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“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go. They merely determine where you start.” ~ Nido Qubein
The week between Christmas and New Year has traditionally been a time when I tie up loose ends and organize my life.
I’ve got Libra in my house of Home and Family, so I blame that for needing balance between the new and old year, but I’d like to mention also that if one has triggers from underlying trauma toward needing order, intentionally approaching the habit can be really therapeutic.
My witch’s path has also taught me about intentional living, meaning that we can create an empowered and thoughtful life by paying attention to the small things which add up to mindful outcomes. The last week of the year is a good time to nestle in, slow down, and smooth edges.
Venus is in retrograde until January 29th, and the beauty theme is coming up for many of us.
Here are a few details that I attend to and which may also bring beauty to your life.
1. Clear out my filing cabinet of old papers. Even though I try to be as paper-free as possible, there’s somehow a buildup of documents and printed files. I’m getting better at not shredding stuff I actually still need. This extends to clearing space in my online files—avoid paying extra storage fees—unless you really can’t avoid it.
2. Organize my phone pics into albums and delete all the weird fern and mushroom photos I took when walking the woods. I do admittedly have a mushroom album, haha. Someone once said that now that photos are digital and easily erased, we have only a record of the best moments where we came out looking close to perfect. I recently looked back at one I took a couple of years ago and was somewhat critical of. Looking back, I see how I underappreciated myself in those moments.
3. Unsubscribing from all those store email updates—because I’m still working on saying no when I’m in the actual store and they ask for all my personal info. People-pleaser always shows up in such situations. While at it, I delete other subscriptions that I no longer resonate with. But wait, you say…do you not ask people to follow you and subscribe to your newsletter? I do, and, hope that people subscribe to me only for as long as it is of benefit to them. I don’t mind if people move on—a life of integrity is a worthwhile goal. (Currently resisting the urge to check unsubscribes!)
4. Move all my info from my old Moleskine planner to the new one. Unprepared feels really sticky to me, and I avoid it like the plague. Do you still use a paper planner? I’m super tactile and like to “hold” my year. There’s something comforting about looking over each of the old pages—I’ve usually forgotten half of what happened anyway.
5. Pay every bill that is outstanding if possible, and peer into my relationship with abundance. My ritual when paying bills is to speak gratitude for the ability to do so. Try naming your bank accounts with words such as love, freedom, wealth, self-support, and feel the difference when you sign into your banking.
Money is energy and feels us just as we feel it. My dad actually taught me to clear up debts going into the new year. As many people who had gone through World War did, there was a safety factor of having his affairs in order. I used to think it was overkill but as I get older I appreciate it more.
6. Make a pile of things I’d like to sell, donate, or gift. This list begins actually before Solstice. I accompany it with an intention to be truly mindful when making new purchases. Do I need it, want it, or am buying on impulse? Where is it coming from? Can I support a local business? Is this aligned with my relationship with abundance?
7. Make peace with the year past, collecting memories, releasing regrets and grief, and making plans for the new year—ones that support my nervous system, uphold my love for myself, and take into account that while I may have the best of intentions, I am not binding myself into strict expectations, but more opening space for possibilities. I do work on things to the best of my ability—and that ability waxes and wanes, which is perfectly normal.
8. Introspect which relationships, activities, projects, learning I want to invest in. Perhaps some are tapping my emotional or physical resources. Perhaps some need more attention. I write it all down, mull it over, cross things out, add things in, have a tea, wave my incense over it. I usually come up with some resistance, some excitement. Don’t stress it; meet it with curiosity.
I just realized that I’m trying to wrap up my writing year with Elephant Journal by making this year-end post. It’s been such a pleasure to write for you, to share bits of my life, my witch’s walk, and to receive your feedback. A writer’s life is many things, but one of the best of these is creating community with other writers and readers. Thank you.
Blessed New Year, from the shores of Vancouver Island.