It’s Saturday night in Austin, it’s raining and cold out and my son is away at a sleep-over. My husband and I are relaxing in front of the fireplace. In front of us: paper strips, a thin, blue marker, a metal pail and a lighter. No, we’re not conducting a science experiment, we’re writing down and symbolically releasing everything from 2015 that we want to let go of: anxieties, fears, worries, events, grievances, blocks and bidding these friends adieu so we can make space for what’s to come in 2016. This is called a burning bowl ceremony and while my family often roll their eyes when I pull out the materials for this year-end ritual, they ultimately end up participating and find it worthwhile. (Read about why rituals matter.)
Have you said good-bye to your blocks and fears from 2015 yet? This stretch between now and Jan. 10th is the perfect time to reflect, contemplate and review (read more) what you learned about yourself in 2015 and what you want to release—perhaps by even doing your own burning bowl ceremony?
Find a few minutes in the next few days to get a journal/pen and answer:
• What did I learn about myself in 2015? This could be a personal life lesson or one related to your career or professional path.
• What do I need to embrace, remember and celebrate from 2015? There is so much to be grateful for—what ‘s at the top of your list?
• What fears, limitations, habits do I need to release from the past year and let move on down the river? In transition? Be gentle on yourself; most of my friends/clients say 2015 was a beast.
• What do I need to set myself up to be successful in 2016? What support do you need, who do you need in your tribe? Read this piece from the Austin American Statesman where I share on the theme “community is medicine.”
I encourage you between now and this Friday to take the pressure off yourself to come up with big Near Year’s goals or intentions and just focus on releasing and letting go. Then when you’re ready (perhaps this weekend on Sat. during the New Moon), because intentions do matter, carve out some time to begin envisioning HOW you want to be and WHAT you want to claim as yours in 2016.
JAN. 8th & JAN. 29th-31st RETREATS–ALMOST SOLD OUT: Are you craving dedicated space and time for reflection for envisioning 2016? Would you love high-level support and the opportunity to gain clarity/focus on your next steps? Join me in an empowering, nurturing, supportive environment with like-minded women: Jan. 8th New Way of Being: Winter Self-Renewal Retreat in Austin (2 spots left), TX and Jan. 29-31st New Way of Being: Women’s Self-Renewal Retreat at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health (MA).
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance teacher/coach/self-care evangelist and Career Strategists president, Renée Peterson Trudeau. Offering custom life balance workshops, women’s retreats, training/certification, books/telecourses and individual career coaching, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, Spirituality & Health and more. Thousands of women in ten countries are becoming RTA-Certified Facilitators and leading/joining self-care groups based on her award-winning curriculum. She is the author of The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal and Nurturing the Soul of Your Family: 10 Ways to Reconnect and Find Peace in Everyday Life. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 13 year-old son. More on her background here.