The new moon is right at home in the deep darkness of December. With Yule and the New Year right around the corner, we’re all thinking about a clean slate, and that’s exactly what a new moon represents. It’s a reminder that it’s not just possible to hit refresh on whatever has been bogging you down and begin again, it’s the law of nature.
I gave up on the traditional idea of New Year’s Resolutions years ago after I realized I was setting the same goals year in and year out and then not living up to my own expectations. I didn’t give up on goals or anything, I just gave up on the telling myself I’d lose weight or get published or complete bucket list items when in reality, what I needed to resolve to do was stop the cycle that always ended in beating myself up. I wanted to take better care of myself on a larger scale.
I was just starting to understand that taking better care of myself didn’t really equate to pushing myself harder. What it equates to is pushing myself harder in the right ways. And finding the right ways means being a lot kinder to myself.
Being kind to yourself means acknowledging the ways you’re not ready to change yet.
Being kind to yourself doesn’t mean forgetting that you’d like to lose twenty pounds or publish a book or travel more. Forgetting those things wouldn’t actually be very kind at all (unless, of course, you decide you don’t want it anymore). What I mean is that you quit hurling all your precious energy toward something that isn’t lining up for you right now despite your best efforts. It’s okay to keep a few of your heart’s desires on hold while you get ready for them.
Being kind to yourself is asking yourself why something you want badly isn’t lining up and resolving to deal with that first.
Being kind to yourself is paying attention to your emotions. It’s moving toward the good stuff first, using that momentum to get things done, and then tackling the biggest challenges when you’re feeling strong and brave.
This new moon just before the new year is the best time to clean the symbolic slate and decide how you want to feel in 2018. It’s the starting place for some truly powerful and attainable annual goals that go beyond what you might be used to. You might even look at some old standby’s in a new way that sticks this time.
Prepare Your Space
Gather your tools and arrange them in a place where you can sit uninterrupted for an hour.
- moon journal and pen
- a timer, meditation app, or nature sound app with timer
You might also like to have:
- smudge or incense/air element
- black candle/fire element
- cup of tea or water/water element
- black moonstone or labradorite/earth element
Get comfortable, dim the lights.
If working with the elements, smudge the area. Visualize a circle of protective light around you. Light your candle, take a sip of your drink, and hold your crystals.
Set your timer. Start with 5 minutes and build up to 30 minutes. There is no goal except to clear your mind. If thoughts enter your mind, just notice them and release them. Picture thoughts as sage smoke rising and dissipating into the air above your head. Don’t get upset with yourself if it’s hard. You’re shifting from a doing mode to a being mode so you can journal from your true self, not the ego self that you identify with in your daily life.
When your timer goes off, get ready to write.
- What are you grateful for today?
- From the last full moon, I asked you to think about your best moment in 2017, zero in on how you felt in the moment, and sum it up in one word. Write this word again now.
- For this part, I’m going to ask you to focus on just the areas of your life that are calling you. My areas are writing, family, business. You can do more if you want. It’s entirely up to you, but I’m the type who often takes on too much and feels scattered. You do you. If you’re a writer, make one area your writing.
- What areas of your life are calling for your attention this year?
- How do you want to feel this year in regard to your (writing, family, job, health, etc)? Choose just a few positive words that can act as a guidepost for you to tell you if you’re on the right track. Also don’t choose words that rely on another person to act in a certain way. This is about your relationship with yourself.
- Writing suggestions: inspired, productive, and confident as opposed to successful which is vague and can mean too many different things
- Family suggestions: love, closeness, and trust all stay focused on how you are showing up in your family, not on how family members are behaving
- Business suggestions: aligned, balanced, and bold is different from saying you want to feel appreciated
- Now in each area you chose, go ahead and set some specific intentions for 2018. These should be compatible with how you want to feel. If you want to feel productive as a writer, what does productive mean to you? Does it mean writing a lot of new material? Or does it mean finishing things, polishing, and submitting? Maybe productive would be working on just one novel, start to finish? A good goal is a challenge, but not impossible.
- If you notice a disconnect between what you want to feel and what you want to accomplish–if these things seem incompatible–just know this is okay, this is normal. You may have some beliefs or stories that are getting in the way, and working on that may actually be the best goal of all. But if you’re really not ready to do the work, consider putting your energy into something else.
- Feel free to put your list aside and work on it over the next couple weeks and beyond. I think your annual goals should be a living document that you can adjust at any time.
When you’re done writing, close your journal, and say out loud, “So it is.”. Finish your tea, blow out your candle, and visualize the circle of light dissolving.
Ground yourself with a snack or by kneeling on the ground and placing your hands on the floor. Visualize any extra energy flowing through your body, out of your hands, into the Earth.