You have no idea how hard I’ve looked for a gift to bring You. Nothing seemed right. What’s the point of bringing gold to the gold mine, or water to the ocean. Everything I came up with was like taking spices to the Orient. It’s no good giving my heart and my soul because you already have these. So I’ve brought you a mirror. Look at yourself and remember me.
There are many reasons why I love this quote from Rumi. I could state them all or just say this: Wholeness is never really lost, it is only forgotten.
So here is my gift to you this holiday season: a ritual to help you remember AND nurture your own unique wholeness… I have recently recommended it to a few clients ahead of the New Year, and I am actually going to do it for myself as well.
You don’t have to do it all in one seating, but make sure that you give yourself enough time, and that you are in a quiet space without any distraction. Start with a few deep breaths through your whole body, and then at the center of your chest, through your heart chakra (if needed you can do a full body relaxation using one of my recordings). Allow things to come from your heart, not from your rational mind. Allow yourself to be surprised by what may come.
Preparing the ritual: Two lists
(Remembering that those are – and need to be – very subjective lists; really allow your mind to bring to the surface whatever comes first)
1) Write down all the tough moments that you remember as feeling tough over this past year, focusing on what was happening internally, what you were doing or not doing to support yourself in those moments. Explore what may have made them feel especially difficult. I know for myself that the difficulty has often very little to do with the outside circumstances of the particular events and rather echoes my own inner state.
When there were real difficult events/outside circumstances, ask yourself: What has sustained me in dealing with this illness, that death, that tragedy? Where did I find my strength? What made me feel better, helped me stay calm and centered, or brought me back to life?
2) Make a second list with the moments that have felt good; they might seem minor, even very ephemeral or anecdotal moments; it is fine; just recall when you felt good and figure out why. What was helping you feel well in that moment? What did you do then that brought a smile to your face or made you feel slightly lighter? In other words, what has helped you nurture your own (even imperfect) version of wholeness?
The ritual: Your commitment to nurture wholeness
1) Burn the first list as things you want to leave behind OR re-write it in a way that expresses the things that you want to leave behind;
2) Take the second list and create a “manifesto” or letter to yourself a year from now to declare what you want the year to “feel” and how you are committing to support yourself to live that way. Don’t look for spectacular things or things that you know that you will never do. You don’t even have to commit to more than one thing. But it has to feel real. You also want it to be a letter to the Universe (or God, or The Source, or your Guardian Angel… whichever vocabulary works for you), asking for a true partnership in this.
There can be value doing this with friends, in particular the second part as each of you can read their letter aloud in a small gathering or ceremony.
This is a very powerful ritual that you can do at any time, but of course there is always a very special energy doing it when we transition to a New Year. The power comes from committing to yourself and to life in an unconditional relationship. You may have noticed that this is not about setting goals or intentions, but about how you want to feel in your life moving forward. In a way, you are declaring that you are going to continue to show up for whatever life may offer and meet it better equipped so you can be fully you through this experience of being alive.
And this, my friend, is the best gift that you could give yourself for this New Year.
Béatrice Pouligny | Shamanic Healer and Spiritual Mentor