Dear Ones –

We are in the end days of Week 52 of 2014, and it's time for me to start thinking about what my New Years Day ceremony will be this year.

New Years Day is my favorite holiday.

(Note: New Year's Eve is NOT my favorite holiday — all that staying up late, all that noise, all that pressure to be having the BEST MOMENT OF THE YEAR WITH THE BEST PERSON IN THE WORLD AT EXACTLY MIDNIGHT…it gives me hives.)

But I love New Year's Day, because I can never get over the generosity of the fact that we all get a BRAND NEW YEAR, totally for FREE — with no dents, or dinks, or mistakes yet.

It's the ultimate REFRESH button.

I like to do ceremonies on New Years Day. I make them up in my head. For years, I used to do this ceremony where I would go for a walk in the woods at dawn, and the first wild animal I saw would be my totem animal for the year. (Domesticated pets and squirrels didn't count.)

Then one year, I saw a fox. A gorgeous, flame-colored fox walking in the fresh white snow! It looked over its shoulder at me. That did it for me. I decided that foxes would be my totem animal for LIFE. So I don't do that ceremony anymore, because I don't want to break the fox spell.

Last year, I got my family together, and we wrote down things we wanted to get rid of in 2014, and things we wanted to beckon into our lives, and then we burned the pieces of paper and threw them in the ocean, along with breadcrumbs and roses.

One year, some friends and I got Chinese lanterns, and lit them while reciting our wishes, and sent them up into the frosty night sky, and almost burned a neighbor's house down, but that's another story. (KEEP MUM ABOUT THIS ONE, PATRICIA!)

One year, I got some friends together and we made bird feeders out of pinecones rolled in peanut butter and birdseed, but before we put the birdseed on the pinecones, we swished the birdseed around on pieces of paper that had all our wishes written on them, so the birds would eat our wishes and fly them up into heaven.

Yeah — what I'm saying is: You can make up a ceremony out of just about anything.

May I suggest getting elemental about it — as in: work with nature. Use some fire and water. Be clear about what you are letting go of, and what you are drawing in.

Start making your plan and getting your materials together now.

Decide if you want to do your ceremony alone, or if you want to do it with friends.

But most importantly: Decide what you WANT.

Because you only get one brand new unsoiled, unspoiled, beautiful and fresh new year ONCE A YEAR. Use it well!


ps — Art credit: Robert Farkus…

via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall