Starting Fresh: On Death and Rebirth
I don’t know about you, but one of the things I love about the new year is feeling like I'm getting a fresh start. I know that for all intents and purposes, January 1 is an arbitrary day to celebrate. Maybe it’s the fact that I like the satisfaction of a blank page. Maybe it’s that it’s so damn cold this time of year that it helps to have something to look forward to. Maybe it’s the optimism of looking forward instead of getting stuck in what’s in the past. The new year gives me a sense of freedom from the obstacles I’ve encountered, and the messes I’ve gotten myself into in the previous year. Even if the last year was a dumpster fire, I feel more likely to walk away from the burning wreckage. Which might be why I find the best way to ring in the new year is to light the last one on fire.
I don’t do resolutions, but I do practice a burning bowl ritual, which helps me to process where I’m at, what I feel about where I’m at, where I want to be and why. The ritual is easy. Take a piece of paper (flash paper if you’re feeling fancy), and write down everything you want to let go of from the past year. The job that didn’t work out. Your despair about the current administration. That crappy date you went on. The marriage that ended. The arguments you regretted. The poor choices you made. The poor choices that others made. Write it down. And light it on fire.
On another paper, write down some things you feel ready for. Things you want to try. Risks you want to take. Write a love note to yourself. Light some candles. Do something that enriches your life. Decide what you want to fill your life with in the space that you’ve made from burning it down.
Death and resurrection are powerful forces. Both are necessary for growth. What in your life needs to burn to ashes? What needs to be born from the ashes you made?