The Mayan Lesson

I am an avid traveler. I prefer to get out of the USA. This has nothing to do with the USA itself. I have seen nearly the entire country before I started traveling international. We have scenic areas that rival any other spot on the planet. If you don’t believe me, go to Yosemite Valley for starters.

When I travel now though, I need to unplug completely. It seems that being out of the country is the only way to do it. Perhaps it is because of the difficulty and expense of telecommunications when you are abroad that makes you feel less accessible.

In January I was in Belize. On one day, we went on tour of the Mayan ruins. It was a long day getting to and from, but that is another story posted on TripAdvisor. The ruins themselves were amazing. The accomplishments of a 3000 year old culture are remarkable. One such accomplishment is their calendar, which has received much press as we are now in its “final” year.

Our guide, who has ties to Mayan ancestry, shared some interesting information and belief regarding the calendar. He told us how everything in Mayan culture was based around cycles. Some of the cycles would play out within a generation, while others would span hundreds of years. He expressed that December 21st of this year was not the end of the Mayan calendar and certainly not the end of the world, but rather an end of a Mayan cycle. With the end of one cycle is the BEGINNING of another. The volatility in our planet is just a plea from her to restore humanity with nature.

I like that for many reasons. Of course I like the part about the planet not exploding. I also like the environmental component. I like the recognition of cycles, or phases – transition. I was never a big fan of believing on some arbitrary date where change will take place. I equate this with a New Year’s Resolution. Why on this day do people believe that they will suddenly have the discipline, courage, tenacity and strength to change their lives? The more I think about though, who cares what the date is or who picked it? The important thing is we embrace the change and see it through.

As a business owner, I have to be mindful of many calendars (cycles). For many of us, we just started our fiscal year, one cycle. We are in the last year of a Presidential term, another cycle. We are on some hill of a recession. I’m not sure what part of the curve, but that’s a cycle as well. These cycles are every bit of Americana cultural game changers. I do not have the luxury of simply throwing my hands in the air when the clock counts down to zero – people would lose their jobs. Rather, I am going to subscribe to the Mayan philosophy and go into this new year seeing these cycles as links in the chain, not the end of our rope.