Enter the New Year Baggage-Free
When you have negative thoughts and nurture them by holding onto them, they grow and take over your personal space. They cloud your vision, skew your judgment shape your attitudes, and probably have a negative impact on others. They can also weigh a ton if you’ve been carrying them around for awhile. So why not attempt something that can free you of this burden? These rituals will help you let go of your negative thought so you can start 2018 with a clean slate and a can-do attitude!
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Why a Ritual?
A ritual is a ceremony, no matter how big or small, and it’s a conscious act that marks the importance of something—whether it’s to welcome something into our lives or to let something go. Rituals symbolize the importance of our intentions, not to mention they give them meaning beyond just a passing thought. They mark an effort to affect change, and in this case, we’ll use rituals to honor the past for what it might have taught us, vow to let go of what no longer serves us, and welcome in what’s to come.
Mindfulness and the Elements
Being mindful of our intentions is all that’s really needed to either use an ancient ritual or create a new one. Using the elements as ritual tools may have special meaning for you. They are water, earth, wind, and fire.
The Water Ritual
There is a Japanese proverb that is so old it cannot be quoted verbatim with any certainty, but loosely translated it means, “Let the past drift away with the water.” With this in mind, you can create a hand-cleansing ritual that you can do with the intention of washing away things that you may be holding onto. You can wash your hands in the ocean or a stream. You can even use your garden hose or kitchen sinks to wash away your negative thoughts.
The Earth Ritual
Get a box (a shoe box, a wooden box or any box you choose) and inside it place anything that is a reminder or attachment to what you’d like to get rid of in 2017. If it’s something in your head, write it on a piece of paper and place it in the box. Then dig a hole in the ground in a place that isn’t likely to be disturbed, and place the box inside. As you mindfully cover it with earth, say what you are letting go of, thank it for all it has given you and put it to rest. I certainly recommend doing this at dusk (the end of the day) and at the Full Moon which represents endings, to give it special significance.
The Wind Ritual
You’ll have to do this on a day or in a place where there is substantial wind. However, you can also use an electric fan. Write down on a piece of paper the thing or things from 2017 you want to let go of, including all of your negative thoughts too. Then rip the paper into tiny bits and hold them in your hand. When you’re ready, open your hand, and let the little bits of paper go. You’re getting rid of the disappointments and challenges of 2017.
The Fire Ritual (The Full Moon Ritual)
As mentioned, Full Moons symbolize endings. What better time to let something go? As in the Wind Ritual, write down whatever is holding you back or keeping you anchored in 2017. Then burn that paper as you exclaim your intention to let go what’s written on it. You are giving it to the Universe to handle.
The Cutting the Cord Ritual
This ritual may have a significant impact on you and your ability to be free of the past. It cuts the cords (attachments) you have with people and things that no longer have a place in your life after 2017. Make the shape of a pair of scissors with your hand. State what or who you want to cut your ties with and use your “scissors” to cut around the outline of your body as if you were a paper doll. Now you are no longer attached to those negative thoughts, people, and experiences.
Think and Speak Your Intention
In all of these rituals, it’s important that you not only think, but speak your intention. Call out the challenge, situation, relationship or whatever is holding you back, and thoughtfully, mindfully, and physically let it go. As a final note, after you have completed your ritual, you may want to take one physical step forward and declare your intention to step into 2018 free of this connection to the past. And with that, have a happy and fresh New Year!
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