Happy New Year: Snakes and Ladders or Evolution?

Friends and I were recently discussing the annual craziness of the December festive season and New Year. We were questioning why we, as a society, endorse this annual madness, why we allow the seasonal push and stress and, behind that, what is orchestrating it all.

How strange that so many of us engage in the craziness of the festive season and yet few question either its origin or purpose other than to party hard and perhaps, articulate a couple of New Year resolutions, which are oftentimes broken within a few weeks of making them.

What are we avoiding by participating in this dysfunctional way of celebrating the passing of the old year and the bringing in of the new? What are we creating for ourselves?

As we shared our experiences, I was aware of an image constantly presenting itself for my consideration. The image was of a board game that I, and many others, played in childhood, often during the festive season: the game of Snakes and Ladders.

This is a competitive game of chance and ends when the first person reaches the finish, creating a strong desire to win and beat your opponents by climbing as many ladders as you can, while hoping that you can avoid the snakes.

When seen in this light, the game appears to be ethically rather questionable as a game for children. As a preparation for adulthood, it unfortunately brings a rather too accurate mirror of life of many segments of our society, and has a particular relevance to what happens at the start of each New Year.

The energy of competitive pushing, of winners and losers, of climbing ‘lucky’ ladders to beat opponents and avoiding ‘unlucky’ snakes for oneself, while hoping that opponents are caught by them instead, the adrenalin rush, the competitive edge – it’s all there! So exciting… so ugly.

Is this ugliness what we avoid being aware of as we claim to be letting go of the old and bringing in the new? That we have lived another year and we, in ourselves, have changed not a jot and that, in effect, we are ringing out the old and ringing in the… old, so it’s all… old?

Does our maladaptive end of year behaviour simply set us up for yet another annual game of Snakes and Ladders? Could our New Year greeting be more accurately articulated as “Happy Old Year?”

A common image of the turn of the year is often that of a seriously stooped over old man with a walking stick, giving way to a newborn baby, a symbol of hope. But by the end of the year, the baby always looks the same and has become the seriously stooped over old man again. Evidently, hope changes nothing.

Letting go of the old… and ringing in the new.

So what would make a lasting change?

What would make a change where we could honestly look ourselves in the eye and know for sure that we have evolved, that we are entering a new year cycle and that, in truth, not only as Einstein asserted “God does not play dice with the Universe”, we do not have to either.

The only true source for change and evolution I have found in the five decades of my life is that presented by Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.

Universal Medicine presents that each year is an opportunity for us to acknowledge where we are as a marker, a reference point if you will, of our energetic development as a loving human being. It is a time to reflect on how we have deepened in our expression of love for ourselves and for others.

How much more of myself have I expressed this year and shared this expression with everyone, so that we are all more? To what extent have I accepted the expressions of love offered to me by others? These are questions I choose to ask myself.

Moreover, Universal Medicine presents that each year has its own specific quality of energy to which we can align, if that is our choice.

The choice to align with this energy places one’s personal rhythms within a larger context, which encompasses us all.

I feel a strong sense of purpose with this. I feel in this a connection with my fellow human beings, all seven billion of us, a connection that is decidedly absent in competitive situations where there has to be a winner and many, many losers.

In the Universal Medicine paradigm, we are all offered the same choices in complete equality.

As I see it, the choices for me are quite simple:

  • “Snakes and Ladders,” or a continued expansion of myself in love.
  • A game of apparent chance, with snakes, or a life with purpose and connection with everyone.
  • Celebrating a new inclusive, expansive cycle, while building upon the passing cycle, or “Happy Old Year.”

In a very literal sense, this is for me definitely a ‘no brainer.’

For me, the only way worthy of my consideration is the way set forth by Universal Medicine and its main presenter, Serge Benhayon.

So… Snakes and Ladders or Evolution? Happy New Year!

By Coleen Hensey, BA ( Hons ), Teacher, Qld, Australia.

