Reconnect and Renew: Preparing for the New Year
“Renewal requires opening yourself up to new ways of thinking and feeling.”
There are times in our life’s journey where we lose our way and become lost, disillusioned, and confused about our path to wholeness and happiness. Everyday life and the struggle to succeed takes its toll, and we become disconnected from the sacred power that lives within us. Though this kind of stagnation can happen anytime during the year, we most often experience it during the winter months, when the darkness of season clashes with the hopefulness for the New Year.
A good, thoughtful check-in with your mental, physical, and emotional health can help you reconnect to your inner magic and wisdom, and renew your spirit.
I've compiled seven simple activities to aid you on your journey to wholeness. Each exercise and prompt is designed to help you clarify your life’s path, discover your desires, and strengthen your relationship to your inner self. I suggest completing at least one activity a day.
You can journal, write poetry, draw, paint, and/or collage your responses; follow your instincts on the best way to create each lesson. Truly contemplate your answers before you sit down to create, and be honest with yourself. Some days you may only need to write, other days you may want to pick up some paints and let the colors flow.
In deep soul writing you search the reaches of your heart, tell your story, ask your questions, hear your answers, and receive your guidance.
The most important step to Reconnect and Renew your spirit is to show up. For many, this is the hardest part because it means making the dedication to carve out some time for your own well being – and many of us aren’t used to that. You’ve already made a small dedication to honor your soul needs by reading this post – now, just continue exploring this path by being willing to listen to your own voice, and allowing yourself the room to grow.
Day One: How Do You Want to Feel?
Danielle LaPorte has made this question a popular one over the past few years, and it is a powerful way to begin any self-healing work, and to reconnect with your spirit.
Ask yourself, “How do I want my life to feel?” You can use this question to help examine every area of your life – your career, your family, your finances, your romances – and use the answers as intentions for actions.
Create a word river, a stream of consciousness response. You can write, draw, or collage your response. Just let the words, the colors, the visions flow onto your journal page. As you create, remember that each word you choose is like a seed you are planting in the rich, fertile soil of your heart.
If you are feeling active about this prompt, yoga teacher Brett Larkin has a Yin Yoga: Chakra Resolutions practice that is most helpful in breaking down and discerning your feelings.
Day Two: Your Guiding Word
Take a look at your work from Lesson One. What is the common theme within How You Want to Feel? Observe if there is one word or phrase that stands out from the others.
Energy flows where your attention goes. Picking a guiding word is a way to cultivate awareness and give your spirit direction, to discover what really motivates you. With a guiding word, it becomes easier to identify what you truly want from your life, and to discern when and where you have gone off course. For example, if your guiding word is passion, when you engage in activities and thoughts that do not support your passions, it becomes apparent in your consciousness.
Choose one word as your overall theme and inspiration for the next year. Then, spend some time exploring how this word will look manifested in your life. What does this word look and feel like to you?
Make a tangible or Pinterest vision board for your word that you can revisit and be inspired by throughout the year.
Your guiding word can also be used as your mantra and affirmation, and chanting it daily can have spectacular results. Thoughts are energy, and energy is like a magnet, attracting people and experiences into your life. Repeating your guiding word daily raises your energy to a high abundant vibration, and infuses that sacred pulse into your spirit.
Traditionally, a mantra/affirmation is repeated 108 times (considered one rotation) on a daily basis. Mala beads or mantra stones made from gemstones, seeds, or wood, are used to keep count of the repetitions. If 108 doesn't vibe with you, try a Goddess prayer charm for a smaller chant count and divine energy boost.
After you choose your guiding word, use it as inspiration to pick your guiding color, guiding song, etc for the new year!
Day Three: Where Are You Stuck?
You deserve to be happy in every area of your life!
Copy this list into your journal:
- Spiritual Connection
- Physical Health
- Wellness/Self Care
Next to each category, rate your happiness level. Write down the number that signifies your level of bliss, 10 being extremely happy, 1 being the pits of despair. Feel free to add or rework the categories if necessary.
Anything with a rating of 8 or above is awesome – keep up the good work! Any area where your number is 7 or below means there is room for improvement. A rating of 5 or below signifies discomfort, stagnation, and sadness; these are the areas where your guiding word can be implemented in order to promote growth and transformation.
For each of these areas of life, see if you can identify where your guiding word fits in. How can you actively infuse your guiding word in each space?
Day Four: Lemme Hear Your Body Talk
Stress, worry, and fear can keep us from connecting to our highest good. These emotions and feelings can be overwhelming, and often manifest themselves as aches and pains in our bodies.
Today, do a body scan by focusing on each part of your body and checking in with how it feels.
Start by making yourself comfortable, and taking a few deep breaths. Center your attention at your feet, then your calves, then the knees, and so on. Work all the way up to the top of your head.
Where are you experiencing discomfort?
In your journal entry today, let that part of your body speak. Where is that pain coming from? Do you know when and why it developed? What does your body need in order to feel healthy and whole? Try automatic writing techniques to connect your body to your words.
Day Five: Authenticity Over Everything
The Authentic Self is who you truly are at your core – all the positives and negatives of your personality and spirit. Living as your Authentic Self requires deep work and great courage. It means you know what your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs are, and that you are committed to fulfilling those needs.
Authenticity is sometimes about taking risks, and daring to be unique to satisfy your own soul, regardless of what others might think or say. For some people, it means you see and accept all the highs and lows of your character, and love yourself anyway.
For today’s prompt, consider the questions: Who are you when you are totally and completely yourself? What keeps you from being completely authentic in your day to day life? And finally, how does your guiding word relate to these answers?
Day Six: The Wind Beneath Your Wings
Who are your heroes? Who is everything you wish you could be? Who makes you fly higher than eagle?
Think about your guiding word, and what you hope to achieve with it as the focal point of your journey.
Who in your life is already living the manifestation of that word? Are there celebrities, artists, writers, etc., who embody your guiding word for you? What lessons can you learn from them?
Create a collage, either in your journal or virtually, of people who inspire you on your journey.
Day Seven: Finding Your Magick
All of our interests, talents, and abilities unite within us to create our magic.
Today, take some time to contemplate all the activities that bring you joy. Think about the positive aspects of your personality. Think about all the talents that you have.
In your journal write down all the amazing things you know how to do. No one can do the things you can do, in the way that you do them. Don’t get caught up in skill level, or where you feel you can improve – just take an honest, assessed view of what you offer the world. These can be anything from I paint masterpieces to I know how to listen when someone speaks, all the way to I can clean the hell out of a kitchen floor.
When you’re done, look at your list. All of these things – big and small - are your magick, your power centers. Go over this list and think about what is at the root of each of these things.
For example, on my list was I take awesome naps, and I love cuddling. When I looked deeper at these aspects of myself, I could relate taking naps to enjoying restfulness and peace. Loving to cuddle is one of my expressions of desire and intimacy. And those things are my magick; they are just some of the ways I can offer myself and the world to make life better and happier.
And the list goes on and on.
What is your magick, and how do you express it?
These prompts and practices are a wonderful, focused way to reconnect your heart with your actions, so your New Year can be a time dedicated specifically to manifesting your most joyful life.
Good Luck, and Happy New Year!