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Karma Cleanser 

Dear Karma Cleanser:
Is there a time of the year when karma becomes more prevalent in our lives? It always seems that during December something strange happens, and all my past hopes and dreams and disappointments of the year come back into my life. At the beginning of the month, I ran into someone I had dated for a short span during the spring, and we had a really good time together. It made me nostalgic for what we had together, though my brain tells me that we are not meant to be together.

The next week, I ran into a former friend, someone I'd had a pretty ugly falling out with during the month of February. The meeting was awkward and a little forced at first. But then she apologized for the shitty things she did to me. We may actually become friends again.

I don't know, I'm probably looking for a pattern that isn't there. But it seems like every year around the holidays, the universe starts talking to me. Why is that?-- Seasonal Affective Reorder

It's not just in your head. People do get funny at the closing of the year, and it ain't just a Judeo-Christian thing. Consider the celebration of the Winter Solstice, which calls for reflection and renewal. Maybe it's nature's way of righting itself, even if concepts like dates and calendars are human constructions. We say, "Embrace the spirit of reconciliation." If karma has chosen the Kwanzaa/Christmas/Hanukkah/Festivus season to show itself in your life, just go with it.

Dear Karma Cleanser:
Six years of therapy and two-week-long spirit retreats have proven to me that my karma must be seriously fucked. I attract the same dead-end relationships time and time again, partners who bulldoze my life and leave me feeling worthless.

I've read a lot of self-help books and go to yoga every week. But I'm still not connecting with this larger concept of soul that everyone around me seems to just get.

I don't want to imply that I'm giving up here. But I'm giving in, if you know what I mean by that. The bulldozers have got to stop, one way or another.

What am I doing wrong?-- Sick of It All

Three years of writing this column and a decade of reading those same kinds of books have proven to us that there is no one answer to your problem. Most of the spirituality/self-help literature out there honestly sucks. That said, you might consider taking a peek at Oriah Mountain Dreamer's latest, The Call, which includes a fascinating argument for what she calls "not doing." Hope that helps.

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