551 thoughts on “Happy New Year: Snakes and Ladders or Evolution?

  1. After pondering and appreciating the wisdom in your blog I felt to share this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt “Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be.”

  2. If we would truly enjoy the end of a cycle starting a new cycle and choose evolution in our lives, why everyone is telling me they are so happy that everything is back to normal..has anything truly changed? True change is a choice from within to evolve and let love into our lives.

  3. So wisely shared Coleen. Being aware of the cycles that we are intrinsically all a part of it is not only empowering abut also very healing. For if we are willing to be honest with ourselves and embrace truth, we will discover that the end and beginning of each year offers us a great opportunity to take stock of the quality of the momentums in which we have lived for ourselves and with others, and what is and what is not supporting us to live all that we truly and Soulfully are. A powerful opportunity to consolidate all that is love, and let go of that which does not belong to love.

  4. How different life would be for us all if we were taught from a young age about the 2 different energies and how we can either align to spirit or Soul. The choice we make to align to Soul allows us the space to truly evolve whereas the other energy we get caught in the game of life and the many traps that can come with this that offers no true healing or evolution whatsoever.

  5. Snakes and ladders or evolution? The choice is simple really and the choice is always ours. I love what you have exposed here Coleen, thank you.

  6. Reading this on “Valentine’s Day”. Exactly the same relevance. Why one day when we love more than others – which is basically saying that for 364 days a year, I’m going to be less than who I truly am.

  7. While cleaning my house the other day I was thinking how this is a forever job that never stops. Feeling very open and content to be cleaning my house I pondered on how this isn’t always the case, and in this how I miss the point of what is offered by it being a never ending job that continually comes back around offering me the opportunity to move and be with the job differently. Cycles are incredible when we take what they offer and that is to continually evolve.

  8. Within humanity not everybody celebrates the New year on December 31, January 1 (the Muslims, the Jews, the Chinese – maybe more that I am not aware of- celebrate it on a different date and have their own year number). The way of celebrating the new year is by no means universal either. In spite of that, there is no restriction for anybody to live the new year as a marker of a cycle that starts, which offers particular opportunities for evolution.

  9. Thank you Coleen, New year for me is a time to reflect on the year gone by and note where I am at, and at the same time knowing that I am ready for whatever the new year brings, because if we are living with our awareness we are already preparing for what is coming in the future.

  10. The ending of one cycle and the beginning of another affords us the opportunity to evaluate that which has allowed us to expand and evolve and that which has retarded us and kept us small. It is a juncture where we can choose to let go of what has not served us and to build and expand further what did serve us, or we can ignore the blessing that each new cycle offers us…the choice is ours.

  11. Our life is a continuum of cycles ending and new cycles beginning whether that be each day, week, month, year, decade, seasons etc which affords us opportunities on a regular basis to assess our way of living .

  12. As humans we appear to be very good at putting things behind us and not looking back at them in the sense that we do not carefully tie any loose ends. It seems that rather than learn from our mistakes, we would rather leave them behind dangling in the wind and hope that if we do not see them, they will simply go away. This is why we all go a bit loopy at the end of the year because we know that what we have left unresolved will only come back at twice the intensity the next loop around and we are hoping that our chosen ignorance will alleviate us of this occurring, which it does not.

    1. Great awareness about ‘loopy’ Liane. We live in loops or cycles as you say, and therefore in every loop we are confronted with our choices, which, even if we are desperately trying not to feel, our sensitivity cannot fail to feel them. If we are not prepared to be honest with ourselves and accept there are different choices to be made for most of us, the strength of force we need to call in to resist our sensitivity is enough to send anyone loopy.

  13. Thank you for the invitation to reflect on the way to ensure evolution rather than an automatic replay of the old cycle. How absurd is it that we spend so much time and effort in working out how to beat others and become the winners in life, whilst we could focus on living differently. We have the opportunity to wisely observe, acknowledge and learn from our experiences, keep deepenening our love and awareness and to constantly evolve.

