By Jessi Kohlhagen
It’s been said that New Years Day (and how you choose to spend it) sets the intention for the entire year to come.
For this reason, January 1 will always find my family and I wandering outside, basking in Nature. This is our way of grounding, cherishing what’s most important, recommitting to being the best human beings we can be, giving thanks for the limitless abundance all around us, and honoring our roots.
However you choose to celebrate, this is a beautiful invitation to step into some of the most meaningful experiences you want to create for yourself… to actually embody them, give them a felt sense in your life, and allow your entire year to grow from that space.
Here are 11 meaningful ideas for celebrating this New Year:
Spend Time In Nature
As I mentioned above, this can be a powerfully healing and inspiring experience. See if you can invoke absolute presence and contentment wherever you stand — nowhere to get to, nothing to do. Just observe the world around you, from the smallest leaves to the limitless sky above. Go on an adventure. Commune with the Nature that exists all around and within you. See what you see, find what you find, go where you go.
Do A Reflection Ritual By Candlelight
This article would be incomplete if it didn’t include the year-end reflection ritual Lifebookers have come to love so much. It looks something like this: light some candles, brew a cup of hot cocoa or pour a glass of champagne, and settle in for a few hours of open-hearted honesty and reflection by the fireside. Go through the simple but powerfully thought-provoking questions one-by-one, and let this magical process invite greater truth, acceptance and growth into your life.
Begin One of Your Goals
If it’s true that the first day of the year sets the tone for the entire year to come (which I believe it can), there’s no better time to commit to the change you’re craving in your life right now. If you want to eat healthier, exercise more, or spend more quality time with your kids, attract that into your life right out of the gate. Go to a nourishing yoga class, make your family a beautifully fresh meal, and pull out some fun and games. On New Year’s Day, do all the things that make you feel amazingly whole and happy, and commit to carrying them with you in each day to come (remember, habits start to solidify after 3 weeks!).
Ritual To Release Old Patterns
We all have old beliefs and patterns that keep us stuck and unable to be fully present in this moment. We play the same tunes on repeat over and over again until one day we wake up and realize they no longer serve us. From this place of new awareness, you can invite growth. Here is a powerful ritual to help you release some of your old patterns and energies, in light of the New Year:
Sit yourself comfortably near firelight or candlelight, with a piece of paper and a pen nearby. Gaze into the flame as you begin to imagine the “bigger picture” of your existence. Call in images of a higher power, in whatever form that takes for you, and imagine yourself intrinsically connected to that source. Sink into it. Start to allow a sense of warmth, ease, safety and love to wash over and through you. Imagine yourself living your life from a place of evenness, fullness and effortlessness. See it. Feel it.
Then, begin to notice the areas of your life that currently feel unsupported, or restricted – areas that are blocking the flow of energy. When you feel ready, list them all on the paper. List the things you’re afraid of — and release them. List old emotions, such as guilt, anger, hurt, sadness, or abandonment — and release them. As you feel your connectedness to the Universe, let your intention be to fully surrender these patterns from your life. Once you feel the exercise has been completed, light the paper on fire and watch it burn away.
Time a meditation over the midnight hour, to enter into the New Year from a still, content, spacious place inside yourself.
Write A Letter To Yourself
If you’re a nostalgic type, it can be a wonderful exercise to write a letter to your future self, to be opened one year from now, on New Year’s Eve. In it, you can list things like; what your biggest dreams are right now, the things you are most afraid of, the most prominent emotions you experience on a daily basis, things that are flowing in your life and things that feel stuck, how you feel in your body, and how you hope you will feel as you read the letter in one year.
Release A Floating Lantern
In many cultures, it’s considered good luck to release a lantern into the sky, and is symbolic of our problems and worries floating away. With a few simple tools you can make your own lantern, and can even write on the outside some of the old patterns you are ready to release from your life. Click here for a simple tutorial.
Have An Electricity Sunset
While the whole rest of the world is ablaze with lights, sounds and activity on New Year’s Eve, why not cozy up and have a heartfelt connection with the people you love most? One of the greatest ideas for doing this is called an “electricity sunset,” which basically means that as the sun sets, so do ALL of the electronically powered devices in your home (in our house, this means all electricity, including lights, with the exception of a music device in the background). Light some candles, bring your full attention to your loved ones, and enjoy the simplicity and stillness of life without glowing screens and buzzing electronics.
Water is a naturally healing element that helps move blocked energies and bring greater fluidity into our lives. Whether you perform this ritual in a natural body of water, or a bathtub (with essential oils, salts, etc.) will greatly depend on the climate where you live. Either is a wonderful option.
As you stand near the water’s edge, gazing into it as it ripples and reflects, begin to ask yourself… “What can I wash away for newness to enter into my life? What old attitudes, beliefs, fears or attachments can I cleanse, purify, and dissolve in myself? What am I willing to let go of — right here, right now?” Make your intention, and then submerge yourself in the water and allow it to dissolve and wash away all that you have offered. Emerge refreshed and ready to take on the New Year from a place of purity, strength and freedom.
Enjoy Your Own Company
Alone time is incredible important for processing, reflecting and connecting with yourself. And if you can’t quite decide what celebration feels right for you this NYE, you may be drawn to simply enjoy your own company. Have a solo dance party, order your favorite carry out, do an at-home yoga practice or meditation, take a candlelit bubble bath. Give yourself the gift of quality time, and find enjoyment and ease in the company you keep, even in the empty moments. Fill yourself from the inside out.
List The Things You’re Grateful For
There’s no truer way to find happiness in this very moment than to count your blessings. As you look back on an entire year, you’re sure to discover a treasure trove of miracles just waiting to be illuminated and cherishes. So take some time to come up with your own gratitude list for 2016. There is just so much to be thankful for, if only we have eyes to see.
Have a ritual you don’t see listed here? Please share the wisdom with us by commenting below!