Winter Solstice, the shortest and darkest day of the year, is on December 21st. On this dark day, observed by people all over the world, we celebrate light. We remind ourselves that, in times of darkness, we can be the light in our lives.
How can you invite light into your life?
For thousands of years, Midwinter has been a time for jovial celebration; people have been getting together, sharing feasts, singing songs, exchanging gifts, and, yes, probably drinking too much alcohol. Now-a-days, people pretty much celebrate in the same way. We light candles, sing carols, and decorate trees, all while setting goals for the new year.
The only difference between now and then is intention. As a whole, our society is not very intentional or ceremonial. Because of the daily hustle and bustle, we don’t often make time to check in with ourselves.
Setting intentions doesn’t have to be a big to-do; you can start by changing your internal dialogue. For example, before attending holiday engagements, you might try using a mantra (AKA a phrase said over and over- silently is fine) to help set the tone. “I invite laughter and joy into my life.”
Instead of attending an office Christmas party that feels more like an obligation than your idea of fun, you can attend that same party, but change your feelings about it. Make it a goal to connect with your coworkers, do some networking, and invite new energy into your career. Try this mantra: “This event is opening doors to great opportunities.“ When you chose a mantra, be sure to use positive words and the present tense.
The point here is that YOU can change your own mind. Otherwise, if possible, forego the event altogether. It’s important to honor your own boundaries and, let’s be honest, no one wants to host a Grinch. (See our previous blog post about setting healthy boundaries during the holidays).
Have you had troubles with sticking to New Year resolutions? Here’s what you can do this year…
There are a TON of tips out there about how you can stick to your New Year resolutions and there are a lot of ways to set your intentions. We find that checking in with your goals every month makes you more likely to stay focused, on track, and realistic (remember, we’re all human). When you do your monthly check-ins, ask yourself what’s working and what’s not. You can even get creative with your resolutions and create a dream board that you walk by every day. Being able to see your goals on a daily basis helps you stay on track as well!
Set your intentions with a New Moon Ceremony
Have you ever heard of New Moon rituals? If you’re picturing a group of scantily clad women dancing around a fire under the light of a full moon, that does sound like our idea of a party, but, that’s not what we’re talking about here. The New Moon, also called the Dark Moon, is traditionally seen as a time to set intentions and plan for the month to come. You can even spark energy into your intentions with fire! This can be done in a couple of different ways, but when it comes to working with the moon, it’s always best to use your intuition and do what feels right.
How to set Intentions...
- On the night of the New Moon (happening January 5th), make a fire outside. Take a seat by the fire and start writing your goals on a piece of paper. You can speak your intentions aloud, then toss your list into the fire, sending your prayers up to the heavens.
- You can use candles similarly. Prayer candles come in a variety of colors, each symbolizing a different idea. For example, use a pink candle to invite more love into you life. Use a green candle for physical healing or emotional growth. Some people like to anoint the candles with herbs and oils for an extra kick. Ultimately, the key here is intention. The more time and effort you spend, the more powerful your prayers will be. Rather than burning your goal list like you would with a fire ceremony, you can fold the paper and place it under the candle.
Being Grateful: a Full Moon Ceremony Tip
A big part of realizing your goals is being thankful for your gifts and achievements. After all, you wouldn’t accept a gift from a loved one without showing your appreciation, would you? The Full Moon is not a time to ask for what you want, but to show gratitude for what you have. Mark your gratitude calendar: the next Full Moon comes to us on December 22nd! How do you show your gratitude? You might consider giving back to the earth, to the critters who live outside, or to any person in need. If your New Moon prayers were about paying all of your bills on time, during the Full Moon cycle, you might say a prayer of gratitude for the money and comforts that you do have, and give back by paying it forward, even if it’s just a couple of dollars or some cans of food/blankets.
The Law of Attraction
The Law of Attraction tells us that our words are very important. Not only the ones we say aloud- even our thoughts set the tone for how our life plays out. When you express your gratitude and share your intentions, always use positive and present-tense words. For example, if you don’t want to catch the cold that’s going around, rather than saying “Please don’t let me get sick” you might say “I’m thankful for my health and my strong immune system.” Trust us… your body is listening!
We’d love to hear from you! What are some intentions you’d like to set for the New Year? Leave a comment below!