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Each December or early January, I like to take some time to reflect on the previous year and think about the year to come. This sometimes takes a quick hour or two, but when I have time, I give it a half day or more. (Often there's lunch, a museum or a good popcorn flick involved too.) I celebrate what asks to be celebrated, release what needs to be let go, and set some intentions and hopes for the coming year.
What can I say... I find the rollover to a new year completely irresistible! Add a January 2 birthday to the mix, and the time is ripe for taking stock. But I’ve learned that many of you like to do something similar.
One friend puts together a fun survey for the family to complete, chronicling important events, favorites, and hopes for the year to come. Then they read the answers the following year and take a new survey. It’s like a revolving time capsule.
Another woman goes away to her family’s farm and lights a bonfire that she feeds all night with brush from the surrounding fields. This practice has become a metaphor for purging the negative stuff from the previous year.
Another man I know goes outside at 11:45 pm on New Year’s Eve and reflects on the year past. At midnight, he spends about 15 minutes offering hopes for the upcoming year.
I’ve done my yearly review in a variety of ways, using a variety of tools I’ve cobbled together over a long time. This year, I’ve decided to come up with my own process, and it’s been an unexpected blast to put together. There’s fun stuff, thought-provoking questions, a little fill in the blank, places to doodle…
It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure of yearly review.
Well, it snowballed into a little “kit” I’ve decided to make available to you: my friends, my readers, the folks who’ve companioned me and one another on the journey.
I’m calling it The Gate of the Year: 2015, 2016 and Beyond.
The name refers to my favorite New Year’s quote. (Yes, I have a favorite New Year’s quote. I told you I was hard core.)
Do you do a yearly review? The Gate of the Year can be a great companion for your own practice. If you don’t normally do such reflection, I offer it to you for free, with no strings attached. Try it. Share it. Complete the pages you like and leave the rest. Jump around. Revisit it throughout the year for further exploration. Make it yours. Just as I hope you’ll make 2016 yours!
You’ll receive access to a PDF of The Gate of the Year in your next Blue Room email. You don’t have to do a thing to receive it (and are under no obligation to download it)… but if you know someone who would appreciate this little resource, encourage them to sign up so they don’t miss out. Here's the link to sign up.
Advent Blessings, MaryAnn
UPDATE: A couple of questions have come up since I first posted this:
When will this be ready? It was sent on December 29. But if you subscribe you will still get access.
If I subscribe to your blog via email, will I receive this resource through those messages? Unfortunately not. Many of you receive blog updates via email--when I post here, you get an email through WordPress. But the email newsletter is different---it's sent twice a month and contains extra content, links, etc. that I don't put on the blog. So if you want "Gate of the Year" you need to subscribe to the email newsletter. It goes out through MailChimp, which provides one-click unsubscribe if you find it's not what you're looking for.