A ceremony to clear space and invite new perspectives

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I’ve had a vision board in my office for many years. Some images have been there since 2011, and I’ve been adding to them. There are pictures of people who inspire me: Wangari Maatthai, Paul Hawken, David Whyte, Joanna Macy, and Karen Armstrong, to name a few. Other precious images remind me of goals for my health, my family, and my work. Verses and prayers light me up or calm me down.

On the last day of 2014, I took them all down and burned them outside in a ceremony, during which I released specific goals and hopes and turned the next year over to divine order. As the fire quickly moved through and consumed the paper, I honored the many growing seasons of the trees that formed it, of leaves turning sunlight into the miracle of life and growth, now being released into the air by the flames.

The fire cleansed and converted the paper into light, heat, and smoke, till only ash remained, reminding me that carbon is the common denominator of all, including my own body. I let myself feel, watching the flames dance through the paper, the truth of the interconnectedness of all of life.

Just as the paper released its carbon, so I released my clinging to outcome, my desire to control and orchestrate, and my need for certainty.

I have a practice of receiving a few words to carry into each new year. My words for 2014 were confidence, humility and courage. As the new year dawned, I asked for the courage and confidence to act, even in the face of old cultural stories that would suppress and belittle perspectives that challenge the status quo. And I asked for the humility to know that none of this is my idea; I am simply listening and doing my part.

To prepare to receive the new words for 2015, I revisited the many gifts and blessings of last year. It is my intention to tune in, more and more, to the magic of the world, and to the perfect timing of help showing up, of ideas and insights, and seemingly random occurrences. Recalling how this has worked in the past helps me to notice it in the present.

 “There are only two ways to live your life. One as if nothing is a miracle, the other as if everything is a miracle.” ~ Albert Einstein

I embrace these words for 2015: trust, magic, and play. These will call to me and shape me in ways that I cannot imagine. May I recognize when they do their work on me. May I trust that everything is unfolding according to divine order and be aware of the presence of magic in my life. May I invite play into day-to-day moments, and welcome it when it appears, as it often does in the form of my 13-year-old son. When I am tempted to take things too seriously, may I trust that the best thing to do is to play at everything that matters most.

Wishing everyone a year of magic and play.

2 thoughts on “A ceremony to clear space and invite new perspectives

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