I hope you’re feeling refreshed and renewed as we enter into this new year. If you aren’t, that’s ok too. The holidays often serve as mile markers that remind us of time passed and where we are in the grand scheme of things. And, we’re not always happy with where we are.
That’s ok because it can be an indication that we need to change something that’s not working in our lives or grieve something that was lost (e.g., a person, a relationship, a job, a dream, or expectation).
Allowing yourself to consciously grieve is critical. Our feelings can point to valuable insights and when we’re dismissive, we miss the gift. Being present with our feelings also helps us complete and release them, which makes space for new growth and creation. The goal is to have the feelings but to build enough resilience to not be consumed by them. We achieve this through self-regulation (self-soothing) and co-regulation (outside support).
But it’s also important to give attention to our wins. Particularly for those of us who are self-critical, we can fall into the trap of focusing too much on our failures and not giving enough mental real estate to our successes.
Listen to your inner monologue. Is it warm and supportive and compassionate? For most of us, it skews negative. How often do you clock your wins or give yourself credit? Our self-talk is so quick to shame and judge. Some of it is the result of subconscious conditioning and messages we’ve internalized since early childhood. Just becoming aware of this can be life-changing, especially, if you use the awareness to change how you talk to and treat yourself.
It’s in that spirit that I want to share the following New Year’s Honoring Ceremony with you.
You'll need two pieces of paper, a candle, and a small crystal.
On the first paper:
Make a list of the things you’re grieving: unfulfilled goals or wishes, the losses of the past year.
Light a candle to honor the loss, yourself, and your feelings. When choosing your candle consider how much time you need for this process. You are creating a sacred space and time for yourself that begins with the lighting of the candle and ends when it can't burn any longer.
Compassionately be with your feelings as the candle burns. Allow yourself to feel and breathe without shaming. Engage in self-care and self-soothing around whatever comes up. This is a time to be caring, gentle, and kind with yourself.
When the candle burns out, rip up the sheet of paper up and bury it in the soil. This way the losses of last year become the compost that nourishes what comes to fruition next. In this way, we honor the cycle of life and allow what is released to feed our growth.
On the second paper:
Make a list of the last year's wins: things you accomplished, unexpected silver linings, the good things that happened, intentions that got fulfilled, etc.
Get a small crystal, rock, or stone…something from the mineral world. Minerals, especially crystals hold and attract energy. (you can order one from me and I’ll send it to you).
Look at your list and go into the experience of how it felt to receive or achieve each thing. Savor the feeling of each success.
Using your breath as a vessel, exhale your good-feeling energy into the crystal.
It will now hold that energy of your success, so you can now come back to it and access it at any time. Put it in your bedroom or work area as a reminder and celebration of your successes. Place your list of wins under your crystal. Use this as a way to attract more success!
This simple practice is a great way to honor your wins and losses for the previous year. By recognizing and releasing what no longer serves us, we create the space and resource for a greater good to enter our lives. Wishing you a healthy, peaceful, and prosperous year ahead!