Ringing in the New Year typically comes with a resolution or two for the future. But a new year is not simply about resolving to lose weight, eat better or exercise more. It’s a chance to reflect on the past 12 months. It provides an opportunity to take a personal inventory of holistic gains and losses and decide what qualities, characteristics, habits and so on to stock up on and which ones to discontinue.
A new year presents a chance for change and growth and a reason to celebrate both. Whether that celebration comes in the form of social events and parties or quiet, intimate moments with loved ones, the ritual of speaking an intention for the coming year prior to midnight is a long-standing one. However, letting go of the old energy attached to the past year is also important. And that’s where reflection comes in.
Some people engage in religious traditions that allow for reflection, atonement and blessings for the coming year. Others choose to reflect in more personal ways—either with family or friends during a New Year’s Eve dinner, or privately in journals or by way of unsent letters. A few take a more ritualistic approach: writing words or phrases that sum up themes of the past 12 months in preparation for a release, so to speak, of the year’s energy. And, of course, there are many who either simply skip the entire pre-resolution experience or keep it to themselves and renounce the past year’s events via a drunken rendition of Auld Lang Syne and a cathartic expulsion of the night’s consumptions into the porcelain prayer bowl.
There are many ways to say goodbye to the old year and hello to the new one. And, truth be told, it likely doesn’t matter which method is chosen. The symbolism is all the same. What matters, in this author’s opinion, is that, regardless, it’s a new year, and it brings with it a new opportunity to shake things up, shift some energy, clean the slate, evolve and reinvent. Here’s to owning 2016!
By Toshia Humphries