Each year, “new year’s resolutions” are everywhere. We are admonished and recommended to take stock of the previous year, and to vow certain improvements will be made in the new year. Most of us (all of us?) end up disappointing ourselves a few weeks into January when we fall back into our old behavior and patterns. The fact is, change takes consistent attention and energy, and it can be deeply challenging.
In recent years, I have started to honor the winter Solstice as my New Year, and I like to take time on that day, or right around it, to look at myself and see the shifts I’d like to make. I make this a sacred time, and my vows that I take are for myself only, or for things that affect my husband and family, I will share them with those people, in hopes of creating support and some accountability.
The language is SO important as I make my vows…I don’t say, “I vow to lose 10 pounds.” But I might vow to “treat my body with the respect it deserves, starting with a gratitude practice I check in with, daily.” The difference between these two sentiments is palpable: one is a judgement of where I am right now, and my behavior that put the weight on in the first place. The other, is a gentle shift in the relationship I have with my body. And by deciding to do a gratitude practice daily, I set up a different relationship with ALL aspects of my life.
I don’t make specific rules about how the gratitude practice looks, by the way. If one day I write it down, maybe the next I simply take a deep breath and say Thank You to myself. Or I thank someone else. I thank my body. I thank my patients. I thank my food. Gratitude brings us into a place of peace and freedom, and even worthiness, if we practice long enough.
Something else I heartily recommend and have come to rely on, is drawing oracle cards. This is an easy way to connect with Source energy, but you could also do a nice meditation, or book yourself a Tarot card reading. The main questions are: What is my main lesson for the year? What’s the best way for me to help myself? How can I change and become the best version of myself this year?
When we slow down and listen, we often get answers that ring deeply true, that maybe we haven’t wanted to hear or face in previous years. The reason these things are coming up now, is we are more ready to face them! Along with the answers and information we glean from our highest Self, I also suggest asking for help. Sometimes, the answers we get are overwhelming. This isn’t a reason to ignore the information, but it’s a GREAT reason to expand your support network and get the help you need. It’s easier to do when the answer came from within yourself, so you KNOW it’s not about someone else trying to change you. You will find (as I have) that when we really want to engage in change and ask for help and support, that it comes, often in very unexpected ways.
Lastly, I suggest writing a letter to yourself and burning it. Write about the year, about your successes and failures. Write what you have learned. Write what you might want to change the next time the lesson comes around. Write your goals and dreams and aspirations. Write your vows. Write the bad stuff. Write the good stuff. Then, go outside and light it on fire and let it burn up, in something fire-proof. Light some sage and cleanse out the negative energy. All of it!
When we do this, we get all the pent-up stuff OUT and let it GO in a big way! We are signalling to the universe that we are ready to move on, and it can feel amazing. It’s even nicer to go through this process with other people who can really engage and dig in. The energy you generate with amplify and support everyone’s collective process.
Armed with these tools, I hope you can find your way into an easy and empowering new year! May change come easily and naturally. May you be blessed and content in all the best ways life has to offer.