Reflect, Write, New Year, New Life

This is the time of week when I usually write a queer-themed article for Wear Your Voice, but I won’t be doing that today. It’s a new year and I am tired of living a lie, so I have a confession to make: I am straight. I have had a boyfriend for the past six months and I am deeply in love with him and can’t wait to have his babies. I henceforth renounce the evil homosexual lifestyle.

Just kidding, guys, I’m still a mega dyke. I’m also a sappy hippie and it’s New Year’s Eve, which means it’s time for a ritual. I don’t make resolutions anymore, because like most people I never follow through on them. But I reflect, I set goals, and I give thanks for the previous year. If you’re new to rituals, read my October article 4 Self-Care Rituals For You to Try, Revise or Ignore as a primer. Right now, today, is the perfect time to start ritualizing. Or even next week! My mom always said you have the entire month of January to make resolutions, so let’s apply that to our rituals, too. Thanks, Mom!

 

My ritual journal, a gift from my friend Christian. I always write in it with this bronze Sharpie.

My ritual journal, a gift from my friend Christian. I always write in it with this bronze Sharpie.

Review your ritual last year/think about your last New Year’s Eve.

Last year was the first time I did a New Year’s Eve ritual. I didn’t plan it in advance, I made it up as I went along and documented it in my ritual journal. Looking at it now, I see nine pages full of gratitude for all the people and events in my life that helped me in the last year. This year I’ll reflect on what those 2013 people and events mean to me now, and add new ones from 2014. I’ll think about who I spent last New Year’s Eve with, what we did, and who I’ll be with and what we’ll do tonight. How was your last New Year’s Eve?

 

My best put-on reflection face.

My best put-on reflection face.

Reflect on the last year.

How did 2014 treat you? How did you treat 2014? What was awesome about the last year? What sucked? What hurt? How did you grow? How did you regress? What’s different about your life than it was a year ago? What’s the same? What do you regret? What makes you most proud?

 

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The three journals I went through in 2014.

Gather significant objects from the past year.

Find at least one positive object from the last year. Maybe it’s a gift or a ticket stub or a photo. Gather at least one object that holds negative energy for you. Maybe it’s a gift or a ticket stub or a photo. Put the happy object(s) on your altar, or in your line of sight, or wherever feels right to you for your ritual. What do you want to do with the negative object(s)? Burn it? Cleanse it with sage and remove its negative power? Bury it? Donate it? What do these objects say about your experience of 2014?

 

Faceless selfie.

Make a list of goals for the coming year.

Now you know where you’re at and what you’ve accomplished this year. Where do you want to be next December 31st? Think about your career, your hobbies, your love life, your friends, your family, your health, your happiness. What needs to change in these areas? What steps do you need to take to implement those changes? If you have one, look at your goals list from last year. Did you accomplish them? If not, what got in the way, and are they still important to you?

 

My magical Oakland studio has a built-in altar. My rituals always begin and end here.

My magical Oakland studio has a built-in altar. My rituals always begin and end here.

Do your ritual.

Mine will involve a lot of writing, probably some tears, definitely some laughter, a candle, poetry, deep breathing, Angel Cards and healing.

I would love to hear about what your rituals entail. Thanks for reading, dear Wear Your Voice readers, writing for this magazine was one of my favorite parts of 2014. Here’s to a 2015 full of more snarky, hella gay and occasionally sappy articles. And here’s to you. May you find hope, healing, growth, strength and joy in the coming year… and really good sex.

 

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