Every year after the hustle and bustle of Christmas has come and gone, I find myself in a quiet place seeking reflection. Questions pour in, the flood gates unapologetically broken, so my mind can go adrift down the waterways of “what if’s” and “how do’s” as the vision for myself and my life becomes a bit clearer. I find as I peer down into the pool of my own rippled reflection, there’s a lightness that shines back inviting me to dig deeper.
It’s the kind of lightness that preludes much anticipated change and un-touched newness – a lightness without fear in the sidecar. It’s that feeling that a blank page or canvas gives you, the ability to breathe in a little longer, and to let go a little deeper, because possibilities. It’s a quiver of goosebumps, the kind that help you forgive and look beyond, because hope. It’s a new tune, an opportunity to take the muddle of loss and lessons that became unraveled like a ball of yarn throughout the year, the ones that even unraveled you, because letting go. It’s a stride in a unfamiliar direction as you make your way towards overgrown path in the meadow, the one you trust will lift you up in the lightness of possibilities, and hope, and letting go, so you can choose to either gather the unraveled mess and roll it back up, or to simply leave on the floor as it it left you, because courage.
It’s a new year for new things, for new feelings, for new memories. A new time to be alive; a ball of clay ready to take shape. Let’s reflect and dig a bit deeper, shall we?
There’s a book I love deeply, one that I have near my bedside, with tattered pages I flip through each month. At the end of each seasonal section, there are a bundle of contemplative questions to ponder about one’s life and how you’ve chosen to live it. I am going to outline some of those here for you, alone with several of my own, so like me, you can spill your desires and ideas and struggles on paper before the new year. Let’s realign ourselves with the growth and change each transition period gives us the opportunity to embrace. Grab your journal and trustee ink pen, and let’s do this.
10 New Year’s Reflections (some adapted from this book):
- At the start of this year, I felt afraid of _____ . The three main ways that I habitually react to fear are: _____, _____, _____ .
- One habit I am going to focus on cultivating for the next 30 days is ___. I will omit _____ to create space for this. The main thing I hope to experience as a result of this is _____ .
- These three things brought me the greatest sense of ease this year: _____, _____, _____ . Why did these specific things bring me a sense of calm and comfort? How can I incorporate them more consistently into my everyday routine?
- What inspires me? What drains me?
- I will omit my usual time wasters of _____ and _____ and _____ so I can make room for _____ and _____ and _____ .
- When I feel anxious and ungrounded, I usually feel it in my body the most in _____ . These three things most often lead to this feeling of discomfort _____, _____, _____ .
- When I think back on my life to the times when I felt most content and rested, the following memories comes to mind: _____ .
- How did I treat my body this past year? What simple things can I do or change to feel healthier this year? List three things and discuss why I chose them.
- I experienced some dark nights of the soul when _____ and also when _____ . The light and lessons I received from embracing those experiences fully were: _____ .
- The vision for myself and my life in this next year that’s becoming clear to me now is: _____ . This might be the dream I have for my soul that I still want to bring into the world, or this may be one word I feel in my gut. Lean into whatever it is I am feeling.
I nudge you to go get a pretty, new journal so you can record your answers. You may want to revisit them later and it always helps to take the time to write things out. Light a beautiful candle or diffuse some essential oils, and find a comfy space that makes you feel like opening up. Don’t be afraid of what you’re going to write down. You are the only one who will see this. Journaling is a wonderful way to dig deeper within ourselves so we can make the changes we need or to simply recognize or uncover the truths within.