This year has been full – full of new beginnings, stretching above + beyond comfort zones, commitment, health opportunities, boundaries and ambitious callings that are both inspiring and overwhelming in the same breath. It’s been a lot. So I’ve been feeling a strong need to engage in practices that will allow me to start the new year fresh, and filled with energizing intentions. My good friend + coach, Heidi Stevens talks a lot about strategies that help us “prepare to prosper”, so we can move powerfully + consciously into the new year – her wisdom was a great source of inspiration as I crafted this post.
Strangely enough, Facebook played a fun role in pushing me to reflect on this past year, a practice that I feel is essential for moving into the new year with clarity, connection and a sense of lightness. This initial reflection came when Facebook’s year in review popped up on my screen, beautifully displaying all the good that occurred in 2018. It’s all too easy for me to forget about the abundance of golden moments I experienced, instead of ruminating on the challenges. This video snapped me out of that habit, inspiring me to honor all my wins, alongside the challenges. This contemplation felt so meaningful that I chose to dive deeper, in hopes of liberating myself from all that I’m ready to release, and fill myself with the vibrant energy needed to transition into 2019 with grace, courage and empowerment.
Here’s a taste of what I’ve been working on to get there.
Carving out time for introspection. To fully comprehend what 2018 offered, I set aside an hour to acknowledge all my forementioned wins and examine all the moments of profound challenge. In regards to the challenges, I went a step beyond simply acknowledging them and played around with reframing them. My intention wasn’t to spiritually bypass these challenges but to connect the dots - map it out. For example, if I came across a challenge I experienced in July, I could often connect the dots until I came to a wonderful circumstance that blossomed in December, because of July’s challenge. This form of reframing helps me remember that many of our challenges are actually serving us in subtle yet powerful ways.
Being kind to myself. I’m often my own worst critic, pushing aside my strengths in favor of focusing on how I need to improve. I’m going to make a different choice during this end of the year review and reset, allowing myself to be super kind, honoring my strengths and embodying my greatness. I feel a deep knowingness that if I start doing this more and more, I will begin showing up from a more impactful and enlightened place.
Writing things down. My mind can easily become bogged down in thoughts. Anyone else relate? We as humans experience approximately 3000 thoughts per hour. Those can be positive but they can also be self sabotaging as well. I’ve found that the best way to clear them (and most importantly, what the words represent) is to write them down. To do this, I take 10 minutes to write with a stem sentence based on what is present in my mind. This is generally something that is creating anxiety or resistance within. Example: I am angry because...My health is out of balance because...I am hurt because…
I write for 10 minutes straight without stopping. When the timer dings, I bring the writing to a close. I feel noticeably different as I do this, and experience the profound sense that I’m clearing my mind’s slate. My favorite part of this experience is burning the paper when I’m done – so satisfying! If you’re not a fan of the flame, rip that paper up into tiny shreds.
Holding space for forgiveness. After the writing, I follow it up with forgiveness. Now, if you don’t have time to do the writing first, just go for the forgiveness. Forgiving myself, forgiving others, and creating the space to do that is not easy. But it’s one of the most powerful acts I can engage in if I want to move into 2019 with resolve and spaciousness. I often use the following prompts:
“I forgive myself for judging myself for (insert judgment here.) The truth is that…”
Or, “I forgive myself for buying into the misunderstanding that (insert misunderstanding here). The truth is that….”
The truth piece is everything for me – because the truth is, we are enough, and everything that we move through is in service of our truth. AND the truth undoubtedly sets us free.
Clearing old tasks. I often end the year with a litany of incomplete to-dos. Can you relate? Because this can seriously leak energy, I like to create time to check off the to-dos that are essential, and consciously roll the remaining tasks into the new year without judgment. Another helpful component of this is releasing past goals that no longer excite me, and organizing aspects of my life that seem in disarray.
Finding resolution. Unresolved issues often sit in the back of my mind and nag at me. To clear them away I reach out to people I want to apologize to, talk through an issue with, or simply reconnect with. Having the tricky conversations I’ve been avoiding, but know will bring inner peace, is so liberating. So if you have any lingering, unresolved issues, clear them by sending that text, making the call, or taking that certain someone out for coffee.
Paying bills, debt or loans. I notice myself with the desire to end the year as clean as possible. As of late, I am taking care of outstanding bills and debts. The less I can carry into the new year, the better I will feel.
Making more time for fun! I need to continually remind myself to create more space for having fun, because often, that’s when the clarity comes. So, I do everything I can to step into bliss and revel in it. I get my clearest downloads when I’m free and joyful.
Deciding how I want to show up in my life. It’s so easy to get swept away in the day-to-day, forgetting that I have the power to decide how I want to show up for myself, my child, my partner, family, friends, my clients, and everyone else who plays a significant role in my life. Taking time to sit quietly and be still in the early morning or evenings is deeply supportive for me. Meditating on how I want to treat these people, and impact their lives, will help me move into my interactions in the new year with enhanced intention and attention.
Painting the picture of my dreams. Nothing fills me with more excitement for the new year than spending time envisioning what it would take to accomplish my dreams, and getting incredibly specific about what those dreams are. I set a timer for 20 minutes and ask myself what I want. From there, I write out my ideal 2019 and what’s needed to make that happen.
This activity helps to expose what’s in the way of my dreams – maybe it’s a limiting belief that’s holding me back, or maybe something needs to give in order to create space for my dreams to manifest. My final step is passing my dreams on to a higher power, asking for support in the realization of my wildest + most expansive desires and ways in which I can make a radical impact.
Give it a try! And don’t hold back on your vision - dream big.
I love how these practices support me in taking back the reigns of my life. They remind me that I have the right to be clear and move forward with great reverence. We all have this right, and deserve the joy that comes from giving ourselves the time and effort to do this.
If any of this feels overwhelming, split up the practices into little pieces, doing whatever you need to do to give yourself the gift of space and resolve. Start with taking thirty minutes for yourself and commit to 1 - 2 of these activities. Then, layer in more time as you feel the space opening up and the clarity coming more easily. That’s what I plan on doing as we wrap up 2018 in TWO days!!! I’m going to hold myself accountable and hunker down with these exercises, because I’m craving the inspiration they continue to provide.
As they say, how you end the year is how you begin the year. Cheers to the empowerment, joy and grace that illuminates and guides us as we clean the slate, clarify our dreams, and sail into the new year free of tethers.
with reverence + inspiration,
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