Before we dive fully into the New Year, let’s do a simple exercise to start releasing whatever we don’t need to carry anymore. Let’s see if we can clean the slate and make space for the many wonderful and exciting things that await us. You can do this exercise with your eyes open or closed.
- Think back over last year. Pick an event or situation that was troubling for you.
- What emotions are arising in you? Name them.
- Where are you feeling the emotion in your body? Maybe some tightness or discomfort in your chest? Emotions always show up in the body. This is stress forming. Be aware of your body and breathe into the sensation.
- Now, take responsibility for these emotions. They are your emotions. No matter what happened, what anyone else or you did, you choose to feel the way you do. Because you chose to feel it, you can choose to release it and open the door to happier emotions. Allow your breath to soften it, to release the emotion.
- If you wish, you can increase the speed and force of your exhale. Blow the emotion out.
You can repeat this exercise as often as necessary, anytime last year’s painful emotions surface. In time, they will become less frequent. Remember: What’s broken can be mended, what hurts can be healed, and no matter how dark it’s been, the sun is going to rise again. Anytime you feel you’ve released something from the past, reward yourself. Do something fun to celebrate.
Gratitude for 2021
And no matter how dark 2021 was, I’m sure there were times of happiness, moments when the sun broke through the clouds.
- Take a few moments and reflect back over the year. Try not to get stuck with any of the challenges. Look for the things you’re grateful for. They could be things you experienced personally or the people you never met who worked selflessly all year.
- Now take one or two of those things and bring them into your heart. Feel the warmth of gratitude in your heart.
- Send a silent “Thank you” to whoever made that feeling possible.
Whenever the memories of the challenges arise, replace them with those moments of gratitude.
Welcoming the New Year
Now that you’ve cleared some space, what do you want to fill it with? How do you want the new year to unfold? What new opportunities do you want to explore?
What’s important here is to not go back to the same old stuff. From a karmic perspective, the collective consciousness and the collective ways of doing things are what created the turbulence of 2021. However you want to look at it, 2021 was a huge karmic clear out for the human race. The worst thing you can do is to now recreate that karma all over again by going back to the same habits and conditioning. The Vedas tell us that the gateways of hell are anger, lust, and greed. These gates have been open for too long, it’s not surprising what escaped. Now it’s time to close them.
2022 brings us a wonderful opportunity to create the world you want to live in and the life you want to lead. Be bold with your desires—wimpy desires create wimpy lives. What you put your attention on grows so focus on what you want, rather than what you don’t want. Any fears and doubts will take you back into the past so believe in yourself. You are infinite possibilities. Let’s put this into practice with another exercise. This is best done with your eyes closed or you can keep them open.
- Let’s look into the future. How do you want 2022 to unfold? For yourself, friends and family, and the world as a whole?
- Imagine yourself six months from now. How do you want things to look like for your life and for the world?
- Imagine it’s this time next year. You’re looking back over 2022. How do you want the year to have been? How do you see yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually?
- Now bring your awareness into your heart area. The heart knows the path of love, whereas the ego is where you get lost in doubts and confusion. Silently ask the following questions and then listen to the answers from your heart.
- What are my desires for my home, finances, and personal possessions?
- What do I want for my family and loved ones?
- How do I want my mind and body to be?
- How do I want my spiritual journey to unfold?
- How do I want my community and the world to be?
- Being attached to the outcome of a desire limits it and blocks the possibility of something even more magnificent. Imagine you’re releasing all those desires into the silence of infinite organizing power and letting the universe deliver the perfect gifts.
- Write down your desires. You can group them like we just did or as one list. Read them before your meditations and before you sleep at night, then let them go. Allow the faint impression of them to be carried within and planted, like a seed, in the most fertile field of your consciousness.
The start of a new year is your opportunity to rise higher than ever before. In your essence, you are the totality of the universe. You are equal to everyone. Remain unaffected by what anyone says, and nothing can harm you unless you allow it.
The head of the Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh, Swami Chidanand Saraswati tells us, “Our purpose is to live up to our full, divine potential as conscious, holy beings. So, let us pledge to always remember what our purpose is—to live lives of purity, peace, selflessness, integrity, and love—and let us never allow anyone to divert us from that goal.”
Originally created in 2020 by Roger Gabriel