  14. I feel the reason why people keep getting continue to be sucked into to the Christmas celebration is their desperate craving to fill the emptiness in their life, which does not get filled and hence the ever more excessive indulgence in distraction. The evolution offered by Universal Medicine and all that Serge Benhayon presents is an alternative that does eliminates the emptiness and every day becomes a celebration.

  15. The way I see snakes and ladders relates to life is that we give our power away to life and let it govern us rather than being empowered and taking charge of our lives. It’s not a lucky chance if we go up a ladder or down a snake, it’s down to our choices before hand. And why wait to randomly land on a ladder? Why not set about building your own ladder?

  16. I have not seen the image of the New Year as the old stooped man bringing in the baby. It does conjure up the idea that we have a fresh start each year, which in some ways is true, but we need to be aware that we still carry the old man with us. Whatever is undealt with comes through with us each year. The baby might appear to be fresh and new but its really just the old man reincarnating again, bound to make the same choices over and over until we choose a deeper awareness and self-responsibility

  17. I have often pondered on what creates the “silly season”. Every year it is the same thing in the construction industry – a mad panic leading up to Xmas, where the world is going to end if we don’t complete something, and then, suddenly it is all over, the new year arrives, and it is all back to normal as though nothing happened. It is almost as though we need to complete certain things in order to feel like we have earned a break, or as though we need to rush at the end of the year to make up for the loss of productivity during the rest of the year. After all, if Xmas is a truly important deadline for whatever reason, then why not plan for that earlier and work steadily towards it. That, unfortunately, does not seem to be the way of things, preferring as we do the anxious rush of the hare, rather than the methodical and rhythmic gait of the tortoise.

  18. Our daily lives are full of opportunities or ladders to step up our evolution or, the slippery slope of the snake that drops us down.

  19. Yeah Snakes and Ladders feels like the big game we play with each other and ourselves to keep us in a cycle – a rollercoaster of getting somewhere and then taking a few steps back rather than seeing what is next all of the time.

  20. Life is so pitched in this way of constantly pushing and trying to ‘improve’ or make things better. Sometimes the greatest blessings in life come when the slate is cleared and you are given the space to truly let go of past patterns, of drive and to return to a greater truth within you.

  21. Your blog highlights the normal inconsistency of ups and downs many of us call “human life”. This inconsistency is considered normal but does it have to be so? There is never any true enjoyment of life in general when we have said yes to the ups and downs because there are issues and problems that we have accepted are part and parcel of the package life brings. It was not until I met Serge Benhayon that it was soon evident there was in fact a true and consistent way of life that could be lived if we are willing to be deeply and responsible with our choices.

  22. I vaguely remember playing the game or snakes and ladders as a kid. You defiantly took more from it than I did though, haha. I am pretty into games when I am in the mood, I enjoy playing them with my kids, chess, cards, checkers, especially around the holidays, in saying that though I still take each year to reflect, grow and evolve thanks to my involvement in Universal Medicine.

  23. I agree – in most (if not all) “games” we entertain ourselves with in various forms, be it board game, video game, sport – it is all about beating another. How did we end up calling that formula ‘fun’?

  24. As the new year begins there is a sense of a new start, new year resolution are often made only to fall by the wayside as habits and patterns come back into play, the ending of the year offers us an opportunity to review the past year and with self responsibility we have the power to make true and lasting changes leaving ways of being that are no longer who we are, behind, this actually is offered on a daily basis as well as each moment.

    1. Exactly what I was feeling as I read this blog Jill. We have an opportunity to start afresh at the end of any cycle, and in truth, we do not have to wait more than a moment to choose to re imprint what we are doing. A year is a great time though to have a stocktake and see how much we have allowed ourselves to evolve.

  25. New Year resolutions are very difficult to accomplish. They are generated by someone who is engaged in a specific pattern of movements who ends up defeating them as it keeps moving in the same way.

