SACRED JOURNEYS: New Year, New Ritual
Setting Intentions For the Year Ahead
My girlfriend recently forwarded me a list of 10 questions that she found in an article. They were designed to help readers understand the patterns of the past year and hone in on our intentions moving forward. (Forbes, Dec. 2018: Henna Inam). If you are anything like me, it can be challenging to make the time for such exercises, so my friend and I agreed to do it at the same time.
Hot tea in hand, I checked in with her and we agreed to reconnect in an hour, with our answers done. We had chosen to call each other early in the morning, to take advantage of our fresh and rested state before being pulled in by the distractions of the day. Morning writing tends to be unguarded, truthful, and insightful.
Focusing on the spiritual was what mattered most to me. And by letting this be my narrative, many fear-based perspectives, such as aging and income, became less automatic. The path was lighting up for this spiritual explorer…
When we shared our answers with each other, the conversation focused on patterns we saw in our own answers and in each other’s, so we became both friend and witness. Both of us were grateful for having taken the time as we were made aware of great progress and purpose that we might not have seen as clearly had we not undertaken this exercise.
Questions to Ask
Between winter and spring is the ideal season to do this sort of exercise, and I offer some notes from my own process as possible encouragement for you as well.
If last year was a movie, what happened? As the year’s movie opens our heroine feels less committed to the world she has created around her. For joy and happiness to flow she vows to take the time to journey to the heart of her personal truth, to her authentic self, and then let that strong base inform how her life is expressed in the outside world.
She begins by releasing any real or imagined expectations coming from herself or others about how she should best move in the world, and instead invites the universe itself to be responsible for revealing her next steps. Soon after, a series of spiritual teachers came into her life.
We follow the heroine as she is guided to journey for a year with a northern Cree Grandmother who later gives her a Spirit name. After her naming ceremony our heroine then finds herself travelling to the other side of the world, to speak with Star beings and help birth a new timeline for the world.
Through her time with these guides she discovers strengths and gifts that have been unattended and learns that as she acknowledges and uses them, she begins to inhabit her body more fully.
She ends the year thrilled to feel awake and alive again, and ready to explore her newly revived gifts in 2019. With her strengths (rather than social or economic expectations) guiding her decisions, she will build her external world consciously, and fall in love with her authentic life again.
What worked well that I’m grateful for? Having supportive family, friends, both old and new, and a loving partner made it all possible. Focusing on the spiritual was what mattered most to me and by letting this be my narrative, many fear-based perspectives, such as aging and income, became less automatic. The path was lighting up for this spiritual explorer, and it made life more creative and inspired each day.
What was challenging and disappointing? As I opened up in one aspect of my life, I was hoping the rest would magically ‘fall into place,’ but my expectations in my day-to-day life were often thwarting my spiritual expectations. For example, business deals would not always work favourably, or an unexpected delay would thwart plans. I was in ‘process’ and my outer world would reflect that same state. Patience through this process was very challenging.
What were my most meaningful moments? Most were all in ceremony connecting into the loving presence of All That Is, through sweats, celebrating the seasons with friends, sharing stories around sacred fires, and being in the presence of wild animals in Africa. A particular favourite was walking in fields with elephants at a sanctuary and being able to touch and speak with one in particular. But of all the moments, the best were the ones spent visiting with my sister in the Middle East. We had not been together since mom died two years ago. Being with her is an experience of unconditional love, because we are branches from the same tree after all.
Looking back overall, how do I rate my happiness on a scale of 1-10? 7.5. There is still a part of me that subdues my joy and happiness. Deepening into myself, expressing her consciously and with confidence as she reveals more of herself, will quickly bring this number up.
As I look to next year, what will be the highest use of my talents? Finding my strengths was pretty amazing. The road ahead is about helping those gifts to express themselves creatively in my external world. Falling in love with my business again by merging my authentic self with how the business expresses itself.
What does success look like to me next year? Truly having fun being myself each day, feeling seen and appreciated for who I am, and knowing the path is opening up before me as I deepen into knowing I am a fearless channel for all that I am; all that I can imagine.