Here we find ourselves again, ready to put another year to rest. The world seems antsy to say goodbye to 2016 and start fresh. But 2016 wasn’t as bad as it’s being made out to be. There were bits and pieces, if not full days, weeks or months, that held promise, excitement and good times. What better time than the end of the year, the magical day of December 31, to reflect back on all that 2016 brought to us - especially those moments that deserve a little extra love before being added to the (soon-to-be-covered with dust) scrapbook.
Practicing gratitude is a big one for yogis, but it really is a lovely practice that can show you just how abundant and love-filled your life is, even when you’re feeling low. Hopefully there were a lot of times during the past year that you were grateful. Rather than listing them all out, think back to those few special moments when your heart was overflowing with gratitude for someone who did something kind for you, an exciting opportunity appeared, or maybe it just didn’t rain one day and you had the most marvelous yoga practice in the park.
What were the gut-bursting moments of 2016? Did you actually end up rolling on the floor, with tears in your eyes or wishing you had a change of pants?
With hope, your year was full of big hearts. What - or who - brought a smile to your face, filled your belly with butterflies and had your heart racing? Maybe it was the more subtle kind of love you feel for strangers, or that quick moment when it starts to snow and your heart flutters. Take note of these love-filled moments, and look for them again in the new year.
We’re always learning new things about ourselves; whether we send a message out to the universe for help and guidance or not, new lessons always seem to be on our doorstep. What were your biggest self-discoveries this year, how did you get to that point of self-realization and healing, and how are you going to take these lessons (and be open to new ones) in 2017?
What goals did you set for yourself for 2016? Which ones did you successfully knock off the list, and which ones are you still working on? Hold a little compassion for yourself if you didn’t make it all the way through your list; just because the year is ending doesn’t mean your goals need to come to a halt as well. What do you want to see yourself accomplish in the new year? Be realistic but don’t be afraid to dream big.
If this year taught us anything, it is to speak our truth and stand up for what we believe in. What is it that you want to get loud about? What can you do to make a difference in your community, near or far?
What things, whether physical or emotional, do you need to leave behind before heading into the new year? This one might take a little more digging than we’re used to - or comfortable with - but if we clean up our house, it will be ready for all the new love and light that the next 12 months hold.
Did you realize any bad habits this year that you want to change going forward? This self-realization can be so relieving, but the best is yet to come when we take action and work to make those changes a reality. It helps to acknowledge why you want to make the change, not just what the change is that you want to see. This adds a little more motivation to your mission.
Is there anyone you need to forgive, or ask forgiveness from for anything that happened during the year, or that woke from dormancy? Include yourself in this question and really ask yourself if you need to forgive yourself and move on from something you’re holding onto that is no longer serving you in a positive way.
Did you open yourself up to something or someone new? Did you allow yourself to become more vulnerable with a loved one, or even yourself? We can be our toughest critics and often put on masks when dealing with our own selves. How did you open yourself up this year, and how will you work to maintain this level of openness and vulnerability in the new year?
There will likely be challenges ahead as we switch out the calendars, but you are strong, capable and loving human beings who are warriors of the heart. A new year has nothing on you. You’ve got this. May you remember all the beauty of of 2016 and go forth into 2017 with love in your heart, light in your eyes and the steady confidence of someone who won’t back down from a challenge.