Happy New Year!
As you prepare to move into the next decade, do you find yourself reflecting a little more than usual? What do you want more of -or less of- in your life? How do you want to show up in the word? Has something been calling to you? Is there healing that needs to unfold this year? Do you need to rest more, or build more momentum, or both? Wherever you find yourself at the beginning of this new decade, is perfect. As you prepare to step forward into 2020, here are six practices to support you, c/o a few of our favorite teachers:
1. Manifesting Intentions Practice
This beautiful exercise is simple yet profound if you approach it with wholeheartedness, and maybe even do it together with a friend. This practice comes from Debra Hilary aka Rainbow Medicine, a shamanic practitioner based in Pemberton, BC, who brings a joyful spirit to the wisdom she shares in the ceremonies, retreats, and one-to-one work she offers. Find her online: Rainbow Medicine.
Begin by Honouring Yourself exactly where you are right now.
Acknowledge how far you have come, paying attention to what you have let go, the lessons you’ve incorporated, and the ways your awareness of self have expanded.
Be gentle with yourself, knowing you are now able to be clear about what you really want moving forward.
As you prepare to write and manifest your Intentions, consider the following:
- With the intentions you’re setting for yourself, are you able to Receive and Give equally?
- Are these intentions for your highest good?
- Are you dreaming as Big as you can? Tip: Don’t hold back on what you want to attract.
- Allow the intentions to evolve as necessary. You can continue adding to your intentions.
- Have fun with this exercise.
- Give yourself a sacred space to be inspired and supported as you “Dream yourself Awake”. Burn some sage to clear space.
Ready here we go…
- Get your pen and paper, centre yourself so you feel clear in your mind, body and heart. Close your eyes.
- Breathe deeply 3 times and release any tension in your body on the exhale.
- Connect to the Earth and bring up the glowing Pink light through your feet, sensing your rootedness into Mother Earth, and bringing that light all the way up to your heart. That Light will travel all around you and rejuvenate your heart and spirit. Keep breathing the light all around, in and out. Now open your eyes…
- Allow the words and feelings to pour out on to the paper: How do you want to live your life? What makes you happy? What makes you light up inside? What is most important to you?
- If there are things you need to release, write them down and do a burn ceremony. Simply, putting into a fire any lingering thoughts, hurts, emotional upsets, traumas, etc., to be extinguished.
- Keep you Intentions in a journal so you can check them off as you receive them.
- Enjoy this process.
2. Living Your Highest Potential Practice
- Set aside TWO blocks of time for yourself (suggested 2-3 hours). In this window of time, your goal is to connect with yourself more deeply. To clear your mind of distraction and come into a place of more abundance, you may want to take a warm bath with salts or oils, listen to your favourite song, move your body, or take a walk in nature. Leave your phone behind and allow yourself to breath through the experience. After approximately 30 minutes of filling yourself up, find a quiet place to sit with your eyes closed.
- Imagine yourself 12 months down the line if possibilities were limitless.
- Ask yourself: How would you FEEL in a limitless state of being? Most often, we set intentions around a specific outcome, rather than an impact or feeling. This exercise is about feeling. Ultimately, all that we do is to FEEL – to feel connected, to feel that we belong, to feel heard or seen, to feel loved. So consider: How do you wish to feel throughout the year? Light? In a state of flow? Joyous? Free? Courageous? Grateful? Embracing your femininity more deeply?
- If you are having a difficult time sitting still, you can begin with a piece of paper and a pen, and create a mind map. In the middle of the paper, draw a circle in the center that has YOUR NAME written in it. From this circle, you can begin to draw branches out to various experiences that really made you come alive. From each of these experiences, you can identify the FEELING that was most present at that time. The most common or powerful feeling that jumps out for you on that page may be the one you set your intention around.
- Staying aligned with new possibilities requires continual practice each and every day. Staying intentional about your intention can simply start with setting aside the first 5 minutes of your day to sink into how it would feel to embody the feeling you wish to live with. Before you reach for your phone in the morning or speak to anyone, sit with your eyes closed and allow yourself to breath into the feeling of being surrounded by the energy of the feeling you wish to carry.
