Welcome to 2018!
To start the year off right we’re going to be doing an exercise together that I call ‘What Crap Are you Leaving in 2017?’ This is an exercise I do every year in January because it’s such a great time for reflection. I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions because they just feel like a way of setting yourself up to fail. We make them with the best intentions but at some point, we often end up feeling like a failure or a loser because we’ve not run that marathon we said we would! And we don’t want ANY of those feelings!
What we really want to do is to learn from the situations that didn’t work out as planned and from the “mistakes” we have made in the previous year. I don’t see them as mistakes, I see them as lessons and as a way of learning and growing – they’re only a real “mistake” if you don’t learn from them.
Now we all know I love a good ritual 🙂 and this is one of my favorites because it’s all about releasing thoughts, feelings, interactions, and situations that are not serving our greatest good and leaving that CRAP in 2017. This makes room for what we DO want to populate our lives in 2018.
We start with three lists. The first list is Crap You Are Leaving in 2017. This can be people, places, feelings, situations – anything that you don’t want to drag into 2018 with you. This is a great journaling exercise so be specific! This can cover all areas of your life – home, relationships, work, finances, friendships, health – anything that you feel needs to change. This isn’t an exercise in negativity, this is about identifying what worked and what DIDN’T work, and getting clarity about where you want your life to feel better.
The second list is Gems from the Crap in 2017. This is a great way of REALLY getting to the bottom of what you learned from those circumstances that didn’t go the way you wanted them to. Look back at your first list and really try to extract the wisdom or learning from each of those situations or experiences. While some of those can and will be painful to re-examine, this is how we as humans learn and grow – instead of beating yourself up and living in regret, we focus that energy on gleaning the wisdom from those painful events. To put it a little more bluntly, this is your commitment to getting your hands dirty and digging through the crap of 2017 to find the gems.
List three is where it gets really fun. This is about what we are creating in 2018. Now that you have established in the first list all of the things you DON’T want in 2018, write down on this list how you WANT to feel, and what positive changes you want in your life. As my good friend Danielle LaPorte says, this is where we create our Goals with Soul. Get clear on what you want, based on how you want to feel.
Take your first list – the one with all the crap that you want to leave in 2017 – and burn it. (Please make sure you do this somewhere safe and legal – the last thing you need is the fire department having to come around or the police ticketing you for starting a fire somewhere you shouldn’t! Be safe, lovebugs!)
What we are doing is ritualistically burning the negativity and negative energetic ties out of our own experience and releasing it into the universe. If you want to do this with a friend you can silently and non-judgmentally witness each other, and when it’s done, say this affirmation:
“I am so happy and grateful right now…I am free.”
Negative feelings give out negative vibrations that are like little hooks drawing in similar negative experiences, which is why – while we always want to acknowledge the lesson and be in action to change the things that aren’t working in our life – we always want to focus on the good stuff we want in our lives, focusing on what we DO have rather than what we don’t. So this burning is a very powerful way of re-affirming to the universe that we are done with the unsatisfying or painful experience/emotion/circumstance, and freeing ourselves of it.
Now CELEBRATE – feel liberated and lighter and share your joy with us in the comments below or with your friends.
Then, take list two and three and put them in a place that you can see them often and easily. Download the PDF below and you can either print it out and write your lists, or type in your list and save the PDF somewhere you can easily get to it (like on your phone or desktop.)
Every time you read your lists of positive intentions, try to really FEEL the emotions you want to create. It’s not enough to just see the list – take the time to really imagine the good feelings behind each item on your lists. That way, by taking positive action AND consciously conjuring the feeling of achieving it, you create a really impactful way of making these things manifest for you in 2018.
I cannot wait to see what magic you create in 2018! As always, take care of you.