Letting go and moving forward - a ritual for the new year

Rituals are a comforting thing. They give order to our lives and provide structure to our grieving; sitting shiva or a wake. They frame our celebrations; weddings, birthday parties. My New Years Eve tradition includes a small ritual to help me let go and move forward.


Letting go

Take two small pieces of paper; on one write one thing you want to let go of. It can be a grudge you're carrying (a slight or wrong, betrayal of a co-worker or disappointment in a friendship). If you give yourself a moment, one will surface. I am often surprised at what surfaces, how can I be carrying that around? Still?  Or, it can be a negative thought you want to banish from your head (I hate my muffin top). These are like bricks in your backpack. Do you want carry these around all year? Lighten the load.

Moving forward

On the second slip, write a wish or a hope for the new year. Maybe you want world peace. Don't we all! But maybe make it more personal? Here, I try to stay away from goals. There's time for that. This is more playful, a wish. A new tub for soaking baths! A kitchen backsplash. Or a hope - hopefulness is good to cultivate. A good report from mom's next doctor visit. A peaceful end for an ailing kitty.

Now, fold the paper and focus on your grudge. Light it and send it off. Away. Let it go. (This part I do over the kitchen sink - safety first)

Next, do the same with your hope or wish. Focus on it. Then burn it and send that wish to the heavens.


This ritual is best followed by a kiss and some champagne.

Healthy, hopeful new year; filled with lightness and laughter.


ball bubbles