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new year/new goals/new rituals

Last week my friend Aly emailed me about having a “mindful intention” setting ritual for the New Year. On the docket was:

- Sage smudging 

- Guided meditation 

- Guided free writing

- Ritual to let go of the past

- Intentional workshopping of 4 goals 

- Mantra jar creation 

- Potluck lunch

+ other dope shit depending on time

Obviously I was super into this so said yes immediately. What I really loved about it was that it was a combination of new age, wiccan, and self-help concepts.

The following Saturday, we gathered at Aly’s super cool apartment. The only way to describe her apartment is that it is a cross between a modern art piece and a science experiment. Though honestly, just showing the pictures is enough.

We started the day by burning some sage and writing down on a piece of paper things that we wanted to leave in 2017.  Each person would say what they had written down and place the paper in a pot. After everyone had gone, we threw matches into at the pot and watched them first turn black, then crumble into ashes. 

It was quite cathartic.

We then did an 18-minute guided mediation, that was focused on slowing down thoughts. I haven’t meditated in a longggg time so it was definitely tricky after the first 5 minutes. 

The main purpose of the ritual was to plan out four goals for the year, falling under the categories of physical, spiritual, professional, and personal. 

My goals ranged from the mundane (find a new apartment), to the elusive (easing my social anxiety).

We each brought a journal and wrote for a bit to decide our goals, and then shared two of them.

The final part of the ritual involved taking a jar and 52 pieces of paper, and writing affirmations/mantras on them. Aly provided a sheet with 56 mantra ideas, but we were also free to create our own. We would then place them in the jar, with the idea being we will take one out a week as a little mindful theme. 

Most of us didn’t finish writing all 52 (David and I are going to finish ours tomorrow during a no-electronic day--more on THAT later).

Then it was time for a break, and lunch. Each of us brought a dish. Aly asked for vegetarian dishes but ours was only half vegetarian since it was a mix of quiches, oops!

We had a little potluck in the kitchen, and caught up on each others lives and holidays.

Overall it was a lovely way to spend a chilly afternoon (side-note: I cannot WAIT to go back to LA for the warmth), and I left with a clearer intent for my year.

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