2020, what a year. I think you will agree it’s certainly been many months of navigating challenge and uncertainty. But we must remember from a spiritual perspective, it’s exactly during such times, when the rug has been firmly pulled from under our feet, that also gift us with our deepest opportunities to really practice and grow. Mindfulness and meditation is of course much easier to embrace when life is flowing like a gentle stream, but the moment the waters expand to that of a turbulent ocean, that is when we truly see the nature and benefit of cultivating moments of quiet contemplation on our meditation cushion.
At the end of each year I always make space for an entire day to dedicate to my spiritual practice. It usually falls in-between Christmas and New Year. A day to be quiet and to take the opportunity to connect very deeply to the experience of the past 12 months.
Morning Meditation of Reflection and Gratitude
Begin your day with a meditation of reflection and gratitude. Don’t be afraid of just sitting with all of the feelings that may arise from reflecting on how 2020 has been for you. During the year we would have found some experiences empowering, enjoyable and fulfilling. Others would have been challenging, uncomfortable and stressful. Remember, meditation isn’t about pushing feelings away or trying to change them in any way. It’s simply the practice of getting to know all those feelings well, without judgement or critical thoughts.
Just simply allow yourself to notice what ever arises, without grasping or clinging. Just allow. If challenging emotions arise, instead of getting caught in the stories behind them, just bring your awareness to where you can sense that emotion sitting with your body. And just sit with it. If things become a little tough, just remind yourself gently that meditation in action is always the main practice.
When you are ready, move your attention to quietly contemplate what all of the challenges of 2020 have taught you. That’s when our consciousness begins to awaken, when we have the courage to simply start from noticing all of the experiences of our life and our relationship to them. Maybe the year has taught us more resilience, maybe it’s highlighted so many of the things we naturally take for granted. Meeting friends or loved ones, eating out in restaurants or bars, simply being able to hug those we hold dear? Maybe during all of this 2020 has also highlighted where we have more inner work to be done.
Get out in nature
After my meditation I get out in nature and walk. And whilst doing so I try my best to do it mindfully. As I breathe in all of Mother Earths gifts and immerse myself in the fields or the forest, I bring my attention to my body and any sensations the movement brings forth. I notice how everything feels as I walk. The air on my face. The soil under my feet. The sound of the birds.
Nature is cleansing, healing and grounding. Just a few moments or hours outside in our world can do wonders for the soul.
Declutter and make space for the new
The energy of our home can be a direction reflection of our own. Have you ever noticed when the spaces in which we live become cluttered and unmanageable, we can begin to feel the same mentally? Set aside some time to declutter a draw, a wardrobe or an entire room. Be honest with what you really need going into 2021. Ask yourself if an item has been sitting in a cupboard or a draw for months or even years without any use, would someone else benefit from it more than you? Give stuff away to charity shops or others in need. Make space to clear old energy out and make room for new energy to come forth.
Contemplate your deepest intentions for 2021
A new year see’s so many of us focusing on setting resolutions rather than intentions. Resolutions tend to focus on what we want to change about ourselves or the habits we have created in our lives.
Intentions differ in the sense they help us align our higher self with the vision of how we would like our future life to feel. They aren’t so focused on self-improvement, but more aligned with enhancing the life we already have. Enabling us to channel our energies with positive intent.
Ask yourself this important question ‘How do I want to feel in 2021“. Then take some time to write down or journal a list of all the things you can do to cultivate those feelings. When we align our energies in this way it helps us to connect more deeply with our heart-centred intentions. It encourage us to fully empower the essence which is in fact the source of our deepest power.
Partake in your own Space Clearing Ritual.
Every ancient or Native culture has a tradition of space clearing. A ritual to shift, change or uplift energy of places or spaces. Sacred ceremonies have been performed for centuries to instil beneficial energies into living spaces. I regularly perform space clearing rituals in both my home and my business. Years of studying energy as a healer has gifted me with the belief that it’s important to honour the energies that surround us in our daily lives and the power gained from inviting the natural world into our homes. I find partaking in this type of ritual helps me focus my intentions more clearly. Remember positive energy, creates positive focus.
All Space Clearing has its roots in shamanism and its basis in a deep attunement to the natural cycles of nature. It’s very important to ensure you prepare your own energies through meditation, or by spending time in stillness in nature prior to cleansing your home or office. Clarify your intention of what your want the space clearing ceremony to accomplish. You can use drumming, chanting, prayer, Tingshaw bells, essential oils, candles, smudge sticks or incense as tools to incorporate into your Space Clearing ceremony. Remember to give thanks to the ancestors of the scared ritual of space clearing and to the energies of the plants or oils you may have used to perform your task.
Ask for guidance using divination tools of your choice.
At the end of each year I take time to use my Shamanic medicine cards to perform a twelve month medicine wheel card spread to help guide me through the up and coming year ahead. Similar to a Space Clearing ceremony, I find this needs to be done with heart centred intention, when I am balanced and focused on the task. I will take a few moments to quietly set my intention, asking for spiritual guidance for each of the months ahead in order to navigate the year with compassionate awareness, and in a way that will be for the highest good of not only myself but for everyone else. Your card reading will be more accurate if you are grounded, centred and focused. Consciously clear your mind of what you hope the reading will reveal to you, and instead be open to receive guidance on whatever it is you’re here to learn during the next twelve months.
Once the cards are laid out, I will write the meaning of each card and it’s guidance in my yearly planner for each of the corresponding months. I also pull one card at the end of the reading as a summary card to summarise the overall year.
You may find it helpful to take a picture of whatever spread you have used and re-visit the photograph throughout the year.