As a child I always looked forward to the end of the year. At home in Puerto Rico our family welcomed the New Year with rituals such as: eating 12 grapes at midnight (Spanish tradition) or throwing a bucket of water out of the front door to cleanse the house and welcome the new year. My grandmother used to make thin yellow bows out of ribbons and pin them to our shirts/dresses– symbolizing health and good wishes! When I lived in Ecuador I marveled at their traditions– making an “old year” puppet mocking a political figure or a public figure and then burning it at midnight. At midnight I could see people running on the street carrying a suitcase- a sure way to ‘hope and expect’ travels in the new year. My sister in law, Natalia, shared with me a tradition that I still cherish. Have a dollar bill ready and at midnight fold it flat, then tie it into a knot and place it in your wallet (you can’t use it!!) in order to always have money during the coming year.
Even as a child I understood and welcomed the thought that every ‘end of the year’ brings an opportunity to start anew… to write on a clean slate.
As I’ve grown I’ve adopted a more meaningful ritual to say goodbye to the present year and mindfully transition into the new one. It is not about resolutions– since I do not really believe in them. It is about being thoughtful and intentional about who I choose to be as the new year begins. I ask myself questions and reflect upon them… slowly letting them simmer. Sometimes taking a group of them… sometimes one or two…
I am sharing them with you and hope you find your own way to incorporate them as you celebrate 2011 and welcome 2012 in your own meaningful way!
* What successes/learnings are you celebrating?
* What challenges or disappointments helped you grow in 2011?
* What are you most grateful for in 2011?
* What worked in 2011 that you want to transfer into 2012?
Now step intentionally into 2012…
* What is next for you in 2012 and how can you mindfully help create it?
* What do you need to leave behind or let go of in 2012?
* What boundaries must you establish so that you find balance and fulfillment in 2012?
We all have our rituals– or you may leave it up to chance! Whatever route you take– don’t forget to focus and be grateful for the achievements, the small victories, the experiences learned in 2011– celebrate them and create room for a 2012 filled with wonder, growth and plenty of opportunities to celebrate achievements!
Best wishes during the Holidays!