As we come to the close of another year in this beautiful life, we begin to set intentions, goals and resolutions for the coming year. But before we set in motion all the things we would like to accomplish, it's so valuable to take some time to reflect on all the things
, good and bad, that happened in 2015.
In order to appreciate the journey we went on, we must learn from all experiences and give ourselves some much needed recognition and a loving pat on the back.
Everything is a learning experience, and even though it may feel like the world is crashing down when something awful happens, there is always a lesson. Some things may feel senseless, like the loss of a loved one or extreme financial difficulty, but after some time we may begin to see the "silver lining" or the underlying life lesson that we took away from that experience that helped us grow.
Try this exercise before you write out your 2016 resolutions. All you need is 3 pieces of paper, a pen and an open heart.
Before you begin:
Sit down in a quiet space where you know you won't be disturbed for a while. Light a candle, incense or burn some sage to clear the air. Put on soothing music or enjoy the space in the silence. Center yourself in your body and release the confines of your mind. Open your heart and allow the unconditional love that lies within to wash over you and surround you with bright white energy. Smile, big and wide. Now you're ready to reflect on and appreciate your unique journey.
- On the first sheet of paper, write down all the accomplishments, successes, wins, and celebrations of 2015, from the life-changing to the day-making.
- On the second sheet of paper write down the failures, breakdowns, disappointments, and losses for 2015. This can be anything from not trusting in yourself to losing your job.
- On the third sheet write down the lessons, the silver lining and the light that came from the dark. Think of the ways those events changed you or helped you grow into who you are now, 365 days since the first of the year. For example, you can write that you've accepted "the dark side" of yourself or that although you hit a rough patch in your health, you now have a new appreciation for being healthy.
- Read through each list thoroughly and carefully, fully acknowledging each of the events you wrote down. Notice what may be outstanding or accomplishments you'd like to carry over into the new year.
- Say, "thank you" to the events in the first and second lists and release them from your present. They live in the past and the acknowledgement has been made but we are not here to dwell on anything. Tear them up, burn them, crumple them and throw them in the trash. Give thanks and release.
- Really read the third list - the way you've changed, evolved, learned and grown in the past year. Notice a pattern or the events that help you grow the most. Accept these changes as part of you and open your heart to the evolution of being human. We are constantly changing and it is good to acknowledge that change. Appreciate the breakdowns and the breakthroughs.
Meditate on creating space for the coming year and releasing the events of the past. Allow the lessons to go forward with you but the attachment to the event to be released. Give yourself some love and appreciation. Repeat the mantra, "I am worthy and capable of great things. I am a constantly evolving being. I am here to make change. I am grateful. I am."
You have now created space to set your intentions for 2016
, and beyond.
If you find it hard to follow through on personal resolutions or goals, remember to choose that goal everyday
. The minute you notice your brain is no longer set towards that goal, whether it's because you got distracted or ran into a bump in the road, remember the reason and choose it again. People commonly forget their goal or what inspired them to make their goal even after just a night's sleep. So instead of shaming and blaming yourself for slipping or forgetting your inspiration, simply choose it again!
You are not stuck in anything but your body (and even that can be escaped from time to time) so be sure that the actions you take are towards the intentions you want to create.
Is there a ritual you love doing, alone or with friends, to appreciate the events of the year? Share your experience with us in the comments below!