On Rituals & Resolutions: How I Plan to Welcome 2015

Rituals resonate with me, resolutions, not so much, mostly because I know I'll only be setting myself up for failure by making them. This year my approach is simple mindful attention.

"Graced with light", an art installation by anne patterson

"Graced with light", an art installation by anne patterson

Not surprisingly, this week everyone is writing about New Year's rituals and resolutions.  The two articles that struck the deepest chord with me were from Elizabeth Gilbert and Barbara Bizou.  Liz Gilbert marks the New Year by creating her own ceremony; each year she designs something completely new.  Her only criteria is to "be clear about what you are letting go of, and what you are drawing in". Then she creates a personalized ritual around that. I love her idea for so many reasons, not the least of which because it ensures that you approach the new year with fresh eyes and a beginners mind.

Barbara Bizou's article, "12 Rituals To Do In 12 Days To Guarantee 12 Months Of Love & Prosperity"is another great way to approach the clean slate of this new year.  Barbara's book, The Joy of Ritual is a wonderful resource for those of us looking to find meaningful ways to mark significant moments of any kind, whether by designing our own ritual or by adapting long-standing traditions.  I definitely want to invite more love and prosperity into my life, so I plan to explore the practices she recommends over the next 12 days (and 12 is my lucky number, so it takes on a double dose of meaning!). 

Rituals resonate with me, resolutions, not so much, mostly because I know myself well enough to realize I will only be setting myself up for failure by making them.  I plan to do something much simpler to welcome the New Year, and just bring mindful attention to, as Elizabeth Gilbert says, 'what I want to let go of and what I want to draw in.'

There are three things I'd like to be more mindful of in 2015.  The first, and most mundane, is order and organization.  Truth be told, my work space is chaotic and usually looks like a paper bomb has gone off.  I want to bring some order back to my space - as well as other areas of home and life - purging and getting rid of as much as I can, and creating order with what's left to make room for the new. My sister jokingly chants, "calm, peaceful energy" whenever our dogs get too wound up and start to wreak havoc all around them.  I'll be adopting that same mantra as I work on bringing order and organization back into my life.

The second is more attention to gratitude; trite or predictable perhaps, but still true for me.  We often take for granted those who have the most impact on our lives; I know I do.  This morning it dawned on me that there is a large group of people in my life who I may not appreciate enough, my incredible friends.  I am so rich in friendship.  One of the rituals I've planned to mark the New Year will be to take the time to acknowledge the wonderful women who so generously show up for me over and over again, with friendship and encouragement, laughter and love.

And, in addition to that wonderful circle of friends I've known for years and years, I'm also deeply grateful for the virtual network of women who have grown so quickly in the WNWN community.  It's been amazing and humbling to watch this community grow in the six short weeks since we launched our beta version of the site.  Thank you for contributing your voice and your stories! I'm so looking forward to seeing how the community continues to evolve and grow in 2015.

The third area of mindful attention I'll be focusing on in the coming year will be to seek out the 'wow'.  Anne Lamott says that there are really only three prayers - Help, Thanks & Wow.  I realized recently that 'wow' is the one that I've been neglecting lately.  I live in one of the most beautiful places; mountains and open space and the ocean are at my doorstep.  But more and more I find that weeks have gone by and I haven't once lifted my head up, metaphorically speaking, to note the opportunities available to experience that beauty.  

My husband and I have made a pact to change that in 2015, starting tomorrow.  We'll be up and out the door bright and early on New Years Day, heading for one of our favorite hikes.  We haven't decided yet if it'll be the waterfalls and wooded trails of Uvas Canyon or the Pacific to redwoods loop at Wilder Ranch.  Whatever we choose, we know it will be a beautiful, wondrous balm for body, mind and spirit.  

Wishing you and yours the same this New Years Eve, and peace, love, prosperity and JOY in 2015!

Join the Conversation

What will you be doing to mark the New Year?  Will you be creating your own ritual or making resolutions?  What do you want to let go of or draw into your life in 2015?