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As we close out another year, may Divine Love and Light be with those whose year was a struggle and with those who found new hope. As we move into a new year, whatever your experiences, now it is time to let go of the past and explore the adventures that lie ahead. Times of transition give us the opportunity to re-evaluate our lives, perhaps making any necessary adjustments to realign with our spiritual goals.
Goodbye to the Past Year
Oprah Winfrey said, “We can’t become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” To be able to fully embrace the new year, we need to resolve any issues from the past. We can’t expect to be happy if we continue to hold onto anything that makes us sad. Just as our body needs space to grow, we need to make room in our minds for the wonderful ideas waiting to be manifested.
Review and Accept
Set aside some quiet time to review the past year. Starting with last January and moving forward, month by month, without struggling to remember everything. Try not to judge or dwell too long on any situation but notice anything that brought an emotional charge. It’s important to accept whatever happened. There is nothing you can do to change anything so drop any regrets or “what ifs.” Acceptance of the past will allow you to create the future you deserve. As the author John Templeton advised, “Focus on where you want to go, instead of where you have been.”
As you make your review, be aware of anyone you feel may have hurt you or you may have hurt. If you haven’t forgiven them or forgiven yourself, now is the time to do it. Often, we can’t forgive what was done but we can always forgive the person who did it. If you don’t forgive, you will always remain connected to the situation, which will drain you energetically and overshadow all future interactions. The tough things in life often open our eyes to the good things we weren’t paying attention to, forgive now, and be free to fully enjoy the coming year.
Most of our lives have been disrupted in many ways during the pandemic. New fears, doubts, and limiting ways of doing things may have arisen. Notice any habits, attitudes, or beliefs you have adopted, which don’t serve your growth. Make a commitment to consciously let them go. Remember, “What’s broken can be mended, what hurts can be healed, and no matter how dark it gets, the sun is going to rise again.” Your present situation is not your final destination!
Achievements and Gratitude
Take some time to enjoy your achievements from the year. No matter how small, they were all important. Be proud of the challenges you overcame, creative new ways of doing things, or support you gave to those around you. And be grateful for the blessings you received during the year. No matter how chaotic, confusing, or tough it might have been, there were always those unexpected bright spots, when the sun burst out from behind the clouds. Maybe write down your achievements and things for which you are grateful. You can take this list into the new year and keep adding to it as you go forward.
Finally, take a few deep clearing breaths. If there’s any tension or tightness in your body, breathe into that area. Use your breath to soften your body. As you exhale imagine you’re releasing anything still remaining that no longer serves you, whether you remember it or not. The American legal scholar Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “To reach heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it. But we must sail and not drift, nor lie at anchor.” Remaining stuck in the past will never serve you. End the year by filling your sails with a big grateful sigh. No matter what happened, you’re another year closer to enlightenment.
Hello New Year
Former American politician William Jennings Bryan told us, “Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved”. Now you’ve released the past year what will you make of the year ahead?
I suggest you start by taking a few minutes to sit quietly and ask your Higher Self two questions, “What do I want?” and “What is my purpose?” Ask them at the beginning of the year and also regularly as you progress through the year noticing the changes as you grow and evolve. When asking these questions, see if you can move beyond the ego and its materialistic desires and discover what your soul yearns for and how your purpose not only supports your spiritual journey but also the world around you. Form your answers into a simple sentence and repeat it before your daily meditation and before going to sleep at night. Release the outcome into the field of infinite possibilities and let the universe take care of the rest.
One thing not to do in the new year is to wish things were like they were some time in the past. They are not and never will be, now is the time to stay alert to the new opportunities, to boldly go where you’ve never been before. And remember that some of life’s greatest blessings arrive in unexpected ways.
Be kind and gentle with yourself. Get enough rest, regular exercise, and eat a healthy diet. Listen to your body and try to avoid things that cause you discomfort. Now you’ve released your bad habits, you have space to introduce some good ones. If you can’t think of any, perhaps take this advice from Lord Buddha, “Life is very short, so break your silly ego, forgive quickly, believe slowly, love truly, laugh loudly and never avoid anything that makes you smile”.
Spend time with people who you find uplifting. Be open and listen to other points of view but don’t allow others to control your life. Speak from your inner truth, be yourself, and resist becoming entangled in the stories your ego creates for you or those you are bombarded with from the news and social media. Be prepared to look beyond the obvious, you never know what wondrous magic you might discover.
Love and Light
There will be challenges but nothing you can’t handle. Live your life consciously. Don’t make rash decisions. Be patient, you have eternity. Live in the Love and Light, which you can breathe from your Higher Self and in through the crown chakra. Fill yourself and surround yourself with them. Let Love dissolve your fears, let Light dispel your darkness. A Buddhist proverb says, “If you are facing in the right direction, all you need do is keep walking”. Let Love and Light illuminate your path.
Whatever help we give others will always come back to us many times over. Be generous in your thoughts, words, and actions. Have compassion for those who are in need, understanding for those in difficulty, and tolerance for those who challenge you. Brother Balananda of the Self Realization fellowship reminds us, “When we are being a friend to all, we are being a friend to all the little pieces of our greater Self. So ultimately, when we are kind to others, we are kind to ourselves, when we are loving to others, we are loving to ourselves”.
If you don’t already have one, establish a spiritual practice that suits your lifestyle. Include a daily silent meditation such as Primordial Sound Meditation. Enjoy the wealth of guided meditations on the Chopra App. Take a yoga class, learn some pranayama breathing exercises, and try following an Ayurvedic routine. Stay centered and grounded, and spend time in nature. Become a master of everything you do and be aware. When we live with awareness our whole life becomes our spiritual practice.
This is a simple ceremony, which can be done on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s morning but can be done at another time if more convenient. Take two small candles, tea-lights work well. Mark one so you can tell them apart. Hold one in your cupped hands, close your eyes, and imagine you are releasing everything you want to let go of from the past year, into the candle. Set that one aside and hold the other candle. Close your eyes and imagine you are putting all the wonderful things you want to happen and achieve in the coming year, into this candle. Before you go to sleep on New Year’s Eve, if possible, light the first candle. Place it somewhere safe and allow the things you want to release to burn away during the night. The next morning, light the second candle and again put it somewhere safe. As you move into your day, allow the light of the candle to bring all your desires into the New Year.
The universe as we know it was created as a play of consciousness. Sometimes, eons ago, we mistakenly started taking it seriously. Now it’s time to lighten up again. Make sure you do something just for fun every day. We are all part of one collective consciousness. Everything you do has an effect on everyone else. Imagine the effect if everyone started having fun. But, as the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore told us, “You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water”. It’s up to all of us to make this the most fun year ever.
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