We have many ways of marking our lives in meaningful ways.
As a ritualist, I find ways to ritualize many things in my life and relationships. I find the New Year to be an introspective holiday, although a good party is definitely welcome fun!
We’re almost done with January but it is not too late for you to find a way to ritualize it for yourself and make it meaningful on an internal level. If you have a partner, good friend or group of people you’d like to share this with, community is wonderful to include in such introspection.
That might mean taking a walk in nature and revisiting the important, difficult and memorable moments of your past year. It might mean doing some writing to take stock of its gifts, bid it farewell, and open to the coming year. It might mean sitting in meditation and allowing what needs to come through to reveal itself.
However you celebrate and however hard you party, I encourage you to take some time to reflect on your life and all of its gifts as the year turns.
I do not suggest resolutions.
Goals are great, but make them things you are really ready to commit to in the new year. If they include things like losing weight, working out, or communicating better, be sure you are clear about just how far you can realistically take that goal this year. When we set the bar too high, we end up feeling bad about ourselves when we aren’t able to meet it.
Here is a little ritual you can try for yourself alone, or with friends:
New Year’s Ritual
1. Create an altar–use some special cloth and place a few special items, photos, art or whatever you want to make the altar special. Anything goes.
2. Each person brings a candle to represent illumination of what needs light at this time in life.
3. Welcome the participants and/or spirits if you believe they are there with you.
4. Each person names one energy they are welcoming into their life as they light their candle. (love, peace of mind, a new relationship/job/project, clarity, financial abundance, etc.) Go around the circle and have each person do this.
5. Take time to meditate on the last year. Some questions to ponder:
- What are you grateful for in 2021?
- What was magical about 2021?
- How did you grow?
- Think about your growth in the following areas: physically, emotionally, mentally/intellectually, spiritually, sexually, financially, and socially. How do you envision yourself in each area in 2022?
- What are you ready to let go of and leave in 2021?
- What do you want to invite into your life in 2022?
- What have you learned from this past year or what insights do you have about it?
- What do you want to see in the world in the coming year? How will you work towards that goal?
You can do this in silence or with music and it might help to say the questions out loud if you are with others to guide them, or to write them down where people can see them. If you choose to guide others in meditation be sure to go slowly and give them time to take in and meditate on each question or piece of guidance.
6. Free write your insights. Take time to write these things down once you have meditated on these questions.
7. If in a group, each person can take time to share what they’d like to share. Ask them to include at least one wish bigger than themselves, more of a humanity or worldly wish.
8. Take a moment of silence at the end to consciously let all of what was said have space to settle into your cells and your consciousness. Breathe it into your body and mind.
9. Each person can blow or snuff out their candle, noting one thing they leave in 2021.
10. If you are with yourself, look in the mirror and offer yourself love and grace for your new year. If you are with others, take turns looking into each other’s eyes to silently offer wishes of growth, abundance and joy for the year.
11. End with a song, quote, prayer or some other form of closure.
12. Send me your insights, or post comments here. I’d love to hear from you.
If you would like to join me for a little bit of a different ritual, I am making my Your Best Sexual Year Yet: A New Year’s Ritual & Workshop available on demand We will actually make a collage as we envision our new year. It will be part meditation, visioning, creation, ritual and community. Join me here.