New Year’s Release Process
Another year, another unfulfilled New Year’s Resolution. Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. Every year, millions of people make New Year’s resolutions. Research shows that over 90% of resolution makers don’t keep them.
I used to be a part of those dismal statistics too, until a new idea came to me a few years ago while cleaning out my closet. As I put together a pile of material belongings I no longer needed, I began to contemplate the non-material. When did I rid myself of the emotions, beliefs, and habits that I no longer needed?
These days, instead of making resolutions, I make releases to rid myself of the non-material things that no longer serve me. It’s a simple three-step process.
New Year’s Release Process
1. Identify those emotions, beliefs, or habits you wish to release.
2. Write them on a rock (one per stone.)
3. On New Year’s Day, go to a location of your choice, and release your rocks.
o A mountainside, field, stream, lake, or the ocean are all great location options.
o An alternative is to write your releases on slips of paper and burn them.
A word of caution…If you live in cooler climates and select a lake or pond, make sure it’s not frozen. The first time I tried this new practice, I convinced my husband, Sean, to join me. Together, we created our Release lists. Mine included things like, judgment, doubts, and attachment to the past. Sean’s list included more practical things, like quit smoking. On the morning of January 1st, we wrote our releases on our rocks, packed them up, and set off to a nearby State park determined to complete our mission despite the overnight ice and snow.
Our trusty SUV transported us with no issues. Hand-in-hand we walked across the icy parking lot, down a slushy road, and through snow covered fields until we reached our destination—a picturesque lake. As I selected my first rock to throw, I noticed the lake was partially covered with ice. “Think we can make it?” I asked Sean.
“Sure—the ice cover isn’t that far,” he replied with confidence.
We tossed our first rocks into the lake, and both hit the ice with a resounding thud. We had clearly overestimated our throwing capabilities.
Sean gave me a sheepish look. “I wasn’t ready to get rid of that until the spring thaw anyway,” he said, referring to his quit smoking stone.
Letting go allows me to grow. Letting go creates space within, and provides an opening for something new. My new and improved New Year’s ritual does just that. It enables me to let go of the old to create space for the new.
As this year draws to a close, consider a new tradition, one that entails releasing in lieu of commitments. A tradition that will open space for greater peace, love and joy in the new year.
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