US to Hong Kong was in May 1968. Then in May 1971, I was trapped in Singapore when the US dollar was first devalued.
Such events helped broaden my horizons and revealed paths to freedom from any one national mindset. Consequently I try to be more aware of new opportunities created by change around this time.
How can we relate these connections, spot change and see if a shifting tide is important to our unique path?
Everyone probably does this differently, but I’ll share three steps I take that may help shed light on a way to progress to a better life.
First, I have faith. This is really simple. So many religions disagree on so many fundamentals but there is one dot that connects all. They all agree that we should have faith. This is pretty logical actually because we cannot see the future. We have to have faith that it even exists. The more faith we have in positivity… the better life will be. The ancient May Day celebrations are displays of faith and that the sun is dependable… will return… as will the crops. Labor Day in a way is a display of faith that life will get better if we labor.
Second, I search my feelings of fulfillment.
What does fulfilled mean? The dictionary says of Fulfill: satisfying, rewarding, pleasing, gratifying, enjoyable or bring to completion.
Synonyms of Fulfill include: accomplish, achieve, answer, be just the ticket, carry out, comply with, conclude, conform, discharge, do, effect, effectuate, execute, fill, fill the bill, finish, hit the bull’s-eye, implement, keep, make it, make the grade, meet, obey, observe, perfect, perform, please, realize, render, satisfy, score, suffice, suit.
Third, I look for ways that change allows me to interact with the change I see.
Take writing and publishing as an example. I have faith in the importance of communication. I find the process of communication through writing and speaking to be rewarding, pleasing and enjoyable. We are focused on a business based around publishing through new technology.
A recent New York Times article entitled “New Publisher Authors Trust: Themselves” by by Leslie Kaufman supports these thoughts. Here is an excerpt (bolds are mine):
When the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and author David Mamet released his last book, “The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture,” with the Sentinel publishing house in 2011, it sold well enough to make the New York Times best-seller list.
This year, when Mr. Mamet set out to publish his next one, a novella and two short stories about war, he decided to take a very different path: he will self-publish.
“Basically I am doing this because I am a curmudgeon,” Mr. Mamet said in a telephone interview, “and because publishing is like Hollywood — nobody ever does the marketing they promise.”
As digital disruption continues to reshape the publishing market, self-publishing — including distribution digitally or as print on demand — has become more and more popular, and more feasible, with an increasing array of options for anyone with an idea and a keyboard. Most of the attention so far has focused on unknown and unsigned authors who storm onto the best-seller lists through their own ingenuity.
The announcement by ICM and Mr. Mamet suggests that self-publishing will begin to widen its net and become attractive also to more established authors.
Then there is the money. While self-published authors get no advance, they typically receive 70 percent of sales. A standard contract with a traditional house gives an author an advance, and only pays royalties — the standard is 25 percent of digital sales and 7 to 12 percent of the list price for bound books — after the advance is earned back in sales.
For certain clients, Mr. Harris said, self-publishing “returns a degree of control to authors who have been frustrated about how their ideas for marketing and publicity fare at traditional publishers.” Both Mr. Harris and Mr. Mamet said that the big publishers focused mostly on blockbuster books and fell short on other titles — by publishing too few copies, for instance, or limiting advertising to only a short period after a book was released.
Just as May Day heralds the beginning of longer days, examples of established authors who have decided to self publish heralds the beginning of new ways of getting books into the hands of readers.
When growing up in Oregon, we made May Baskets, filled them with flowers and left them on doorsteps.
Here are your May Day flowers. Happy May Day. Gary
On the subject of flowers, you can order Fresh Ecuador roses for Mother’s Day Now. See details here.
How we can help you be Self Fulfilled.
We offer an online course. Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell for $299. Enroll here.
Even Better! We offer a year long program including attendance to a Writer’s Camp. You receive the online course “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell” free and save $299.
New York Times article New Publisher Authors Trust: Themselves