Saying Goodbye: 50 Suggestions for 2016 Rituals
I’m a big fan of rituals (to prove it, here’s an article I wrote about them for Wear Your Voice back in 2014). I didn’t start performing rituals until I moved to the Bay Area and embraced my inner witchiness. Rituals don’t have to be spiritual, witchy, religious or anything, really. They can be whatever you want them to be.
2016 was a rough year for the U.S., for the world, and quite possibly, for you. Lately, my Facebook feed is full of statuses saying either, “fuck 2016” or “guys, time is just a construct, a new year doesn’t mean anything.” Yes, the way we measure time in hours, days and years is arbitrary, but why not enjoy the benefits of human-made calendars? Why not be positive and hope that 2017 will be better, happier, brighter? Why not use a new year as a time to reflect, regroup, re-energize?
On December 31/January 1, I will be reflecting and ritualizing and writing. I invite you to join me. Whether you’re new to rituals or an old hand, here are some ritual ideas. Instead of listing the steps of specific rituals, I’ve compiled 50 potential ritual components to mix and match. Pick and choose your favorites, scoff at the ones you think are dumb, roll your eyes at all fifty, complete all fifty, do whatever you want; it’s your ritual. However you acknowledge (or ignore) the end of this year, I support you. Here’s hoping your 2017 is full of magic, love, happy surprises, growth, success and joy.
- Make a list of every awful, traumatic, depressing event you experienced in 2016.
- Make a list of every awful, traumatic, depressing event your community experienced in 2016.
- Make a list of your 2016 accomplishments.
- Make a list of your goals for 2017.
- Light a candle.
- Light a stick of incense.
- Go to the beach, roll up your pant cuffs or hike up your skirt, and wade as far into the ocean as you’re comfortable.
- Go to the woods. Breathe in the fresh air.
- Pet a dog.
- Pet a cat.
- Pet an iguana.
- Pet a really soft scarf or sweater or blanket or whatever soft item you have at hand.
- Write in your journal about your day.
- Write in your journal about your current mood.
- Write in your journal about nothing.
- Write in your journal about how you hate writing in journals (you may have to get a journal first. A piece of paper works, too).
- Drink a glass of red wine.
- Have an orgasm.
- Inhale for five seconds. Exhale for 10 seconds.
- Stretch every part of your body that aches.
- Massage every part of your body you can reach.
- Caress the part of your body that you feel most self-conscious about. Forgive that part of your body, or promise that part of your body you’ll try.
- Make a collage of any/all of the following: beautiful things, colorful things, inspiring things, creepy things, funny things, things that just look appealing to you, sexy things, ugly things, angry things, special things, mundane things, sweet things, kind things, mean things, any things, no things.
- Listen to your favorite sad song.
- Listen to your favorite joyous song.
- Scrub the walls of your bedroom.
- Sit in silence for fifteen minutes.
- Take a bath.
- Read a poem by your favorite poet.
- Draw a picture of a tree.
- Slowly sip a glass of ice cold water.
- Text a friend you haven’t seen in a while and tell them you love them.
- Read five of your journal entries from 2016.
- Find a magazine or newspaper from 2016. Burn it.
- If you’re lucky enough to have snow outside your home, make a snowman or a snowball or a snow turtle or a snow whatever.
- Cast a spell.
- Eat something decadent.
- Forgive yourself for something bad you did.
- Look at yourself in the mirror and say “I love you.”
- Watch a favorite movie that makes you feel whatever type of way you feel like feeling.
- Make a list of everyone and everything you’re grateful for.
- Go for a walk or drive with no destination.
- Break something.
- Rub lavender essential oil into your temples, wrists and underneath your nose.
- Scream until you’re hoarse.
- Take a nap.
- Smoke a cigarette.
- Make a wish and blow out the candle you lit. If you didn’t light a candle, make a wish anyway.
Ash Fisher is a comedian, actor and writer. She is not a comedienne, an actress or a writeress. Follow her at ashfisherhaha.com and @ashfisherhaha.