I’m here at the very start of my birthday and I have a personal ritual that I perform each year. It just occurred to me though, that is my own small luxury because time and awareness are things we never seem to have enough of. Time to pause, inhale, exhale and take a look around humbly.
Here is the ritual: Each year just before I go to sleep, I stop to look back at the past year and I think about the major events, month by month. What experiences did I have? What did I accomplish? What I did give of myself? What were the turning points? And what happy moments did I have, share or create?
Then the mind wanders forward, and it turns into more of a welcome to the coming year. What do I want to continue doing? What needs to stop or change? What lofty dreamy ideas could I pursue? What do I wish for most?
I’ve been doing this for several years now, at least 6 or 7. What I notice each year is that this exercise leaves me grateful for the past year, for opportunities, people, and (as someone very smart once eloquently put it) the fact that all my basic needs were met. I find myself thanking the past year for being good to me, thanking that age, thanking that number, for all its lessons good and bad! It’s my own way of saying goodbye to that number, letting go of my attachment to, and identification with it.
Why do it? Because amazingly, it seems to create space for the next number, the next age, the coming year, and all the wondrous potential that I want to project onto it. We all want to start a new year with positive thoughts, desires and hope. This ritual allows me to concretely welcome the future and deliberately state my intentions in a very conscious way.
I leave you with this final thought: Take time to stop and look at things from a wider, more balanced view! You’ll often find yourself feeling much more grounded, calm and content. I know I do.
Image by traoki, flickr.com
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