A Conscious New Year’s Eve

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This NYE I have decided to stay in with a fire and have a quiet ceremony with a close friend to ease into the new year with mindfulness and awareness. We will be 100% sober and on the 30th I’m attending my local yoga studios Yoga Mala where we will be doing 108 sun salutations. It feels right to deepen into my yoga practice both in honour of last year’s daily practices and to invite in another year of living and breathing yoga every day.

Whether you’re in the mood to welcome in the new year by partying in a big group or whether you’re feeling more like a quiet evening away from it all, then below is a good practice to do whenever you get a moment. This is what I do, but of course feel free to adapt and add to suit your own needs/desires! I thought it would be nice to share the ritual I have been doing for the last 3 years as a loose idea of the types of ways we can honour this time of year:

Before beginning, it’s always nice to clear the space, de-clutter and clean up a bit. I usually like to set up a comfortable space to sit in with cushions etc. This year I’ll be lighting a candle in memory of loved ones that have passed as a reminder of the light that they still have in the hearts of those they left behind.

So to begin:

Place an object to represent each element in north, east, south and west and give thanks to each element, reflecting on your relationship with each element individually either for the past year, the new year or both:

North: Earth (groundedness, connection to nature, home, travel)

East: Air (calm, ease, letting go, touch)

South: Fire (passion imagination, creativity, projects)

West: Water (love, fluidity, movement, cleansing)

Open with a short seated meditation to come into the space. I focus on my breathing, and relax my body and ground myself into the earth, visualizing roots coming down from my body into the earth below.

Then grab a notepad and pen, or simply reflect or draw or dance or do whatever feels right for you in consideration of the following:

Review the year: What did you learn? What was challenging? What were your proudest moments? Write down a list of the year’s top highlights. This can be the good parts, the messy parts, the difficult bits that made you come out stronger or that you are still working through. No matter whether it feels good, bad, hard, euphoric or heartbreaking, be sure to give thanks.

On a new piece of paper list some things that you want to leave behind in the old year, such as any habits or behaviours that don’t make you feel good, or anything that no longer serves you. In a way that feels right to you, let go of these things, some ideas are to burn the paper or rip it up.

Set intentions for the new year: Now that you have said goodbye to last year, you can start setting conscious intentions for the new year ahead. Write intentions on different pieces of paper, or make a list, whatever format works best for you. For each intention/goal, think about how you hope that this will make you feel. For example “I intend to push my comfort zone and do at least one thing that scares me a week. I hope that this will make me feel more confident, adventurous and happy.”

Once you have written all your intentions and the corresponding feelings, bundle them all up together, whether in a box or wrapped up tied with a ribbon. Hold them in your hands and feel them. Meditate on what this new year means to you, what you hope it will look like and how you hope to grow. When you feel settled with your intentions keep them in a safe place where they can be referred to over the coming year or if you’re really getting into the letting go vibe then chuck them all in the fire to burn too!

More writing exercise starters:

  • I release my attachment to…
  • I will make more time for…
  • I will say NO to…
  • I will say YES to…
  • I am grateful for…
  • I promise myself…
  • I love the feeling of…
  • I don’t want to feel…
  • I am committed to…

Now you’re ready to do whatever it is you want to do to celebrate the potential that this New Year has to offer and to celebrate all that has come before with love and gratitude : )

Close the circle: Give thanks, do some singing or chanting or whatever feels right to close the space.

And Happy New Year my friends, with love xxx

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