A dear friend recently told me that she sees her birthday as her personal New Year, versus our cultural standard of January 1st. She shared that she uses her birthday to reflect on the past year, as well as what she desires to bring into fruition in the coming year. Another dear friend recently had a wedding shower where we wrote down one thing we wished for her marriage, as well as something that we, as an individual, wanted to let go of for ourselves. We then threw both desires into the fire and watched them burn. Later, we meditated under the trees on those burned intentions. That exercise moved me in a significant way and has remained with me daily.

For my birthday this month I decided that I would combine both of these practices. I spent my birthday weekend in a state of reflection, giving gratitude for all that this past year had brought me, embracing both the joy and the pain, the successes and the hard lessons. As well as, focusing on what I want this next journey around the sun to look like for me, should God grace me with another lap. I then filled up two entire white lined school pages, front and back, that I stole from Charlie and wrote down all the things and behaviors that are no longer serving me. Everything that dims my light, that I yearn to shed, made it to the paper.

Then I wrote down all of the things I want to achieve and bring to this new year. I included goals of course, but also things I desire for our world, mankind at large and my family and friends. More love, more peace, more tolerance, more unity, more grace, no matter how vast our differences may be. And then I folded both sheets of paper up and threw them into the fire that Stanley had made for me. As I watched both sheets burn, I felt an interesting sensation deep within my soul. I felt lighter in ways. More intentional.

I recognize this simple act doesn’t mean that my negative tendencies will wash off me as quickly as they burned in the fire that day. But I also understand that our thoughts have the power to become our reality. And intention breeds change.

I feel grateful for the new practices that my friends shared with me. I am thankful for the inspiration, the whispering of my soul, that caused me to mesh the two experiences together, forming my very own unique New Year.

When’s your birthday? Go and make your own version of YOUR unique New Year, honoring the gift of being on this earth for as many years as you have, releasing what no longer serves you, dimming your light. Claim your desires for another lap around our glorious and brightly shining sun.

You deserve it because you are truly one of a kind and very much loved. 💕