- As a further step, you are invited to create a vision board around these feelings. On a large piece of bristol board (in a color that resonates with you!), you can start flipping through magazines for images that inspire the chosen feeling in you.
- Remember: Your decision to stay aligned with your intention will be a choice you make many times a day. Do remember that shifts take time and practice, and even when they become a newly learned pattern for us, we are tested along the way to stay with it. Eventually, you may find that you are able to maintain the desired more and more time over the course of each day, until it becomes second nature.
3. Year End Inquiry Practice
This powerful exercise is about reflecting, taking stock, and gaining clarity for the next chapter. This practice comes from San Francisco-based Life Coach and parenting expert, Marcilie Smith Boyle. You may be surprised at the insights you gain as you take stock in this way:
- Think about all of the ups (joys, wins, celebrations), and all of the downs (disappointments, failures, losses) you experienced in 2019 and make a list of both.
- Make a 3rd list to include the learning from these events that you want to be sure to bring with you – with purpose – into 2020.
- Take some time to sit down with your calendar, your journal, your photo album, phone or computer, and glean your resources for all that has happened over the past 12 months. Sit quietly with this and think about what you learned and want to bring with you to 2020.
- Consider doing this exercise with a friend or partner, and speaking your insights to one another.
- Finish this phrase: “2019 was the year of _____________.”
- State your intention for this phrase: “2020 will be the year of ________.”
4. Gratitude Practice
Mindfulness meditation teacher Ashley Dahl of Portland-based OpenSpace Mindfulness offers the following beautiful New Year’s practice. This practice is about getting into nature, aligning your body, breath and spirit, and listening deeply to the guidance that comes through from deeply focusing on gratitude and dropping into your own felt experience. Enjoy!
- This practice involves walking in nature for 20 minutes or so. Pick somewhere you love, like a beach or forest. If you’re in the city, a park or favorite neighborhood works great.
- Start by spending a few minutes settling into your body. As you settle into the world around you, attune to sounds as you walk, feeling contact between your feet and the ground beneath, and sensing into your breath as it connects the space around you with your body.
- Begin to silently offer gratitude for blessings and learnings from the previous year. (These could be experiences, material things, or insights.) Take enough time to bring felt-sense attention to whatever arises. Rather than bringing back stories or narratives around what you’re grateful for though, move on to another appreciation. Continue walking in this way for twenty to thirty minutes. As you walk, pause to take a few intentionally deep breaths, with a hand or hands on heart. On the inhales seeding gratitude, on the exhales letting the experiences go.
- Turn around and face the new year. As you slowly walk back, begin to silently offer gratitude for what you are welcoming into your life in the new year. Allow yourself to feel this gratitude in you body. Instead of planning or fantasizing about what comes up, simply continue to notice what else you are welcoming in the new year.
- When you get back to your starting point, once again pause. With a hand or hands on heart, take a few intentionally deep breaths. With each inhale, breath in gratitude into the heart center. With each exhale, feel the gratitude and new year blessings seed in the heart center.
- There’s something about continuing to be receptive to another gratitude, for an extended period of time, that supports really dropping past thinking mind and into heart wisdom. You may be awed by what presents itself!
5. Digital Mindfulness Practice
If you’re ready to put down your phone and reclaim your humanity – to become more mindful of how you interact with technology and social media, and thus, with the people and world around you – the following practice c/o Seattle-based digital wellness expert and psychotherapist Christina Malecka might be just the support you’re looking for!
- Sit down and take a look at what you are most likely to post on social media: photos, opinions, articles, experiences, vacations, locations, stories, etc.
- Ask yourself: How do I want to feel when I post this and people respond? How can I get these emotional needs met off-line as well?
- What do I want people to think about me and why? How close is this to my true nature? Who really knows me?
- Am I having embodied experiences grounded in my 5 senses off-line? if not, how can I have more of what I truly need in 2020?
- This simple reflective practice is meant to help you gain more clarity and become intentional around your digital life. If you’re ready for a more immersive experience, Christina has created a beautiful DIY Digital Mindfulness Retreat that people can download and do at home.
Wishing you a beautiful, blessed, year ahead!