Here we are in the last tender days before the turn of the new year. Dec 31st is as good a time as any … with some stunning countries and religions entering into the new year at different times in the calendar. Many of us are invited to use and mark this chosen date as a portal, a sacred marking, a passage, a turning point that calls upon our ability to both reflect (hopefully, kindly 🙂 ) and envision (hopefully, kindly 🙂 ). I invite you to gently look back on the past 365 days, with a goodbye to choices and outcomes and movements and bravery. You’re invited as well to look forward to the next 365 days and set some intentions (perhaps a little less rigid, and with more room for our human fallibility than resolutions?) and conjure some delightful visions for the empty-canvas days to come.

This process is meant to be fun, and sweet and inspiring. It is not meant to be daunting or used as an excuse to be hard on ourselves. It is a sweet window of opportunity, where we are in the abyss — crunched between “what was” and “what will be”; where we can offer excitement, championing, a tenderly proud pat on our own souls’ shoulders, and the giddiness of what could just … maybe … be possible… Take as much time as you possibly can. Make this list as long or as short as you would like … deep breath… 🙂

Looking back:

1. Nice work! What are the things you are most proud of this past year? Was it your courage under some kind of fire? Or many fires? Was it your ability to be resilient? Was it taking some terrifying first steps? Was it feeling a fear and moving toward and through it anyway? Was it how you held yourself in a trying time? Was it sticking with something and not giving up? Was it asking for help? Was it surrendering? Was there a self-expression that you particularly loved?

2. Forgiveness. What are the things you can forgive yourself for? Where might you be holding onto guilt that is not yours to hold? Have you taken responsibility for something you had regret about, and now you might warrant some softness around it? Where might your life benefit from cutting yourself some slack? Was there a behavior that you are letting go of that might have kept you going as a kid but now no longer serves you as you grow? Can it be ok to learn what we learn in perfect time?

3. Gratitude. What are you grateful for? Your health? Your relationships? Your gifts, talents, and abilities? Your strong connection with spirit? The abundance of natural beauty all around you?

4. Peace. During what moments did you feel most at peace? In the deepest relaxation?

5. Support. Who was the person or people or resource that supported you the most in your health, well-being, or healing—on your journey back to wholeness?

6. Parts of yourself. What part of yourSELF unfolded in a way that was exciting or relieving or healing for you? Was there a part of you that emerged this year that had been in hiding? Or that needed to make itself known? Or needed to rest and be unburdened?

7. The unexpected. What surprised you the most about this past year.

8. Levity. What was the funniest thing that happened? How often did you laugh?

9. Areas needing attention. In the following areas, did anything stand out as indicating that they needed more attention—any experiences, events, or signs from the universe? In your career, your self-expression, your finances, your ability to be organized (in your work life and home life), your self-care practices, your spiritual practice, your health, your body, your education, your healthy sexuality, your feelings, your home or living environment, your family, your friendships, your service in the world, your rest, your relaxation, your play, your fun, your recovery, your healing, your growth, your kindness to yourself?

10. Boundaries. Any boundaries that you set that warrant being celebrated for their bravery?

11. Friendship. Any new friendships that you feel grateful for? Any long-standing ones that you feel blessed by?

12. New awareness. Any new revelations and moments of clarity that opened up a new way of seeing life for you?

13. Grief. Any feelings of grief that have or have not been given their due moments in the sun?

14. Food. Any new habits with food that you are particularly proud of? Did you eat more or less of something in a way that you feel excited about? Did your nutrient intake level go up? Stay the same? Go down? How do you feel about it?

15. Giving. Did you feel super generous this year? Medium generous? Overly-generous? Under-generous?

16. Attention. What did you pay attention to most this year? Least?

17.  Loss. Any understandable regrets that can serve as opportunities for different choices moving forward? Regrets that warrant time for grief, or sadness, or honor, responsibility-taking, or ritual, or re-orientation?

Looking forward:

1. Excitement. What are some of the things that excite you most about this coming year of 2016?

2. Goals. What realistic goals do you have that light you up?

3. Support for the future. What kind of support do you have in place to move toward these visions for yourself or your family and community?

4. Thoughts and actions. What habit or belief or thought pattern would you like to soften throughout the coming year? What new ones could replace them that feel realistic and grounding and kind to you?

5. Visions and envisioning. In the following areas, do you have any pictures, visions, or ideas coming to mind—or intuitions whispering—that could support you in tending to each one? In your career, your self-expression, support around your finances or being organized, your self-care practices, your spiritual practice, your health, your body, your education, your healthy sexuality, your feelings, your home or living environment, your family, your friendships, your service in the world, your rest, your play, your fun, your recovery, your healing, your growth, your kindness to yourself? Take your time with this one.

6. Into the unknown. Is there anything outside of your typical choices that you are willing to dive into in this coming year? Any new risks that you are perhaps scared of, but ready to take on?

7. Of greatest importance. If you knew you had a very short time before you would be finished with this sacred lifetime, what would you do or not do? Who would you reach out to? What would you say and to whom? What or whom would matter the most to you? Might you be willing to do/not do or say or reach out this year in this way that reflects what you deeply value?

8. Deepest dreams. If there was “no way you could lose” and it wound up being a win-win for everyone, what would you be willing to DO, or BE, or RECEIVE this coming year?

9. Arms wide open. Speaking of receiving … what are you willing to open your heart and soul and mind up to receiving this year?

10. Blessed wishes. What compassionate wish do you have for yourself? Your family? Your friends? This planet? All of life?

May the transition from 2015 into 2016 be one of great clarity, intention, tenderness, mercy, humor, levity — safe passage that revs or cools your precious engines, as the case may be. And may this new year be filled with plenty of plain ol’ F-U-N 🙂.

Big hugs of connection and love and faith and empowerment and healing and joy and compassion to you each. I love you very very much.

xoxo

Alanis