It’s the end of December, and we are about to celebrate the beginning of a brand spankin’ New Year!! Woo Hoo!!!
How did this year treat you? Did you have a great year? A ho-hum year? A horrible year? Are there things you want to remember? Do you want the year to freaking end already so you can just forget the whole thing?
Most people hyper-focus on their Resolutions, or what they will do differently in the new cycle, after celebrating New Year’s Eve… never giving even a thought about closing out the year that’s about to end. Trust me, it’s so much easier starting a new year or cycle when you take a look at the past year and make peace with it before moving on.
I personally have a year-end ritual I like to practice. I call it The Closing Ceremony. I learned this exercise originally from working with Leonie Dawson’s workbooks. I’ve done this practice for 4 or 5 years now.. I’ve add my own flair and created my own version of this ritual, and over time, it’s really become a treasured tradition for me now.
The Closing Ceremony allows me to really take stock of the past year. A way to remember and celebrate accomplishments, honor new relationships and habits, and really appreciate all the wonderful stuff that happened over the past year. YES! Also, this ritual is a way to look objectively at things that didn’t go so well, and look at how I might improve in the new year. A way to bring awareness to things I’d like to shift, change, or continue. This ritual clears my mind and helps me greet the new year coming with clarity and a positive , focused mindset!
This ritual doesn’t take long. It doesn’t require any tools. You can make it as elaborate or as simple as you like. Since I am a big fan of Leonie, I do still work with her workbooks every year, not just for this particular exercise, but the goal planning and mastermind groups, as well. (Want to learn more about Leonie Dawson or her workbooks? Click HERE.)
For the Closing Ceremony in particular, my inspiration originally came from the workbooks.. but I add quite a few things for myself. I personally set aside dedicated time for this purpose at the end of every year. I make it a sacred ceremony for myself, with candles, and incense, and crystals, and flowers, and things that are sacred and special for me. I actually think of it as a mini-holiday-celebration for myself, and I look forward to it every year.
What sorts of things do I look at for The Closing Ceremony? Here are a collection of prompts I’ve gathered from various sources over the years.. consider some of these ideas, or create your own, before you jump ahead into a new cycle. You can write out your answers, answer them mentally, create a piece of art to represent the year… answer some or none, journal about them.. this is YOUR closing ceremony, so do what resonates and feels best for you!!
When you look back on the past year, what immediately comes to mind? What dreams or goals came true? What did you embrace? What did you learn about yourself? Do you feel like you grew or transformed? How and why? What did you let go of from the past year? What changed for you in the past year? What are you happy about from the past year? Why? What did you discover about yourself? What made you proud of yourself over the past year? What hard stuff happened over the past year. How did you work through the hard stuff? When did fear hold you back in the past year? Where did you practice bravery or stand in your own power in the past year? What surprised you in the past year? What made you really happy in the past year? What new friends did you make, or new relationships formed over the past year, and how did they make life different? What are you grateful for from the past year? List 3 accomplishments you are most proud of from the past year? What skills helped you in accomplishing these? How did you celebrate your accomplishments? List 3 challenges from the past year. How did you deal with them? Did you discover new skills or tools to help you? What did you learn from these challenges? What was your favorite day, moment, or thing of the past year? Does anything from the past year need to be forgiven? What stands out the most from the past year?
I usually take dedicated time to sit and journal about these things before my ceremony. A review really helps me accept both good and bad from the year. It gives me time to forgive and release the bad. And it gives me time to celebrate the good. This sets the tone for me to move in to a new cycle with clarity, direction, and purpose.
There is one additional thing I do for myself to complete The Closing Ceremony… I pick a word for the new year.
Once I’ve reviewed the past year, and I have some clarity on what direction I’d like to head into with a new cycle, I pick a word of inspiration. This word works as a guide or a compass, especially during the different highs and lows of the new year. This word keeps me on track for my goals. I like to create a piece of art to display all year for myself, which becomes a beacon or a reminder for me daily. Some people make a vision board with their word, or even a digital wallpaper for their phone/computer with it. Whatever works for you! There are so many resources for choosing a word for the year.. a quick google search might surprise you with some great inspiration!!
I highly recommend performing a Closing Ceremony ritual, and picking a word of inspiration for yourself to kick off New Year’s day.
Whatever you choose to do for yourself, to close out the year, it is my deepest and most sincere wish that your celebration is full of joy, and that the New Year brings you true blessings, abundance, and love in all positive and beautiful forms. Happy New Year!
Love, Cam xoxo