My January Ritual
While I usually do this ritual on New Years Eve, sometimes I do this in early January to set the stage for the new year. Doing this mid-month gives me a chance to settle down from the new year hoopla.
- Burning Bowl: This is about letting things go. I write down everything I want to let go of from the previous year. Experiences, people, feelings, regrets, memories, attachments… I throw all that energy on paper and then I burn it. Sometimes I write it as a final venting session for the year. Sometimes I write it lovingly as I bid the things farewell. I don’t want to carry any of that energy forward, so I always do this part first.
- Gratitude Challenge: Now that my head is clear, I write down 100 things in my life that I am grateful for. Finding 100 things stretches me to look deeper into my world and reminds me not to take anything for granted. It also puts my mind in the right place; energized, open and receptive to more!
- Accomplishments: Next I list out what I want to accomplish. I’m very specific with the accomplishments; i.e., “I will take ten private golf lessons” or “I will publish 2 blogs every month”. I try to hit all areas of my life, finances, career, hobbies, spiritual practice, health. I’m working on adding in some big, “scary” accomplishments to keep stretching me as well.
- Experiences: Next I consider what I want to experience. I list out where I want to focus my time, resources and energy. This year I included things like stand up paddleboarding, private lessons, and cooking at home.
- Manifestation Letter: This is my favorite part! I write a letter as if I were writing it on December 31st, reflecting back on all the amazing things that happened in my life over the last year. I write it as if it had happened exactly as I desire. And I write it with glorious emotion and vibrant gratitude. Every year, I write a manifestation letter and on December 31st, I read what I wrote 12 months earlier. It’s stunning how much of it reflects what actually happened in my life – even when I wrote about things I didn’t think were quite possible for me.
Another favorite part is keeping track of what actually happens during the year.
- I keep track of what I actually accomplished and experienced throughout the year. At the end of the year, it’s interesting to see the things I anticipated and sought after… and then the surprise gifts that fell into my lap along the way.
- Perhaps the most valuable part of the process…. “What I learned in 2016”. This is a file I keep on my desktop because I add to it throughout the year. Anytime I have a good “learning experience”, epiphany, or insight that’s worth remembering, I add it to the list. All my wisdom in one place. 🙂
Although I’ve been somewhat sporadic and inconsistent over the years, this year I realized I’m coming into a time when some of my richest and most valuable experiences are starting to occur. If I do this every year until I’m 90, I’ll have some damn good reading to reflect back on in my old age. Happy New Year.