Ritual: My End of Year Ritual

Today I went to a café with my mom, cozied up with piping hot mug of chai and spent the afternoon doing a ritual we’ve done together almost every year for the last decade. It started in 2010 with the book “Five”, a book of reflective journaling questions that helps you tease out thoughts about what you value, where you’re dreaming and where you’re plotting for the next 5 years of your life. Over the years it evolved into our own set of questions that helped us look at the big picture view of our year, where we spent our energy, what we accomplished, our biggest challenges and lessons, who inspired and shaped us, and noting anything that was left that needed our attention to close out the year. This self-inquiry practice has become our ritual for reflecting on the year’s growth and giving insight on where we want to shift path and shape our goals for the year ahead. With a decade coming to a close, we took this practice and applied it to ten years, looking at the overview of our decade’s most memorable experiences that led us to who we are now. It was POWERFUL to say the least! So I’d like to invite you into this little ritual of ours and give you a few prompts for your own journaling and reflection…


STEP 1 – ORGANIZING & REFLECTING
Create a list of moments or highlights in your professional, personal and spiritual life. Note the people, projects, travels, accomplishments, challenges or roadblocks that were significant in your life. If you’re doing this for the year, you might organize this month-by-month, or if you’re doing this for the decade, you might just pull from the highlights.

Professional

  • Projects
  • Travels
  • Studies
  • Accomplishments you’re most proud of
  • Challenges, roadblocks and obstacles

Personal

  • Relationships
  • Travels
  • Studies
  • Rites of Passage (birthdays, marriages, separations, deaths, ceremonies, vision quests)
  • Accomplishments you’re most proud of
  • Challenges, roadblocks and obstacles

Spiritual

  • Influences & Inspirations
  • Studies (books, courses, people)
  • Growth you’re most proud of
  • Challenges, roadblocks and obstacles

STEP 2 – INTEGRATING

Now looking at back at the year (or decade) of experiences, can you note any themes arising around your main lessons, challenges and growth points. Take this time to reflect and integrate on the invaluable wisdom gained through your direct experience.

  1. What were your primary lessons of the year(s)?
  2. Which lessons have shaped you and your life the most?
  3. What do you want to carry forward with you in the new year?

STEP 3 – CLOSING LOOPS
Before making plans for the year ahead, take a look back at your experiences and note if there are any open loops that need your attention to free up space and make way for the new ahead.

  1. Are there any experiences that feel unsolved? (ie. resentments, triggers or upsets that might still be lingering in the forefront or background)
  2. What is needed to find peace with it? Is there anyone that you need to forgive? (This can include yourself.)
  3. Are there any projects left unfinished that need your attention?
  4. What limiting beliefs or narratives are you holding onto about yourself?

What rituals do you have to reflect on the year’s end? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. 

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