As one year comes to an end and we look towards the future, it can become easy to focus all our energy on the opportunity and excitement a fresh start brings. While there may be many situations and relationships we are eager to leave behind, it’s important that we use this transition period also as a time to reflect – on both the positive and the negative – to help us inform how we move forward. This new year ritual is a great way to celebrate the year just gone as we prepare for the new year ahead. You may want to do this ceremony alone, or you can invite a close circle of friends and family to join you.
Note: If you’re not as ‘woo woo’ as me, you can still gain a lot from this ritual! Simply do the work of writing the lists and skip out on the rest 😉
You will need:
- A pen and some paper
- A cauldron or ceramic dish (I have this one)
- Matches or a lighter
- Palo santo* or any other wood for the fire
- A space where you will not be disturbed
- At least 30 minutes – but the longer you have the better! Why not make an evening of it?
Step 1: Centring
Before you begin, turn your phone off, remove any distractions and let others in your household know not to disturb you. Bring all your materials within arms reach, get comfortable and take some time to centre yourself in the space. You can do your favourite meditation, or simply close your eyes and take a few deep breaths until you feel calm and clear minded. Then you’re ready to begin!
Step 2: Achievements
Think back over the last 12 months and write a list of all your achievements. If you get stuck or don’t know where to begin, you can start with ‘small’ achievements like hosting a dinner party for friends, clearing out the cupboard of doom (we all have one!), trying out that new fitness class and so on. Once you get into the rhythm you’ll find that you remember more and more things to be proud of. Keep going and write as much as you can. Once you’ve finished, read back over your achievements and circle those which are special and most meaningful to you. Take some time to really remember them, call back those memories – how did you feel at the time? Who were you with? How did you celebrate? And if you didn’t take the time to celebrate then…celebrate now!
Step 3: Goodbye
Now starting on a new sheet of paper, list down everything you want to leave behind in 2018. This could include setbacks, difficult situations and events, but also relationships and beliefs which are no longer serving you. Remember to write the list with no judgement on yourself or others, and try not to focus on the details and intricacies of each setback, relationship or belief. By writing this list, you’re not wishing anyone any harm, simply being clear on what is no longer serving your highest good and, therefore, has no place in your life.
Step 4: Hello!
Again on a new sheet of paper, write a list of what you would like to create in the new year. This can be in the form of new habits, affirmations, actions you want to take or simply words such as ‘love’ that you want more of. A great way to start is to look at the items on your ‘Goodbye’ list and convert them into positives. For example, if there was a particular setback you experienced, what caused it and is the opposite of the cause something you would like more of in the new year? Perhaps you experienced a setback caused by someone not listening to you, so in the new year, you want to be more vocal. Or maybe you experienced some financial difficulties which are tied to a belief that you’re not deserving. You could turn this into an affirmation ‘I am open to receive all the gifts the universe has for me’.
Step 5: Ceremony
Start a small fire in your cauldron or ceramic dish (make sure you’re in a well ventilated area!). Taking the ‘Goodbye’ list, read through the list one more time. Thank the universe – or God, or whoever is right for you – for each of these events, relationships and beliefs. Give thanks for what they have taught you and for the fact that they have brought you to this point in your journey. Give yourself permission to release any pain associated with the items on this list. Give yourself permission to forgive any others who contributed to the items on the list. Tear the paper up into small pieces and scatter them on the fire, symbolising your release of everything on the list. Take your ‘Hello!’ list and read through it, committing yourself to what is listed.
Step 6: Closing
Allow the fire to burn out. Close the ceremony with another meditation or by again closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths. Take your ‘Achievements’ and ‘Hello!’ lists and stick them somewhere you will see them everyday. This is to remind yourself of:
- How awesome you are and how far you’ve come already
- What you want to create more of in your life. This can be a helpful tool when you’re finding a decision difficult to make – check it against this list and see if it aligns
Once you’ve completed the ritual, let me know! How was it? Did you do anything differently? I always love to hear your feedback
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