December 31. 2014. The sun sets on another calendar year. For so many, a time of making resolutions for a new year. Reflecting on this practice raises an awareness of the arbitrariness of a calendar date in making resolutions. It is not a solstice time. It is not necessarily a full moon or a new moon although in different years it may be. It is not a natural time of beginnings like spring, or like the fall has become for so many. Yet it is a time of reflection and a time of renewal.
For me, it has the added significance of New Year’s Day also being my birthday. Beginning a new year. Beginning a new birth year. I long ago stopped making resolutions that take the form of promises to myself about life changes I think I should make or goals that I should strive for that often become broken promises or unreached goals. It has softened into reflection, intention setting and renewal.
Some lovely reflection questions:
- How have I grown in the last year?
- What places of beauty have I walked?
- Who has impacted me and in what ways?
- What and who have I cherished and made time for in my journey of the last year?
- Who has cherished me? How did I respond in return?
- In what ways have I honoured my knowing?
- In what ways have I honoured the practicality of work and life too?
- What has flowed to me over the last year in large and small ways? What do I want to fuel and seed in the coming weeks and months?
- How have I honoured my path? How has my path honoured me?
Of course, there are things that have not flowed so well and maybe choices that didn’t work out so well. But these are not things to focus on or fuel for what is ahead. If there are things to learn from them, by all means, let’s be in the learning. Absorb it. Let it go.
Intention setting. There are a number of ways to approach intention setting.
There are already many flows of life happening and available to each of us. What if intention setting began by sensing into those flows? Feel what works. Not need to name it even while being in the experience of it. What are the flows that want to be amplified? How do we turn our intention to that?
What BIG things are in movement or on the horizon that are worth setting intention for – aspects of work like big projects, new directions, partnerships, offerings; aspects of life like relationships, travel, living. Not just living. Living large, fully, powerfully, intentionally. Which doesn’t have to be flashy or braggy or materialistically but purposefully and meaningfully. Making it count. Your actions, your life, your voice, your word.
Leaving space for all the things we cannot know or anticipate but will recognize when they show up when they are aligned with the intention we set and are fuelling. Who do you want to set intention with – life partners, work partners, friends, colleagues? Nothing that feels forced, and it won’t if it is aligned with what is sensed in the flow of life and journey.
Renewal. Renewal of self. How will I renew myself now? My energy. My spirit. My joie d’vive? Renewal of relationship. What relationships do I want to renew now and continue to renew with intentionality? This does not just apply to the lapsed relationships we all have, but applies to the ones we are in and have now that we do not want to take for granted and that we want to bring the fullness of who we are to, to invite the other to show up in the fullness of who they are.
Reflection, intention setting and renewal. Not just a once a year practice, but a frequent practice. And, with the ending of one calendar year and the beginning of the next, a lovely time for renewal.