2016 has left a lot of people reeling and feeling like up is down and down is up. This has been an intense year for almost everyone that I know. Not necessarily bad, but certainly challenging. A new year brings with it the chance to start fresh and release the things that have been holding you back, whether they be health challenges, relationship issues or just false beliefs. I like to do a bit of a purge and cleanse at the new year. Cleaning out our house and making a donation to Goodwill or Out of the Closet is the place I like to start. Donating things you no longer need is a great way to contribute to others and it helps to lighten the energy of your space. You can also write it off as a year-end tax deduction which is a nice bonus. Then I like to clear the energy of our home and my body to symbolically rid myself of the past years energies, and to create a clean slate upon which to build this new year. Here are a few ways that I like to do this. You can do one or all, or create your own ritual if you like. The important part is to have your intention clear. Also, after such an intense year don’t forget to nurture your emotional life. Sometimes we put all this pressure on having the most fabulous New Years Eve so we can start the new year on the “right” foot. Yet we aren’t in a party mood at all. It’s important to respect how you feel and to make this ritual about self-care. If you genuinely want to party like it’s 1999 then by all means do, but if what you really want is to crawl under the covers and ball your eyes out then honor that. Allowing our feelings, whatever they may be, is the greatest form of cleansing and release which is what this is all about.
New Years Cleansing Rituals
1. Clear your home of stagnant energy with smudging or Aromatherapy.
Smudging is one of the most utilized tools for clearing energy and has been used for centuries. From ancient egypt, through all of the major Asian and Roman catholic religions, and Native American sacred ceremonies, smudging has been used as a means to drive away negative and stagnant energies and to invite in healing, prosperity and balance. Sage is the most common herb used, but you can use other ones as well. Wood from a tree in South America called Palo Santo can also be used and smells divine. They both are believed to drive away negativity which is my goal. We will stick with Sage for our purposes as it is easiest to come by. You can buy a dried sage bundle at any Whole Foods or order it online here. Light the leafy end for a lot of smoke, or for a more controlled amount break off a twig or two and light the leaves. Wait for the flame to go out and the plant will still smoke. Place it in a fireproof dish for safe transport around your home, and to avoid any lit embers from falling on the floor. Blow on it occasionally to keep it smoking. Walk around your house (some say clockwise) and fan the smoke around paying attention to corners and tight spaces. Envision all the stagnant energy leaving your home. Allow the smoke to settle for 15 minutes or so and then open all the windows to allow the energy out and to bring in the fresh air.
If smoke is not your thing, you can also make an aromatherapy spray using essential oils to clear your space. HERE is a tutorial on how to make a spray. It is simple and easy and takes only a minute. Essential oils have also been used traditionally for healing and clearing. Sage, Cedarwood, Frakenscence, Peppermint and Lime are all great choices for clearing negativity. Spritz it around the room in the same manner as described above with the smoke. Be sure to pay attention to corners and tight spaces where energy can get stuck. You can also follow up with another spray using oils that are thought to be uplifting and to increase positive energy. Good oils to choose from are orange, vanilla, bergamot, neroli, geranium and lavender. I personally like to smudge with sage or Palo Santo and then follow up with some uplifting aromatherapy spray.
2. Take a cleansing bath
If you want to be hardcore, dry brush your skin to “shed your old skin”. This is not necessary but it removes dead skin and allows for a fuller cleansing experience. If you are unfamiliar with this process, it’s just taking a body brush or dry loofah and brushing you skin. Here is a tutorial on it if you are interested. Fill a bath with hot water (to your comfort level) and pour in 2 cups of epsom salts. You can also use all natural sea salt but epsom salt is much more affordable, plus you get the added muscle relaxing benefits of all that magnesium sulfate. Put several drops of essential oils in the bath as well. Any of the ones mentioned above are good. Mix and match whatever scents feel right to you. You can also put a crystal or two in the bath if you have any at home. Crystals a great tools for shifting energy. I know I’m getting a little “new agey” here but supposedly crystals can cleanse and align your chakras. I don’t know if it is true or not, but regardless there is something so calming and luxurious about throwing a couple crystals in your bath. Just try it if you have any. Black Tourmaline is great for cleansing negative energy, rose quartz is great for opening the heart chakra, and clear quartz is cleansing and balancing. If anything you will feel like royalty with your bejeweled bath, which is really the point. This is all about self care. Soak for as long as you want then rinse off the epsom salt, snuggle up in a robe and relax.
3. Goodbyes and Hello’s- Fire ritual
I love this simple ritual for releasing negative energies and emotions. Write down on a piece of paper all of the negative circumstances, people, beliefs etc… that you want to release from this past year. Tear into pieces so there is one thing on each piece. Light a candle and either use a fireplace if you have one or a fire proof pot placed inside your kitchen sink. Your going to burn each piece of paper and envision releasing whatever is written on there. You can even say something with each one. I like to say “Bye Felicia!” but whatever works for you. When your done take a few breaths to appreciate how much you’ve released and then take a new piece of paper and write down all of the things you wish to say “hello” to in this coming year. Anything that you want to invite into your life, or build upon if it’s already in your life. When your done tuck that piece of paper somewhere safe where you will leave it all year long. Just forget about it, and next year if you want to, you can look at it to review how many of those things you were able to cultivate in your life.
These are just a few things you can do to give yourself a pat on the back for getting through this past year. I am wishing all of you the most beautiful, loving and wonderful new year filled with health, happiness, love and joy. Thank you for being a part of this community and supporting this little corner of the internet. I am so grateful. See you next year!