An End of Year Ritual

As the skies become lighter, the days longer with every sunrise, as we begin this new year and many vow to new beginnings I feel this deep wish to remain in hibernation, to rest a little longer. My body is tired and I can’t blame her. This year has been tough for all of us and our bodies carry it all – stress, fear, worry, grief, an uncomfortable lot. There is a shifting too though. From deep within gentle whispers emerge and speak of acknowledgment, of holding space for what’s been, of integrating and, at last, letting go of this last year. It’s time to look at my take aways, be sure of my lessons. Until this work is done my body is not ready to emerge, to begin anew.

This easy practice has serve me well many times so I share it with you.
All you need is a large sheet of paper, or as I use, a double page in your journal, a couple of colour pens and 30 minutes on your own. I do love getting my space ready, my favourite cushion and blanket, a cup of tea, a few candles and taking a minute to ground myself and breath so feel free to go all out for a bit of me time with this.
At the end you will have a mind map of this past year and very clear picture of whats important to you now and going forward.

Let’s begin:
☼ Start in the centre on your page write down the big highlights, challenges, events … some of them may be actual events, others may be small moments that stayed with you for one reason or another. These are the ones that will prove to have changed you.
☼ Working around the centre of your mind map take a note of the moments when you felt the fear and did it anyway. When you followed your heart depite the doubt, when you stood up for yourself, expressed your boundaries, moments of courage and self compassion.
☼ Continue with the moments that really touched you. Who and what moved you deeply.
☼ Take a note of what you learnt this year. This may be big achievements, uncomfortable lessons or personal learnings about yourself and the way of things.
☼ Take a note of the gifts you received from family, friends and those who showed up for you unexpectedly. These may be of material value but think of the personal gifts such as being cared for, of being loved, acts of kindness.
☼ Now you can extend this here and make mention of anything else you feel important.

Time to review:
☼ Look at your mind map, what jumps out at you and become aware of any patterns or themes.. Circle them in different colours.
☼ Now take a look at your challenges. Are there any learnings to take away for the future?
Write them down in a list to the left side of your page.
☼ Continue to review your map and take note of the things you wish to bring into 2021. What do you want more of? Make a list on the right side of your page.

Last step + first steps:
☼ In a last step, look closely at this latest list and think of one practical action you can take to develop each point further. This may be a conversation with a friend or mentor, deeper journaling, a workshop, a course or a walk on the beach. Make a note.

I hope this practice brings you gratitude and some closure for the year that’s tested us in so many ways, and awareness for the year ahead.

With much love, Cindy x

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