Welcoming the New Year

At the turn of the year, we hear a lot about New Year’s Resolutions. Will you eat healthier? Organize your house? Go to the gym? Write in your journal every day? While, in some senses, January 1st is an arbitrary day on the calendar, it does mark a turning point, an opportunity to say good-bye to the past and welcome the future.

Instead of New Year’s Resolutions, I like to mark the turning of the year with a ritual.  This gives me a chance to reflect on the year gone-by and turn toward the year ahead with an open heart. This year my partner, Gary, and I each reflected on what we want to release from 2018 – these could include regrets, resentments, hurts, and disappointments. Then we wrote our reflections on slips of paper. We built a small fire (safely) in our back yard and placed our slips of paper in the fire. In releasing them to the flames, we symbolically released the hold these regrets, resentments, hurts, and disappointments have over us.

While we practiced this ritual just the two of us, it could certainly be done in a larger group. After releasing your slips of paper to the fire, you could celebrate by toasting marshmallows or telling stories to welcome joy into your new year.  Happy 2019 to all!  May this year be filled with celebration and intention.