Life Lessons from 2017 and A Cleansing End of the Year Ritual

“And so this is Christmas and what have we done
Another year over, a new one just begun”

As the year approaches it’s closing, it is a great time to review the year we leave behind. This year was such a great year for me personally. I have grown and learned so much. But it wasn’t until I actually reviewed what happened, and wrote it down that I realized it. Many of us feel the years fly by. We feel sad another year is over, and that life is happening too quickly. But instead of focusing on this, we can look at all the beautiful things and lessons we have learned. We can focus on how we have grown and changed because of it all. So I wanted to list some things I have learned, and hopefully that can relate to you as well. Perhaps it will spark something inside you, that will have you feeling grateful for this year, rather than feeling sad it is over.

[Self] love can change your world. It is the crux of growth. You cannot grow or change unless you first learn to love yourself, exactly where you are in this moment. And you cannot learn to love others until you learn to love yourself. Once you can do that, you allow room for so much potential. And it is then your choice what to fill that space with.

Find your tribe. Focus on spending time with people you love; with those who make you happy. Don’t feel bad about removing people from your life if they drain your energy. It may be easier said than done, but it is worth it in the end.

Persistence is key. Things usually do not change after doing it once. This is really hard for me because I often start a new project, and never finish it. It is important to do things over and over if you want to see the change manifest.

Let loose. Just as persistence is key, it is equally important not to be so hard on yourself. Sometimes we try to stick to a new routine or diet, and then become so rigid with it that we do not allow ourselves any room for error. It is perfectly okay to let loose and enjoy things even if they are not in your scope of “ideal”. Then you will find you naturally return to your happy balanced place in the end because that is what feels best.

Have fun. Life should not be taken too seriously, so don’t forget to laugh it off. Laughter is the antithesis of anger. And if we have more laughter, more love in this life, so many things can change for the better.

Follow your heart. Far too often we let our head rule our lives. Sometimes that is okay, but a lot of the times, it leaves us overthinking and over-analyzing. It is important to listen to our heart, and follow it’s guidance.

Push passed your comfort zone; so long as it doesn’t rub you the wrong way. There are times we don’t do things out of fear. This is when we miss out on opportunities. Some of the most exhilarating and memorable moments occur when we are pushed out of our comfort zone. Just be sure to follow your intuition when making these choices. There is always a limit, just know where yours is.

Life is short. Sometimes we get caught up in the whirlwind of our day-to-day lives, and before we know it a life has ended. This can really wake us up and shake our bones. But keep in mind you are here now. Enjoy the moment, because life does move quite fast.

Be grateful for what you have. Far too often we are seeking comfort in material things. We want more, and we buy more, especially around this time of year. Remember to pause and be grateful for what you already have. Do you really need that new phone? Maybe you do, and that’s fine! But just take a moment to think about it before carelessly consuming.

Cry it out. There is something very cleansing about a good cry. Whether a tragedy occurred in your life, or maybe emotions have got the better of you, crying is healing. Nothing good comes from keeping those intense emotions inside you. Let it out. It will be OK.

Write it down. When in doubt, write it down. I have found this to be extremely therapeutic. Any thoughts I have, plans I want to make, writing it down seems to solidify it; make it true. Even just the act of writing seems to manifest. It at least gets it out of my head and onto something more material and real. If writing is not your thing, find something that you can do to get your ideas out there. Drawing, creating, building, etc. Find what it is and practice it daily.

Enjoy the little things. That morning cup of coffee. That glass of wine at the end of the day. Perhaps it is not the most “healthy” ritual, but it can be if we relish it and truly enjoy it. Be mindful of how you are feeling, and where you are physically. If you want it, go for it, and fully enjoy it all the while.

Pursue your passion. Do you want to be a wood carver? Are you longing to launch your business? Do it. Now. I am terrible at this, I always push things off. But I want to put it out there that now is the time. Enough waiting for “the right time”. Let’s get our life on track to finding it’s purpose. Whatever that means.

Your thoughts are more powerful than you think. What you believe can manifest itself. Do you believe smoking cigarettes will kill you? Do you believe working at this desk job is not fulfilling you? You are right. Always. So enjoy what you have, make room for growth, and think loving thoughts as naturally as they come.

I hope you all had a very fulfilling year, and can appreciate where you are in life. If not, here’s to a new year and a fresh start. Let’s let go of what no longer serves us and move forward with determination. We’ve got this.

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A cleansing end-of-the-year ritual:

Write down as many things you would like to let go of in the new year. Each thing will require it’s own piece of paper. Take your time and write a few every day for the next week. When New Year’s Eve is upon us, have a fire. With each thing you have written, take the piece of paper in your hand, think of what that thing is, and imagine completely letting it go. Then throw that piece of paper in the fire and continue with the rest. This can be a very cleansing ritual. I, personally, have never performed it, but am planning to and already feel the weight lifted. Enjoy!

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“A very merry Christmas and a happy new year
Let’s hope it’s a good one without any fears”

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