It’s that time of year again. A time to let go of the old and prepare for a new year by setting strong intentions. 2020 has shown itself to be a year full of intense unexpected events that have been devastating to so many. Social distancing in and of itself has caused us to feel isolated and cut off from our communities. Leaving many to go inside and question who we are, what is important to us and re-evaluate our lives. It’s brought a big quiet in from a normally chaotic lifestyle. This may be the hidden gift. I wanted to share an exercise you can use to home in on manifesting the life you want in 2021. Out with the old and in with the new!
Start by writing down a list of things are truly holding you back from a life of joy and abundance. Is it an unhealthy relationship, inability to pursue your passion or addiction to sugar, alcohol or unhealthy thought patterns? Whatever it is for you, write a list to bring awareness to these issues.
Setting intentions requires you to be open to making changes that support the life of your dreams. One step toward making these changes is being mindful of your thought patterns. Ask yourself if most of your thoughts are based in love or fear. When you look in the mirror do you see your beauty or do you focus on your flaws? Do you notice if you always focus on the negative or do you see the learnings in obstacles in life? If you have not done so already, with a strong intention, write down whatever negative energy, emotions, or memories you long to let go of. Once you have written your list you can fold it up and put it in an envelope. If you have an altar or special place you can set it there and leave it until right before the new year.
A Symbol of Change
At the end of December it will be the time to release your old habits and thought patterns. Take a moment to think about the fact that you’re consciously doing away with these aspects and then, if you choose, partake in a symbolic ceremony. I like to close with an ancient ritual that’s used across many cultures to signal renewal and purification. Because fire transforms something tangible into something unseen, it is a fitting symbol of change. I also like the dramatic, ceremonial aspect of it. In a fireplace, fire pit, or even over a candle in a pot (just make sure it’s a safe place you won’t start a fire), burn the paper on which you wrote what you want to let go. When you burn the paper and watch it vanish to nothing, it’s a potent way of enacting your desire. Seeing those negative aspects reduced to ash is an exercise in affirmation. When you throw the paper into the fire, it’s a powerful metaphor for releasing whatever is holding you back in your life. Take a moment to reflect on the gratitude you feel for setting intentions, completing the cleanse and having the courage to change your life.
As a complementary ritual, you may choose to write positive affirmations that represent the release of negativity. For example, if your negative statement says something like, “I want to let go of feeling tired, unhealthy, and unhappy all the time,” your affirmation might read, “I am vibrant and healthy. I enjoy life to the fullest.” Keep these affirmations somewhere you can see them and reflect on them daily—you can even say them aloud, an exercise in personal empowerment that is meant to kickstart a whole new healthy lifestyle. This guide to setting intentions is valuable to start a new year, but ultimately, you can use this knowledge for the rest of your life.
Wishing you increased health and vitality!