January looms large as a cornerstone of the year, doesn’t it? There I was today, so proud of myself as I was pulling into the Rec Center for water aerobics. Then realized – I’d totally spaced my gym bag! I had to laugh as I turned the car for home. Well, just a little redirect I imagine, to get me penning this newsletter a bit sooner. And tonight I’ll just have to dance harder to make up for the lost swim. Let’s say already the universe is helping me out with my scheduling, eh?
Overly ambitious resolutions aside, why do we feel that pull to reflect on life with the turning of the year? Part of it may be passing through the sacred time of the year where the deep stillness of winter beckons. Stillness makes way for more truth. And as hard as it can be to get still, and come to grips with our joys and pains, it is always worthwhile to face the music. Usually not as bad as you fear. Doesn’t have to take forever either.
Other reasons for reviewing the year? If you don’t clear the past, sometimes it will keep repeating. Or, if there are areas you are really not happy with, it will likely take some focus and attention to change it. Also, you often don’t realize how far you’ve come. I know at times it’s like hair growing – you don’t notice it because you are so close to it. Yet, that shi* is growing friend, and so are you. It’s crucial, and a big abundance practice, to take time to notice progress, and celebrate it.
Especially if the year has had tough sections, as I experienced and hear from many, take a moment for noting, you have survived. Still curious and caring about your evolution and that of this world? Huge.
So here are a few steps for the big exhale of 2014, as you transition into 2015. Take some time to do this – take 30 minutes, or take an afternoon at the café. Reviewing and clearing the past is a crucial step to setting beauteous and accurate intentions for the coming year.
1) First, Review the Year
Speaking for myself, memory isn’t always flawless. To review a year, you can just look at your calendar for help remembering key events. This year I re-read my journal – thank goodness, that is not a daily practice yet! Enlightening, to say the least.
Sometimes you want more structure – for that desire, see this link for a Completion form. Or you can set up a few questions for yourself beforehand. What were your biggest accomplishments of the year? Biggest regrets? Biggest service? What did you learn from each of these? What would you like to be your biggest accomplishment of 2015? Etc.
I’ve done whole life reviews as part of death and dying training and regrets work, so one little year can seem relatively simple. Still it is big work. As you review the year, noting struggles as well as big shifts, ask the question, how will these insights and lessons learned serve me in 2015?
Example: Rereading my journal made me aware how much time I spend in distraction. There are the basic life areas, like fitness, health, food, completing my daily spiritual practice, etc. Then there are the doubts, fears and procrastinations about what really matters. Ugh! Sometimes I can’t believe the things I still struggle with! Perhaps they’re just old friends at this point. Yet, the progress feels huge too.
The answer for me, re: question, how will this serve me next year? I am already entering this year much clearer and stronger than last; I can see that. I want to keep that platform for the basic self-nourishment strong this year. For me that means making time for the spiritual practice and health practices of fitness and healthy eating – getting that to automatic. Just do it. Make the weekly plan, get up early as needed for playful prayer time, whatever. Get this done, so I can then move to the important things.
2) Clear any Regrets
You often find some level of regrets with a year review. Coming to grips with these is important. Key steps include a) realizing you were a different you at that time, and made your best guess based on all of that. You can also b) make any amends or apologies, changing anything that needs to be changed so you don’t repeat this. And finally, c) forgiveness – of yourself and others, so you can start fresh. For more assistance with this work, try the great book, No Regrets, by Hamilton Beazley.
3) Finish the Outstanding Thingies that Still Need Doing
There may be other things that occur to you to clear the year, and to celebrate it. Don’t worry, you have time to do this. I still have some healing packages to get to loved ones that predate the holidays – those will finally go out this week. What do you need to do, so you can be ready to bless and bid farewell to 2014? Clear the decks as best you can. Doesn’t have to be to the Nth degree, or I know I’d be at it all year!
So then, just review and clear the year enough so you’ll be ready to full-body breathe in the amazing year that will be 2015. Let’s get ready. There is time; you can create sacred time for this. Whatever you can do, just make it work for you in this important crossroad.
So whatever you can do to exhale this hairy year, do it. When you’re done, light a candle. Take a big breath, and exhale that mother! Dance and shake it ALL OUT with a few more breaths. Thank the bastard for all it gave you, all it taught you – and let it go. Give it a big AMEN and AHO. Add a laugh with a little “horse lips” fart noise – whatever! It is done, amen. Aho.
Blessings on your day (Epiph! Epiph!) and your month of January two fifteen.
Yours in the soul warrior path,
P.S. I am taking applications for three new wonderful clients. Visit my calendar here to set up a free 30 min consult.