As we round the corner into the next decade (Can you believe it’s 2020?) I want to share one of my favorite ways to say goodbye to the current year and welcome in the new one.
This has been my New Year’s Ritual for 12 years, and it is also a wonderful practice for any big change or transitions in your life.
I was first introduced to this process on a New Year’s Visioning Retreat about 12 years ago, and have used it with amazing results ever since.
Here’s what you need:
- At least 3 pieces of paper, loose or in a journal.
- A pen
- Time. I usually take at least 1-2 hours because I love the process, but you could do the whole thing in 15 minutes if you don’t have that much time.
Here’s what you do…
1) Appreciate the current year.
What were your blessings in 2019 (or from whatever you’re leaving if you’re using this for another transition like a job change, move, or new relationship)?
What did you love or appreciate about this year? Did any new people come into your life? Did you receive support in any form? Did you start anything new? What did you learn about yourself or your life? What else? Take as much time as you want to savor and write down every little blessing you can remember.
This is my favorite part of the process because it gives me time to integrate and appreciate so many things I may have forgotten or taken for granted. There are always so many more blessings than I am aware of and it feels good to remember and honor them, and my growth in experiencing them.
This is especially helpful if you’re in a place of feeling despair, anger, or fear about your life or symptoms. We can easily get so focused on what’s not working…especially if we’re experiencing pain or loss. There are usually blessings even alongside the pain or loss, and it is such a gift to give yourself the time to notice and appreciate them.
2) Let go of what you are leaving behind.
This is usually pretty easy and can feel very empowering!
What are you ready to let go of? Write it all down. Your symptoms, unsupportive relationships or patterns like worry, obsessing, or self-criticism? What else?
If you have the opportunity to symbolically throw this list into a New Year’s bonfire or shred it in a paper shredder, even better, but it’s not necessary. You can also rip it up and throw it in the trash, or save it to review at the end of next year to see how you did.
3) What would you love to create in 2020?
You’re going to connect to your magical inner goddess, and exercise your ability to create with your intention and desire. One key to doing this is to focus more on what you desire than on what you don’t want. The other is to have fun!
Don’t take this step seriously. Just give yourself permission to dream and play. What would you create this year if you knew you could have whatever you wanted? What’s your heart’s desire? Connect to your heart and write whatever comes to your mind. Then let it go. But make sure to save your paper somewhere that you can take it out and look at it at the end of the year.
The first time I completed this practice, I had two wildly improbable desires on my list. The first was to take a trip to Hawaii with my daughter. The second was to swim with dolphins. At the time, as a single parent, living in upstate New York, it really didn’t seem likely, but I just allowed myself to imagine how fun it would be. Then I forgot about it.
Two days later, my mother called to ask if she could take us to Disney World. We had never talked about going to Disney, and she had never taken us on a trip before. Imagine my surprise when we walked into our room in the “Hawaii” building at Disney’s Polynesian Resort! Who knew you could go to Hawaii in Disney World? Oh, and while we were there, we swam with dolphins and went to a luau!
You never know how the universe may surprise and delight you. So, if you could experience anything this year, what would it be?
Enjoy your last week of 2019! I’d love to hear how your ritual goes if you decide to give it a try.