Ah it is that time again, the ending of the year. Isn’t it funny how we humans get so incredibly busy during this particular time? Between extra work loads, Christmas shopping, organising dinners and various social gatherings it is quite easy to feel pressured or stressed. In a way even if we don’t, this energy is still happening all around us in the collective field and touches us. Whereas nature and the animal kingdom (in the northern hemisphere) are actually going into hibernation mode right now. To rest restore, heal and regather the inner energy’s. What if we could be inspired by this and could give ourselves extra rest to embrace those cycles and rhythms and attune to them on a deeper level and letting us be nurtured by a slowing down?
If we allow ourselves time to interiorise during these dark times of the year we can take the opportunity to reflect on all that has happened, to recognise both the challenges and gifts we received from life and to integrate all the precious leaning lessons.
There is a closing of the year ritual that I love to do in particular during this time right now between the winter solstice and the ending of the year. It is really effective way for me to gain clarity on where I am right now in my life, what I am willing to let go of and plant new seeds, visions of what I would like to cultivate more of in my life in the year to come.
Here is what you will need for this ritual:
- Your undivided attention for about 1 hour
- A private place to get cosy and comfortable (blankets and plenty of cushions are recommended J)
- Some calming herbal tea and soft music
- A few candles, optional any other inspiring objects like crystal, flowers etc. Something beautiful
- A pen and a paper
Step 1) Create a sacred space
Make sure you turn off your mobile phone, and let anybody who is around know that you are doing a ritual and that you will not be available for about an hour. You can also do this together with a friend who likes to join you and is supportive. Decorate the space, play some soft music, light the candles, diffuse some essential oils or burn some incense according to your tastes, make your space feel special for this occasion. This is a very important step to prepare your mind to go into deeper places within itself. Then take your pen and paper and divide the A 4 sheet into 3 equal sections.
Step 2) Come into your body
Make sure that you are comfortable, I would suggest to not do this in your bed as laying down on your mattress has associations with sleeping and we want to stay awake and fully present. You can be in any position that is truly comfortable for you, either sitting on a chair or cushion or even laying down on the floor. In that case it would be good to place extra blankets on the floor so that you can feel warm. Then spend about 5 min getting into your body for example doing a couple of relaxing yoga poses, something quite lazy and mellow would be good for that…. Remember you are going into hibernation mode. Then find your position and just relax for another couple of minutes.
Step 3) Inviting the Shadow
Review your year in a systematic way going through each season since exactly a year ago from now. Starting from winter, then spring, summer, autumn and back to winter. Reflect on any moments that have been challenging or difficult for you during these seasons and consider what thoughts, people, activities or places drain your energy. Allow images, emotions and insights to surface as you witness in the review on the shadow aspects of this past year. Then pause the mediation for a moment and write down under the left column of your paper the shadow aspects of your experiences that you would like to release and let go. Example feeling stressed or anxious or habits that do not serve you. Then drink some of your calming tea, this step takes about 15 min in total.
Step 4) Receiving the light
Again Review your year in a systematic way going through each season since exactly a year ago from now. Starting from winter, then spring, summer, autumn and back to winter. Reflect on any moments that have been nourishing and uplifting for you during these seasons and consider what thoughts, people, activities or places give you energy. Allow images, emotions and insights to surface as you witness in the review on the light aspects of this past year. After you have completed this journey again write down now in the middle column what has been the most positive during your year. Pause for a moment notice how you feel.
Step 5) Turn the shadow into light
This is a super powerful step in the ritual. Take each point of the shadow and turn it around and add it to the middle section on your paper. What would be the opposite experience of the shadow? Turn it into a positive affirmation. It is important to not use any negation … example “feeling stressed at work” does not become “not feeling stressed at work” but, example >>> feeling at ease and comfortable at work. Go through each point.
Step 6) Detach and Simplify
Now you may have quite a few points written down on your left and middle paper. Here split those two parts and then separate from the part of the paper that is still empty. Then simplify the point written on your positive points list including the turnaround of the shadows and choose the most important ones. Maybe there is a crossover of several points so make them into one point and write then on the empty paper. See the underlying theme that is crystallising in the writing process. Ideally you have about max 3 key points that will be written on you empty paper, those will be powerful affirmations and your seed intention for the year to come.
Step 7) Let go and release
Burn both the negative and positive of last year letting it be part of the past now. Watch the flames burn while inviting a sense of a release on the grip of your experience, making space for the new and fresh in your life.
Step 8) Integrate and commit
Now hold the paper with your seed intention and hold it between your hands for a moment charging it with your commitment to let this seed grow. Keep this paper in a place where you will often remember about it and keep trusting the process to see your intentions unfold gradually in due time in your life.
May this ritual support and empower you to manifest your dreams and visions.
With love xoxo