Whether jumping into the new year or courageously beginning a new chapter in life, this simple yet powerful ritual helps to clarify what is most important to us — and what needs to be left behind. Take your time performing this practice thoughtfully and with care.
Paper or index card
Safe access to an open flame (i.e., a fireplace or firepit)
First, draw a circle on one side of your notecard. Inside the circle, write the things that are working well in your life. Include specific relationships, a job you love, habits that serve you well, etc. Additionally, list everything you wish to bring into your life. You might include trips you’d like to take, physical items you desire and emotions like love, self-compassion and joy. There are no rules except that everything written inside the circle must make you feel good.
You will use the space outside of the circle to write all the things that you wish to leave behind. Examples may include unhealthy habits, grudges or hard feelings and physical ailments. Be honest and specific. Sometimes this portion of the writing exercise can bring up strong feelings and that is okay. Take your time and be kind to yourself while writing. This is your chance to get clear on what in your life needs to be released to make space for something better.
On the backside of the card – and this is particularly fun when using this ritual as a way to leap into a fresh, new year – write your “word of the year.” Think of a word that describes how you want to feel after the burning ritual is complete. Words can be quite powerful, so give yourself time to come up with one that feels exactly right. Some examples include graceful, powerful, free, happy or strong. And yes, it’s okay to choose more than one word.
Now it’s time for the fun part. After filling your paper with all that you wish to release and attract, it’s time to set it aflame. Safe access to fire is imperative; fireplaces or outdoor firepits are great options. Take a few deep breaths to ground and center yourself. Then carefully place your notecard into the open flame and let it turn to ash. You may notice the act of burning has a profound effect on how you feel. Embrace all feelings that arise and move forward with a lighter load.
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