I was tooling around on Facebook last night and saw that a friend of mine is planning to do a Labyrinth walk and bowl burn on New Year’s Eve. If you’re unfamiliar with these things, the simple explanation is that the former is meditative walk on a circular grid, and the latter is an opportunity to release negative energy by burning a list of things you want to release in a fireproof bowl. The end of the calendar year is a perfect time to let things go, both physically and metaphorically. It’s a great time to evaluate what is working in your life and what isn’t. It’s a time that many people set goals and make resolutions for the new year. But before new energies can come into your life, you have to make room for them.
You can clean up your physical space. Clean up your holiday decorations, pack up only what you’ll use again, and donate what you didn’t and won’t use again next year. Repair, recycle, or toss any broken ornaments or lights. Purge the junk from your kitchen. Clean out your fridge and clear your pantry of any leftover holiday foods and treats that won’t get eaten. Sweep the floors, run the vacuum, and wipe down counters. If you’re feeling frisky, open a few east-facing windows and burn a bundle of sage or palo santo wood to clear the energy. Incense afterward is a nice balancer – nag champa is my personal favorite.
You can clear your mental space. Make a list of things on which you expend needless mental energy. Make it as simple or detailed as you want. This is particularly useful for things like grudges, resentments, and unhealed hurts. If there’s a specific person you feel you need to release from your thoughts, write him/her a letter. Get it all out on paper – as much as you need to. It works best if you actually write it out with a pen with your hand versus typing and printing. And then you know what you do? You burn that bitch. You hold it over the flame in a fire, and you watch it sizzle until it’s nothing more than ash.
You can refresh your body and spirit. Take a brisk walk or do yoga. Stretch. Drink some lemon water or detox tea. Take an Epsom salt bath or sit in a steam room. Go get or give yourself a manicure and pedicure. Get a haircut. Take some time to sit in silence and meditate. Breathe. Rest. Pray. After the excitement and busyness of the season, we all need a chance to catch our breath and recharge.
The key to bringing in the new is releasing the old. Fresh, bright energy needs room to move in. Once you clear space for it, the magic happens. And the magic is the shit, kids. Make room for it.