I was inspired by this post to think about spiritually healthy ways to start the new year.
Each year, at the end of the year, I find myself drawn to my blog to reflect on the year and the lessons I have learned. But in the past two years, I have taken on some new traditions that I think are a lovely way to begin fresh energy.
1. Find Your Intention
On a piece of paper, or the insert of your favorite book, or the back of a napkin, in your journal, on your blog…wherever it is, write down your intention for next year.
It can be something as simple as “New Home” or something as specific as “To weigh what I did in college.” Whatever it is you desire, write it down.
Sometimes you have to ask the Universe for exact what you want before it become a reality. Put the book (or scrap paper) somewhere safe where you will remember to look at it at the end of next year. How close did you come to your intention?
The reason I like the word “intention” better than “resolution” is because it carries more weight in my mind. This is something you INTEND to do, you are not resolved to do it, you will do it.
2. Go Somewhere Beautiful
Even if you are stuck somewhere you don’t want to be for New Year’s Day, find somewhere pretty.
There was a beautiful spot by my old work and I often found myself escaping to on my lunch break to look out over the water.
Last year, my husband, my friend and our dog went there and stood watching the sun set on New Year’s Day.
It was beautiful. It was breathtaking.
It is a great way to refresh my mind and reflect on the moments I had experienced in the past year while also silently giving thanks for the new experience I had yet to encounter.
Go somewhere beautiful. Take it in. Give thanks.
3. Forgive Your Enemies
I learned this from a Chakra Balancing yoga video that I highly recommend. I altered it a bit but it is the same principle.
Start by facing north in warrior pose. Quiet your mind and think about your father, your birth father, or someone who has been a father figure in your life, then say out loud, “I love and honor my father. Blessings be upon him.” Circle your arms down and lower your body to the ground.
Lift up and this time face east and stand in warrior pose. Quiet your mind and think about your mother, your birth mother, or someone who was a mother figure to you in your life, then say out loud, “I love and honor my mother. Blessings be upon her.” Circle your arms down and lower your body to the ground.
Lift up and face south and stand in warrior pose. Quiet your mind and think about your lover, your friend, or someone who has a special place in your heart, then say out loud, “I love and honor my love. Blessings be upon him/her.” Circle your arms down and lower your body to the ground.
Lift up and face west and stand in warrior pose. Quiet your mind and think about your enemy, enemies, or someone who has brought you hurt in your life, then say out loud. “I love and honor [Name]. I forgive [Name] and choose to move forward with my life.” Circle your arms down and lower your body to the ground.
You will feel a great weight lift off your shoulders as you give love, send love, and accept forgiveness into your heart. Standing in warrior pose is important too because it keeps you balanced (as you should be in life) and helps you feel empowered. What a great way to start the new year!
4. Do Something Kind
There are always others who are less fortunate than you. At the beginning of a new year, it is good to not only be thankful for what you have, but also to give back.
Whether you write a note to a friend to cheer them up, pay for someone’s meal at the drive through, donate goods or money, volunteer your time at a homeless shelter, give back this year and give back always. Love can only come from spreading love.
A few weeks ago, I went into the 711 and bought a drink. It was a few days before Christmas and a man and his 2 year old son were behind me. He was buying milk, bread and a few supplies, while his son was clutching onto a Lunchable. When I paid for my drink, I stopped the man behind me and told him I would pay for his meal and his son’s. He was so shocked and I could see tears welling up in his eyes. It was a beautiful feeling to walk out of that store, knowing two people had been fed.
5. Close a Door, But Open a Window
The end of the year can sometimes feel like the end of a chapter. What are you saying goodbye to this year? Think about the things that you are putting to bed. Think about the doors that have been closed this year, and be thankful for them. Process them. Understand them. How did they change you? How did you change them?
But remember, whenever you close a door, you must open a window.
Open your heart, be receptive, be accepting, be humble.
You can do so much with an open heart.
You will be amazed at the gifts the Universe is waiting to give you…just as long as you are willing to open that window.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/s3k/14952592/”>s3k</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>