It’s no secret that this year has been hard all around. It feels like one of the hardest years, and one of the longest, I’ve ever been through. I’ve felt like a cloud of discontent has been hovering around me, blocking out the light. Maybe it’s because I’m prone to depression that I’ve fallen easily into the 2016 funk, but it’s real.
The world is a scary place and the more adult I get, the more that I realize that there’s so much work to do and it can be daunting. One of the things that has put me in a funk this year is realizing that I can’t wave a magic wand and fix things. We have to work to fix things, and sometimes fight to fix things, and that is exhausting and it wears on the heart. I want to heal the world, but there’s a whole lot of world to heal and it has to start with healing myself. Sensitive and empathic me has gone through a lot of heartache this year. I’m so ready to let it go.
I know that the clock chiming at midnight on January 1st doesn’t make it go away. It doesn’t change anything, but what it does do is give us a concrete point of action. A time and place where we decide that it’s no longer going to drag us down. A point in time where we feel empowered to change our mindset.
It means something because we tell ourselves that it means something.
As we will it, so mote it be.
I know that my New Years is going to involve less champagne and countdowns and more candles, incense, and setting my feelings for this year on fire.
Here are a few magical ways to let go of 2016.
Do a ceremonial burning. Take a piece of paper and tear it into strips. On each strip, write something that you want to let go of. This can be anything. If you have a feeling of anger about something that you no longer need, write it down. If there’s a trait about yourself or a habit that you want to let go of, write it down. Want to finally get over your feelings about someone? This might help you there as well. You might have a lot of things to write down, you might not, just keep writing things down until you feel like you’ve got it all out. Once you’ve done this, set the pieces of paper on fire in a fireproof container.
I let go of these things I no longer need
I release them to the Universe
By letting go I make room for new growth
I open myself up to love and to forgiveness.
Love for myself and others.
Forgiveness for myself and others.
This is a new beginning.
May I be blessed on this new journey.
This symbolizes you letting go of those things, purifying yourself, and starting over anew. It is so wonderful to feel all of the negative things you’ve been holding onto fall away from you.
Give your home and yourself a good smudging. Use a smudge stick (which is usually a bundle of sage and/or other herbs) or your favorite incense, to go around the house, letting the smoke cleanse the space. Sage is purifying and the smoke from the sage cleanses the energies of your home. Start the year off embracing the concept of sacred space.
One of my favorite exercises for anxiety is putting my hands under the faucet with cold water on and picturing all of my worries being gathered in my hands and then washed away by the cold water. If there are things you’re still holding onto that happened this year, allow them to be washed away by the water. It’s even better with natural sources of water. You could even try it with snow, allowing it to freeze those things that are bothering you.
If you’re feeling especially full of grief and sadness, you can do this ritual to lay it to rest. Write your feelings down and then bury it. You can use leaves or pieces of discarded bark to write down your feelings, using just words or phrases. This allows it to biodegrade and go back into the earth.
Write a letter. Let your spirit pour out onto the page and say all of the things that you need to say. Curse, grieve, cry, celebrate – let the words come out. Pull out your journal and write until you release it all. If you want to be guided in the letting go, check out the Self Love Workbook, which guides you through celebrating, reflecting, and letting go.
Also, write down your intentions – all of the things your heart is longing for in this New Year. Write it down, make it real, and then make it happen.