Bless this year with love and light. Bless this year with faith and sight. Bless this year with grace and ease. Bless this year with hope and peace.
One of the best ways to honor our soul's journey at the end of the year is to mine the lessons and gifts, and to use the wisdom gleaned to adjust our sails going forward.
Yep, these seas have been tumultuous for so long that it's like a permanent weather pattern.
And we can't control the weather, so our courageous souls can do the next best thing.
We can use our spiritual tools to connect with our inner wisdom, to align with the Divine, and to sail forward on the winds of faith, hope, kindness, gratitude, inner peace and love.
And that happens when we set the intention for grace to shine on our new beginnings.
We bless this year for all we learned,
For all we loved and lost
And for the quiet way it brought us
Nearer to our invisible destination.
- John O'Donohue
LOOK BACK, LOOK FORWARD, LOOK WITHIN
Acknowledging transitions is a spiritual practice in itself.
Taking time to look back, look forward and look within can transform our very souls and magnify the powers of healing and gratitude.
Small ceremonies can mark the intersection of where we've been and where we are going, creating a clear sense of before and after.
They can highlight the blessings of lessons learned and mark a new beginning.
And after this year of Wild Grace, we can all use a new beginning right about now.
The suggestions that follow are gentle reminders that we have a hand in creating what happens next.
So let's look back with compassion, empathy and wonder for all we have loved and lost.
Let's look forward with faith, hope and courage for the shining destinations that are to come.
Let's look within with kindness, self-love and gratitude for all we have endured, survived and overcome by the seat of our sweatpants, by the blue light of Zoom rooms, by the virtual hugs and real live grace.
We did our best.
Here are a few practices and prayers to bless this year and create a path for our new beginnings. We start with what you read most this year.
As I looked back over the year, I saw that this was the #1 most read blog post by you.
Just yesterday, I found the answers that I wrote to those 12 questions in the back of my Gratitude Journal.
And wow, are they ever a roadmap.
If you didn't answer the questions the first time around, I encourage you to grab a cup of something you love, find your favorite pen, settle into a cozy spot and get honest.
Do it for you.
Your answers just may become your North Star going forward.
The #2 and #3 posts of the year are prayers.
Prayers about our interconnectedness. Prayers about oneness. Prayers we need now.
When we are at a loss about how to make an impact, how to assist, how to elevate a situation, prayer always matters. Prayer always changes things. Prayer always changes us.
The most transformative event of my year was learning about the impact of systemic racism and inequity.
I sewed together a new page for my website that outlined the first 30 steps I took in my journey of unlearning. It was my prayer.
I believe that one day we will build a world where all of us are treated equally and no one is left behind.
That page is here: ONE STEP, ONE LOVE
The blog post prayers are here:
The post you placed at #4 this year is one of stress relief.
If you are suffering from bouts of anxiety, racing thoughts, sleeplessness, endless news scrolling - uh-oh, all of us? - this one is for you.
These exercises are accessible and you will feel the results immediately.
Practiced daily they can change your world.
TWO RITUALS TO END THE YEAR
I am in the midst of two rituals that are the highlight of these last days of 2020.
If someone told us that we could radically change the trajectory of the next year by spending a few hours focusing on our desired outcome - I'm pretty sure we'd all be onboard.
Well I'm here to tell you, these work like a charm and are worth your investment of time.
READ THROUGH YOUR GRATITUDE JOURNAL
Most of us are now keeping a Gratitude Journal.
Start at the beginning and read through the entire thing. Soak it up. Remember the gifts. Allow them to fill your heart with wonder and awe. Grace overflows when we realize just how many blessings we counted.
If you don't have a Gratitude Journal, start now. Get a notebook or journal. The Every Day Spirit Gratitude Journal is here. Anything blank will do. Really. Just do it.
For more on the practice check out this posts:
NEW YEARS CEREMONY
On the December 29th page of Every Day Spirit, I describe the New Years ceremony that I do every year.
Here's the practice:
1 - Make your lists: On one page, list the events, challenges and feelings of the past year that you are ready to be free of. On another page, list the events, blessings and virtues you wish to call into your heart for the year to come.
2 - Gather your supplies: Find smooth stones, shells, or cut paper. With markers, write one message on each.
3 - Release or burn: Create a ceremony, alone or with your family, where you take each challenge one by one, thank it for the lessons learned, bless it and release it by throwing it into the sea, or the garden, or the fireplace. Keep the others as reminders of where you are heading.
"We can't all do great things. But we can all do small things with great love," said St. Teresa of Calcutta.
May your New Year be filled with small things done with great love.
May it be grounded in love, illuminated by light and graced with blessings.
May it be guided by Divine Wisdom, aligned with goodness and filled with hope.
May it be guarded by angels, softened by patience and raised by kindness.
May it be lifted by gratitude, deepened by compassion and calmed by peace.
You've got this. We've got this together. The sun will rise.
With great love and 2021 blessings, Mary xo
The book and journal start again on January 1. Find yours here.