Reviewing the year is a natural tendency as the turning of the wheel comes with the Winter Solstice. This peak moment of the sun at it’s lowest point in the sky (in the northern hemisphere) is indicative of a completion, a finishing, and a perfect time for becoming still.
And then we step into the womb space of the Sacred Nights of Winter, a period from December 24 to January 6 when time seems to pause for us, allowing us to gather ourselves, get to know ourselves better, and tap into the Spirit Seed being planted within us for birth in the coming year.
A Different Approach to Reviewing & Opening the Year
I’d like to offer a slightly different approach to reviewing the year passed and preparing for the year to come than the typical, “What worked? What didn’t? Did I reach my goals? If not, why not? What will my new goals be for the coming year?”
These are good questions, but they feel more ceremonial than ritualistic.
Ceremony is a bit trite, often focused on a set series of steps to result in a specific outcome, such as a wedding, or processional. It’s typically prescribed, pre-written or laid out, and has a beginning and an end. Ceremony is wonderful when marking a special event and celebrating something, but sometimes if we’re not careful, it can begin to feel like we’re going through the motions with no connection to deeper meaning. This is why so many prefer to write their own vows or prepare their own unique experiences for special occasions so as not to feel like it’s all been done before.
In the case of the typical questions around reviewing the year and preparing for the new, we’re asking the questions that focus on a linear approach with specific answers. We review based on whether we achieved or not, got from point A to point B or not. We create resolutions based on new linear achievements from point A to point B with goal setting.
Ritual is more about how we do something, than what we’re doing. Ritual has more to do with something that allows for your ongoing joy, peace of mind, growth, and becoming. It’s often repeated regularly or consistently, like a ritual cup of tea in the morning, or bed time routine each day.
Ritual helps us step into the Rhythm of life with its repetition, peacefulness, and steadiness, creating markers through which we allow our life to flow with greater ease and grace toward our Soul’s destiny.
What if instead of asking what worked or didn’t in our past year’s review, we ask ourselves, “Who have I become, or who am I becoming?”
What if instead of setting goals or plans, we established rhythm for the New Year that would allow for us to flow toward our destiny?
Who Have I Become?
In asking ourselves who we’ve become as a way to review the past year, here are a few ideas or practices to take up that may help:
- Review each month in the year, perhaps with your calendar or diary beside you to help jog your memory, noting any particular milestones or experiences you had each month that had an impact on you.
- Reflect upon how you felt at the beginning of the year, the middle of the year, and the end of the year, and compare/contrast those experiences.
- Recall any major milestones you reached, challenges you overcame, moments of discomfort and unfamiliarity, or unique experiences.
- Consider how your beliefs, opinions, or judgements about certain things were impacted or changed.
- Make a list of what you value most, and then explore what is realistic for you to prioritize among those values.
Exploring each of these details will help you get closer to defining who you’ve become over the course of the year, and who you are becoming as you move forward. You’ll start to see new aspects of yourself that have emerged, new skills you’ve cultivated, new values you’ve aligned with.
This new way of seeing yourself will inevitably trigger the longing to make some changes to support all that you are becoming, and this is where rhythm can help in the New Year.
To support your becoming even more strongly, I invite you to join my Solace program, which takes you on a journey through Remembering who you are, Reconnecting to what matters, Re-envisioning new possibilities, and Rebirthing yourself into the Soul-aligned life you’re craving.
New Year New Rhythm
Rhythm is from the Greek word rhythmos, meaning flow. Rhythm is of significant importance in music, verse, story, dance, and many creative expressions. It is defined as a regular recurrence of movement, fluctuation or variation. This may include alternation of strong or weak elements of flow, recognizable patterns, or an underlying beat.
Rhythm is also a deeply ingrained element of the Sacred Feminine and its ultimate symbol, Mother Earth. We see rhythm in the rise and fall of the tides, the rising and setting of the sun, the cycle of the seasons, the life-death-life cycle, and more. Rhythm is a foundation of life’s flow.
Rhythm is something we can rely upon, not necessarily at the same time in the same way every day or week, but consistently in a way that nourishes our Soul.
If we want to move into the New Year with a new kind of flow, we must consider what we will put in place to create a new rhythm for ourselves. Here are some questions you can ask to help generate new rhythm for yourself in the coming year:
- How would you describe the rhythm of the year passed for you?
- What rituals are a regular part of your day, week, month, quarter, year? Are there any you want to continue or let go of?
- What celebrations or ceremonies are part of your year?
- Is there a rhythm to your work vs play time?
- What do you recognize as being a steady, consistent “beat” that carries you along through the year?
- How would you define a new rhythm or “steady beat” you’d like to create this year?
As you ask these questions, consider them for various domains of your life. Perhaps your family life has a different rhythm than your work life. Perhaps you have a different financial or economic rhythm than community or fitness rhythm. Explore each rhythm separately, and then begin to see how they can overlap and weave together.
Integrating Our Becoming and Our Rhythm
Once you’ve explored the questions of who you are becoming, and what kind of rhythm you want to create for yourself in the new year, it’s time to explore how to weave them together.
Your rhythm should ideally support who you are becoming, and help you align with your Soul’s destiny.
Your Soul expresses various desires, visions, and creative intentions to you. These must be given attention and considered as you determine a new rhythm for yourself so that the rhythm supports your Soul’s development.
There may be many ways you begin to see patterns or possible patterns emerging in the various rhythms you’ve established or long for in the many domains of your life. For instance, perhaps once per week you record receipts or purchases in your banking software, and you also go to a dance class once per week. Could you go to dance class and then come home to do some banking so that those rhythms can work together and be an easy reminder of the other? In this way you integrate two seemingly unrelated things to support the flow of your life, and in doing so, this may in turn make room for a new course you would love to take to help you on your destiny path.
There are many ways to look at the year to come, and sadly the concept of establishing rhythm is often left out.
Rhythm is much more gentle than all of the “shoulds” we put on ourselves related to resolutions or goals. Rhythm can be filled with rituals that make us feel great, perhaps doing our banking over a wonderful cup of tea and a gratitude practice that we have money to manage, or practicing movement with meaningful, uplifting music.
However you set things up, by doing so with rhythm and ritual, you are far more likely to stay on your Soul’s path than by simply setting goals, intentions, or resolutions. You’ll be considering how you want to feel, who you are becoming, and the many ways you can consistently support that in a steady, sustainable way that doesn’t burn you out, or feel full of “supposed tos” or rote practices that are void of meaning.
Share some examples of your rituals and rhythm. Let’s learn from each other!
For more, check out my video on creating a New Year in a New Way.