While traveling over the holidays with my husband, I read this wonderful article by Sally Kempton in Yoga Journal magazine, and I was inspired. With the aid of a roaring fire, I convinced my husband to help me modify this ritual to celebrate the old, the new, and the unknown.
1. To start, build a fire with your partner. Include the rest of the family if you wish, but make sure you share this ritual with someone you love deeply. Let the fire burn for a bit, adding fuel and just enjoying the warmth of the blaze.
2. Take a sheet of paper and something to write with, and make sure everyone who is with you is similarly equipped.
3. Write a list of all the moments in the past year that brought you joy. You can be as vague or specific as you want.
4. Share the list with your partner: read your own entries out loud and listen as he reads his. Don't discuss or judge, simply be a listening ear.
5. Offer this list to the fire. You might say something as you burn it, like, "Thank you for the joys of this year."
6. Grab another sheet of paper. This time, write down all the moments you regret or that caused you discomfort in the past year.
7. Share the list, and remember not to pass judgement on yourself or your partner.
8. Offer this list to the fire. You might say, "I accept the negative pieces of this year, and I let them go."
9. Now it's time for a third list (and this is my favorite part of this ritual): write down all the things you wish for in the coming year. Be wild, creative, and ambitious; there's no limit on wishing.
10. Share this list, and offer it to the fire. You might say, "I can't wait to see what the coming year holds."
Now, linger in front of the fire. Share some wine or a sweet treat, or simply watch the flames in silence.
A new year is coming, and we all have the chance for new, amazing things. Let go of the past, and step forward with an open heart and a sense of hope. There's nothing that's truly impossible!