    1. Very true Eduardo. It certainly is a game changer when we bring our awareness to our connection to the love we are within, and to feel and discern whether the quality of our movements are of this love or of another energy.

  26. Someone from my family recently said to me I must have hope in life. I firmly and strongly said No. There was a slight reaction in my answer because of the discomfort felt in knowing that hope is false, it feels like a soothing over what we do not want to take responsibility for, but also because it hurts to see others believe and rely so strongly on hope, and would that not be lying to themselves all their lives? The reaction comes from being sympathetic which is not love, with certain people in my life. There needs not be any sympathy when we simply express the truth honestly and equally to all people, I cannot change how another choose, but I can deal with the reflection of not lying to myself any longer and choose to live truth, with blood family and beyond.

  27. You raise some great points to reflect on Coleen. It’s so very true just how unprepared we are to really consider moving forward with the opportunity we get to re-imprint a new cycle each new year. We make it look like we are doing ‘new things’, but we are inevitably just band-aiding things that we don’t want to look at, without actually letting anything go, hence New Years resolutions – that if we were really honest about, we’d acknowledge just how purposeless they are.

  28. So many people focus on making new year’s resolutions and within a few weeks they have been broken or forgotten about. If more began to be aware of the cycles we live in and took more responsibility with this we can begin to make more true and lasting changes that evolve us instead of stunting us.

  29. “Happy old year” is a great way to put it as we prepare to do the same behaviours and habits and actions as we’ve done for aeons in a new cycle. Our yearly cycle is very much reflective of our daily life, every day we have the option to evolve, learn and grow, it’s whether we approach each day knowing it’s a golden opportunity or whether we just approach it as another day.

  30. I could say even as a child I was not into Christmas. Yes I did like my toys and I did like the time of year but it wasn’t because it was Christmas, it was because I loved being with people and Christmas was an opportunity for this to happen. So why do we have to have an excuse to celebrate one another? Why can’t we celebrate each other throughout the year and not in particular at Christmas time?

  31. When looked at in this way, our own successes are based on the comparison with others. Did we win the game because others got more snakes than us and less ladders and therefore we are doing ok? When it comes to evolution, it is not a game of comparison but is something deeply personal.

  32. The New Year has been seen as a marker of advancing time, the next step along the line. Taken like this it’s quite easy to forget that actually nothing is really changing except perhaps the wrinkles on our faces and other superficial markers we use to place ourselves. But if we consider that time is cyclical and that January 1st marks the return to the same point we were at 12 months ago, we can start to feel that we don’t go anywhere in time, but that time comes to us. Every new day offers us a point of reflection as to how we were the last time it came around and we can align to the support the quality of energy each date brings to support our commitment to evolve – spherically.

  33. What really stood out for me in this blog is to deeply consider what it is to be connected to 7 billion of humanity – our brothers. How does that feel? It’s my responsibility to know what that feels like. How do I remain open to everyone no matter what their choice is? How do you let them in and know their equalness and what they align to is the only difference.

  34. It is great to consider, ponder or reflect on things that we have just taken on as being ‘life’ and not really essentially made a choice on what we would like to see, or more so not clearly felt, where we are needing to be. We could put the end and start of the year into this box. We often follow what those have done before without questioning the quality it was done in. This period is an important one to look at because it does give us the forever chance to bring something new into the new year and leave something old in the old year. It’s not that truly anything is old or new but it’s the quality of choice we carry as a momentum into the phase of ‘life’ that I am talking about. When I read articles like this it turns my awareness on of how I am looking at things and reflect on my choices, which is a great thing.

  35. We honestly are offered every opportunity to evolve and it is awe-inspiring to feel just how supported we are if we are open to it. With every year that passes we are presented a marker offering us the opportunity to reflect on the way we have live, what we have aligned to and honor the truth of whether this has support us to live all that we are here to live. As it is only through saying ‘yes’ to evolution that we are able to discard what is not us, in order to embrace and bring more of who we are to life.

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