The beginning and the end
reach out their hands to each other.
~ Chinese Proverb
As the last days of this year draw to a close, too many of us are swallowed up by the frenzy of the season. We secretly enjoy the adrenaline rush, and then are annually surprised by the letdown once the celebrations end.
What if this year’s ending was different?
What if we consciously planned for it? And I don’t just mean cleaning the champagne glasses and getting our party dress ready!
What if we celebrated and honored the gifts we received during the year?
And what I’m talking about often doesn’t come in pretty little packages tied up with string. Often these gifts are not ones we would have chosen for ourselves.
So here are my recommendations to help you better prepare for this year’s end.
Step 1: reﬂect on your experiences: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Some questions might help you to get started.
- What are you most proud of accomplishing this past year?
- What mistakes are you glad you made?
- Where did you make choices based on your own voice? Where did you let other’s voices determine your path?
- How open were you to taking risks and trying new things?
- What people energized you? Sapped your energy?
- Where were you most open to new perspectives?
- How often did you take time to restore just for yourself?
Step 2: give thanks for the lessons
Things happen for a reason. I truly believe that there’s information in every experience to help us correct our course. So, what have your experiences this past year taught you? What blessings have you received? How will you apply these lessons to the rest of your life?
How can you offer thanks for the guidance you have received this year?
Step 3: create a ritual of letting go
You may have regrets. You may have unfinished business with others. You be carrying leftover hurts, maybe even anger. Since you are choosing your ending, how about choosing to release these things? And make sure it involves something physical and tactile so you can really feel the letting go.
Here are some possibilities.
- Write the items on separate slips of paper and burn each one by one as you send them skyward into the atmosphere.
- Record them into the safekeeping of your journal so you can free this feeling of burden and misdirected energy.
- Open a window and softly speak the words necessary to send these items away on a breeze.
Whatever your ritual, mindfully release your attachment to each situation.
Step 4: honor yourself
You were put on this earth with special qualities and talents to be shared with others. How well have you used your unique gifts during the past year? How might you celebrate these gifts?
Step 5: put on your party dress!
You’ve spent time reflecting on the past year and the lessons learned. You’ve honored your special gifts, and you’ve bid adieu to that baggage you’ve been carrying around.
You have created space to allow the New Year to breathe possibilities toward you. Welcome them with open arms. Let your newfound energy freely flow through you. And, put on that dress and PARTY!
Your Call to Action
Pick a date between now and the end of the year for your “ending” activities. Share the date with someone you trust and have them hold you accountable for completing this exercise. Once you have completed these items, let your friend know that you did, or did not!, complete them.
Again, there’s a lesson here. What is it?