A ritual to welcome the light

awareness dream gratitude Dec 10, 2022

As the nights grow longer and a frigid chill ices the air, we long to snuggle into the warmth of our home. This is the time of year we yearn for an inner journey to accompany our physical withdrawal from the cold.

This inner journey is far more than reminiscing the good times or bemoaning the bad ones.  Our inner spirit longs to clarify what’s truly important.  Like the tenor clearing his throat, we must release what doesn’t serve us and embrace what does so we can sing our own pure note.

We may have said yes to too many things that aren’t important or perhaps slipped into sloppy or destructive habits.  We all do. On a regular basis, it helps to take a look at what gets in our way.

I invite you to use the process I use during the last two weeks of December to satisfy this primal urge.  It is effective at any time; a birthday, a special anniversary, or perhaps at the New Year. Whether or not it becomes an annual tradition, embracing this time builds the bridge between the mind and heart.

Make a commitment to your inner spirit to share this time together.

Begin here

Do what you need to set aside a time for quiet solitary reflection.  Plan on at least an hour or two. Have all your materials handy.

You might want paper and pens, a sketchpad, colored pencils, crayons, or paints.  You might gather old magazines and bring scissors and glue or tape.  Whatever you choose for this exercise, have it with you when you are ready to begin.

Take a few deep breaths to center yourself.  Softly review the past year and make note of what arises.  The goal is to uncover what worked and what didn’t.

Here are a few ways to gather your observations:

  • You might want to mindmap your year. 
  • You might want to draw a self-portrait that includes thought bubbles and trinkets representing your year. 
  • You might want to free-write your memories.
  • You might grab your calendar and make a list of activities from every month. 

Use the method that resonates for you.

Time for reflection

Now, light a candle to fill your space with energy and begin your reflection time with a few minutes of focusing on your breath.  Scan your entire body like the light on the photocopier. Slowly scroll from your hair follicles to your toenails and back again, not to judge but to notice. 

Become really present in this moment. 

Open yourself to the messages from your inner spirit. Notice what comes up. You may have things to celebrate.  You might also have things from the past year that you don’t want to repeat. 

If you find yourself focusing on your circumstances or another person, return to a calm state and dig deeper.  This is about you, not them.  Those thoughts are Dreamkiller weapons designed to confound your purpose.

You’re seeking understanding by recognizing your own habits, behaviors, and thought patterns.  Capture them so you can refer to them during the next step.

What’s your dream?

This final step will design your desires. Remind yourself of your values.  What needs to stay in your life? How do you want to impact the world?  Who needs to be present with you?

Find a way to capture this dream. Vision boards are especially effective, but simply listing intentions for your next phase is also very powerful. Choose the best path for you.

Actions demonstrate devotion. Decide how you will address the things you want to change and commit to a few baby steps to begin the process. Just a few. The path will open toward the next right step. For now, just begin and stay focused on the dream.

Plan a way to reward yourself when you follow through. Find imaginative, meaningful ways to celebrate wins.  Rewards need only please you; remember it’s OK to be lavish with yourself.

Say thank you for what’s already present. When we feel and express gratitude often for the blessings that surround us, the undesired will eventually fade away.

As you fill your heart with love and gratitude, you’ll know when your ritual is complete.

Your inner spirit will thank you.

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