Welcome to a brand new year - the first day of 2017 and a great time to let go of the things that you no longer need (physical or emotional) to make room for what you really want.
Before you can embrace your new year and intentions, you need to let go of anything that has troubled you or held you back in the past. Not just the past year, but your life until now. Some things are very hard to let go of - especially things that affected us emotionally. Death of a loved one (I lost my father in August) can be the hardest, though the ending of a relationship, loss of a job, move and many other changes can be hard to face.
As a nation, there is a lot of uncertainty right now with President-Elect Trump about to take office. But just as we must give him a chance, we must give ourselves a chance. Let go of what doesn't serve you - of fear, hatred, sadness, mourning - all the things that hold us back. It isn't always easy but holding onto them will only drag you down and keep you from being the best version of yourself.
Every spiritual practice has rituals for letting go of the things that trouble us thru prayer, confession or ritual. One of the simplest is to write down everything you want to let go of - bad habits, bad feelings, fear - and then burn the paper (or tear it up and release it to the wind). Just the act of writing it down can help which is why keeping a journal is great. I've been keeping journals since I was 8 and glancing back thru them now and then can let me appreciate how much I have grown. Taking a walk in nature can let you let go and recharge at the same time.
One of my favorite rituals I have used several times (and I wish I could remember where I read it!) is to create a ball of energy between your hands and visualize all the things you want to release flowing into it making it grow darker and heavier as you grow lighter. When it is filled, let it drop down into the Earth, the Mother taking it away from you and purifying the energy.
If there is a person you need to let go of, visualize a golden cord between the 2 of you (or physically use a cord tied around 2 candles - one representing each of you). Think of all the reasons why you need to let go of that person pulling the energy you had given them back to yourself along the cord and letting their energy flow back to them. When it is all gone, cut the cord with real scissors if using a real cord or visualized ones and wish them well.
Once you have let go of the past, it is time to embrace the future and set your intentions.
Notice I said intentions, not resolutions. So many people set resolutions they break almost immediately, so I don't bother with them. I prefer to set my intentions - to let the universe and the Gods know what I plan to work on this coming year. Intentions are living energy to me and they can grow and change instead of being broken letting me adapt my intentions during the year so they better serve me.
This is a great time to get creative and make something that represents your intentions putting it somewhere you will see or touch it every day. Creating an amulet or talisman, a sigil, or carrying a gratitude rock for that intention can all help focus your mind and remind you of your intention. Write it out and put it where you will see it often - on the ceiling above your bed, your bathroom mirror, the dashboard of your car. Create a daily popup reminder on your computer or phone. Keep it close in your mind and heart and bring it to life!
Enjoy your new year free of the baggage of the old and let us all have a fabulous life!