New Year’s Eve is seen by many as the ultimate celebration of the year. Certainly where I come from, Christmas is a time to spend with family and New Year’s Eve is a time to party like there’s no tomorrow!
But it’s also the perfect time for reflection – to appreciate how far we’ve come and set intentions for where we’re going. Because, no matter who we are or what we do in our lives, we’re all on a journey and everything is constantly changing.
You might like to take some time out this festive season to turn your gaze inwards and focus on yourself, so you can start the year with a fresh perspective from a grounded and peaceful place. Below are some suggestions for new year’s rituals to follow, but feel free to adapt them to your own liking.
Time of reflection
Allow yourself some well-earned “me time”. You might like to set the mood by burning a candle, lighting some incense or playing calming music.
Take a notebook or piece of paper and write down all the good things that have happened this year – I guarantee there will be more than you think! Consider all the places you’ve been, things you’ve done and people you’ve met. Include achievements, blessings, funny moments and happy times. You can include sad times and struggles too, but make sure you recognise what lessons they taught you, as every hardship always has a silver lining or hidden blessing.
This ritual is a great way to remember all the positives from the year – like writing a huge gratitude list. It will show you how much you’ve grown and remind you how far you’ve come on your path.
Letting it all go
Now spend some time thinking about everything you want to leave behind as you enter the new year. Write down all the bad habits, limiting beliefs or unhelpful patterns of behaviour you want to be free of. If you have any regrets include them here, as it’s far healthier to let them go than to cling on to them unnecessarily. You can’t change what’s happened in the past but you can change your attitude and perspective of it.
You might want to stop smoking or change bad eating habits, reduce obsessive or disruptive thoughts, give up swearing, stop being hard on yourself, spend less time on Facebook or practise being less angry, jealous, anxious or fearful. Using the year in review exercise above can be a great starting point to recognise what you want to leave behind, or this can also be done as a standalone ritual.
You can write your list on a single sheet of paper, or use small pieces of paper and write one item on each. When you’ve finished, either ceremoniously tear the paper up into tiny pieces or burn the bits of paper one by one, focusing your attention on each item and then really letting them go.
Instead of setting well-intentioned but often unachievable new year’s resolutions which get forgotten by the end of January, try to manifest greatness for the year ahead. Take another sheet of paper, or a notebook, and write down everything you want to create or manifest during the year. This is best done as a stream of consciousness, so write whatever comes to mind. Be specific, get creative and think big!
The important things to remember here are to make your goals realistic and achievable, but don’t be afraid of being greedy. Your list should be written in the present tense so you can imagine you’re already living your dreams, e.g. “I am in a loving, supportive relationship with someone who appreciates me for who I am, allowing us to grow and flourish together.”
Keep your list somewhere sacred or display it in a place you see every day. Review it frequently throughout the year and keep manifesting your desires, adding to the list whenever you need to. The more attention and positive feelings you give to your dreams, the more likely they are to come true.
Jar of gratitude
Throughout the year, notice all the good things that happen in your life, no matter how small. They could be significant events like a new relationship or promotion, or more subtle occurrences, such as a pleasant compliment or an act of kindness from a friend. Write them on pieces of paper or collect souvenirs and symbolic pictures to remind you of them. Find a jar or box to keep them in and feel gratitude every time you add to it.
Notice when you add something to your gratitude jar that’s related to your list of desires above, and feel extra thankful for your powers of manifestation. Don’t be discouraged or get downhearted if something doesn’t go the right way or manifest as quickly as you’d like; just keep focussing on what you want rather than what you’re lacking and it’ll come to you eventually.
At the end of the year you can open your jar and have a wonderful reminder of all the great events, achievements and high points you’ve experienced throughout the year. As New Year’s Eve approaches you can then use your gratitude jar to create your year in review list and start the cycle all over again.
Wishing all beings everywhere a happy and prosperous 2015.