Unfolding the New Year

Another trip to a public place and another round of uneasy feelings about it.  That pretty much sums up the last 9 months for me! We have survived this year of unease, uncertainty, and uncomfortable thoughts, and it ain’t over yet! The New Year is upon us.

When the weather drives us indoors, this deep meditative time of year invites us to reflect on what has worked in our lives, and what doesn’t work any longer. Traditionally we honor that process by making New Year’s resolutions and we break them by February. Or sooner.

Rather than set rules for the future that only invite self-judgment, I invite you to think about change from a broader perspective. 

New direction

Many years ago, I ditched New Year’s Resolutions and opted instead to set New Year Intentions.  I wrote about the process that I use in my book, Soul-Feeding Studio Time NOW!  This year, I was introduced to a slightly different form of that process during the last church service of the year, held on Facebook. 

I invite you to try it tonight, for New Year’s Eve. 

Have paper and pen ready and begin by quieting your mind. Perhaps light a candle, perhaps take a few moments to journal or doodle to release random thoughts. Set a timer for five minutes and quiet the mind by focusing on your breath.

And now:

  • Release.  Ask yourself, what is stopping peace in your life?  We can point to so many things outside of ourselves (um, pandemic anyone?), but here is an invitation to shine that light inside. This is an invitation to reflect on our habits, our thought patterns, and our beliefs.  

What needs to be left behind in 2020?  Name what robs your peace. What habit needs to change?  Which discarded belief would change your direction?  Put a name to what’s gotta go!  Write them down.

  • Resource. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed when we recognize the things that don’t work. Remember, you are brave. You are strong. Your courage will rise in this moment to face the things you don’t think can be changed.

There is a saying I grew up with: “The will of God will never lead you where the grace of God cannot keep you.” The realizations you have in this moment arise specifically to lead you to the next step in your unfolding. Remember, if it’s in front of you, you can handle it. Tap into your inner courage

  • Replace. Now that you’ve named what needs attention and feel confident of your ability to effect change, what belongs there instead?  What do you want more of?  What impact do you want to have on others?

When the habit shifts, or the belief doesn’t work anymore, what will replace it? How will you be different?  What will unfold?  Write it down.

  • Remind. This is the most delicious step.  Write a letter to yourself from your future self, the one that will be present in December 2021.  In the letter describe what life is like one year from now.  How is it different now, in December 2021, since you replaced what needed to be left to 2020 with your new intentions and behaviors?

Date your letter and sign it from your future self, or from what you understand to be the Divine.  Put this letter where you will find it next year.

If you like, I can help you with that. Use the contact form and send it to me, along with your address, and I will mail it to you at the beginning of December 2021. Alternatively, you can do as I will, pack it with the Christmas decorations. When I open the box, it will be on top.

Setting intentions allow us to unfold as intended. We don’t have to conform to any compass beyond our own inner guidance.  Blessings to you for the New Year!

3 Replies to "Unfolding the New Year"

  • Ginger
    December 31, 2020 (7:29 pm)

    Nice way to organize reminders by indenting.

  • Mary Tracy
    January 1, 2021 (4:07 pm)

    The idea of the Christmas decorations is a good one. Love this, love you.

    • Debra
      January 1, 2021 (4:10 pm)

      Larry and Elise came up with that idea!

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