New Year’s Eve is just a day away and while most people like to ring in the New Year with a bang, I personally prefer a calmer and more peaceful approach. For the last two years, my husband and I have been setting our intentions in a very unique way on New Year’s Eve—we call it our Intention Celebration. I love setting intentions because they focus on purpose and self awareness. Since we started doing this I have seen tremendous inner growth and awareness. As I reflect, release and renew each year, I know that I am drawing closer to my true path and purpose in life.
The Intention Celebration is an intense and sometimes emotional ritual of releasing the old to make way for the new. It certainly doesn’t have to be intense or even emotional, but I try to make an honest attempt to be open to the entire process.
There are five steps to the Intention Celebration:
Step 1: Reflect and Renew
I approach reflection with gratitude and humility. I remember and honor my successes as well as my failures. I start to hone in on the things that no longer serve me and make peace with the path of letting these things go. It is important to realize that before you can give voice to new intentions, you must release the old. We will get to this in the next few steps.
When I set new intentions I keep the following things in mind:
- Am I being authentic? This is probably the most important thing to keep in mind when setting an intention. Is this your path or are you following the path of another? Is this intention really about you and who you are?
- Am I being realistic? Is your intention something that you really want to commit to? Is it something that you can commit to?
- Am I attached to the outcome? Is your intention based on fear and insecurity? Do you need to see a specific result or outcome?
As you go through the process of setting your intentions, write them down. I like to use strips of paper for each intention. You will need them later, but first we need to release the old to make way for the new.
“You are what your deepest desire is. As your desire is, so is your intention. As your intention is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.”
Step 2: Review, Select & Delete
You know how you want to take new pictures on your cell phone but you’re suddenly out of storage space. The phone is basically telling you that in order to create new memories you are going to need to get rid of some stuff. Sure there are precious memories stored there—lots of good ideas and well to do intentions—but if you want these new memories, ideas and intentions, you have to select and delete. You can move some stuff to the cloud, and put a few ideas on the shelf for later, but realistically you know there are some things that you definitely don’t need anymore.
If you’re not sure how to choose, ask yourself these questions, “Am I really going to do this?” “Is this even important to me anymore?” “Do I realistically have the time to commit to this?” If the answer is no, then delete it. It’s not that you are giving up or that you have failed, and even if you did fail that’s okay also. You are making room in your life for what matters right now, right in this moment—not last year, or a few years ago, or in the distant future, but now. Your phone gets it—the only way for you to create new memories is to delete the old ones.
Step 3: Write it Out
Unlike a cell phone, it’s a bit harder to select and delete things from our mind. It would be great if we could put all of our past ideas, intentions and thoughts on a screen, scroll through them like a picture reel and delete the things that no longer serve us. Since we can’t do this we can definitely do the next best thing—write. I like to take a blank sheet of paper and write out the things I am releasing on one sheet. You can write in great detail or in just a few words as long as you get it out and on the paper. Writing is a great release in itself and is a symbolic part of letting go.
Step 4: Let It Burn
Now that we have written out things that no longer serve us, it’s time to release them in the most symbolic fashion of all—fire! We like to use our fire pit outside, but I hear a fireplace works just as well. With our papers in tow, and a glass of wine, we take turns reading all the things we are going to release and provide explanation if we feel called to do so. Then, we toss the paper into the fire and watch as the things that no longer serve us go up in flames and smoke. Not only is the burning a symbol of release, it is the final act that allows us to renew.
Step 5: Recite & Release
After all of our old is gone, we set our sights on the new! We give voice to our intentions by speaking them out loud into the fire. We take turns reading our individual intentions (one intention at a time) and then toss our strip of paper into the fire to release our new intentions to the universe. We honor each others intentions, toast to our New Year, and then we let it all go and allow the universe to work in our lives.
The Intention Celebration is a magical evening that culminates with a renewed sense of self for the year ahead.
Whatever you do this New Year’s Eve I hope that you are safe and blessed.
May all of your intentions awaken your creative power and fulfill your deepest desires.
Love & Blessings,