An At-Home New Year Ritual

The dawn of a new year is always a potent time to reflect on what’s working in our lives, and to actively let go of what has served its time.  

What dreams are perched in your awareness, ready to jump into full-winged flight?

What are you opening your inner doors to right now? 

What doors are you ready to close?

In my work with clients, I’m always moved by the power of ritual to jump-start healing and inspire new rhythms and priorities. Rituals take us out of our logical mind and into the creative realm, where the subconscious has more influence.

Below, I share a simple ritual you can use to empower your New Year’s intentions and enlist your whole self in creating what you wish for.  

(Want some group momentum to unleash your New Year vision? There are 2 seats left for A Simple Start: A Week of Ayurveda to Renew Yourself, beginning Jan. 4 in Durham, NC – and just a handful of seats left for the interactive online option…. Is one of those seats yours??)

As you read through the ritual below, if something in it intrigues you, if a little spark lights up inside, ACT on that spark right now – go look at your calendar and write in when you will make this ritual happen. So often, we quietly disregard that impulse that knows what we need when we see it. When you start acting on it, your whole life changes.

A New Year’s Ritual for Healing

Set aside at least 30 minutes, and bring along a journal and a candle.

  1. Create a “liminal time” boundary.  Do what you need to in order to be undisturbed. “Liminal” refers to the “space in between.” To help create a boundary around this threshold time, you might go away from the distractions of home, or enclose yourself in a sacred place, and turn off your connections to the outside world.
  2. Invite the Divine. Call to your sense of a higher power, or Mother Nature, or your highest Self to draw close. Light the candle and make your invitation out loud. You might say something like, “Be with me Goddess, as I step into this threshold space and prepare for the year ahead.”
  3. Reflect. Look back over the last year and ask, “What were the 3 to 5 high points of my year?” Don’t stress over picking the perfect 5 events or moments – just let them come naturally into your awareness. Write down a few sentences about each event and WHY it was a high point. Focus on how you FELT during those moments – in your body, in your heart, in your spirit.
  4. Cast your senses forward.  Now ask yourself, “How would I like to feel during this next year?” Consider how you want to feel in your physical body as well as your emotional body. Don’t worry about why or how you’ll get these feelings – just get clear on the feelings themselves. Write down the words that come to you to describe the sensations, the thoughts, the textures, the vibrations of these desired feelings.
  5. Conjure and enjoy.  Breathe in these feelings now, in the present moment. Allow yourself to recreate these feelings in all their richness in your imagination. Let your body and mind expand into a vivid daydream of what you desire to feel. Take at least 5 full minutes (or longer!) to dwell in the experience.
  6. Trust and let go of the details. Take 3 slow, deep breaths into your belly. Repeat three times, “May my body, mind and spirit open to receive this goodness in the year ahead.” Smile. Extinguish the candle by waving your hand, pinching the flame, or using a snuffer (not your own breath). 

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