A few years ago I began the practice of taking a few minutes on the last day of the year to say goodbye to everything I wanted to let go of. Yogis for centuries have understood that too much of anything – good or bad – weighs down, confuses and distracts us from optimal health and well-being. So, each year I take the time to dive deep and reflect on all those things that I wish to bid adieu to from the year that is passing through the sands of time.
Each year it seems this list is becoming more and more authentic…real. Each item seems to open-up a treasure trove of memories about the personal and professional challenges and milestones I encountered in the year and bring new awareness and meaning to how I want to spend my energy, time and resources. It has become a very sacred part of my annual routine and I have found myself actually beginning to prepare for the process weeks in advance, mulling over exactly what will be most life giving to let go of. During these weeks I often find myself taking more time in my daily yoga practice to rid my body of deeper places of tension and blockages and cleaning-out forgotten drawers and cupboards in order to create more room to breathe in my home.
After I’ve made the list I conduct a ritual to dispose of it’s contents…sometimes ripping it up, burning it, whatever feels right in the moment. This year I added in the ritual of reciting the mantra “Om Gum Ganapateyi Namaha” 108 times, a mantra which helps one release obstacles in their path. </span>However I dispose of the contents there is always a moment of bliss that follows. I feel this sense of freedom washing over me, re-charging every cell of my being. It’s as if I can taste the possibility inherent in the blank slate opportunity I’ve created. It’s exhilarating. And although it may not last the entire new year, each year it does seem to linger longer and longer…wafting in and out more regularly throughout the passing year.
So, I invite you to join me in this ritual of letting go of whatever you don’t want to carry from 2016, in order to open-up fully to what awaits you in 2017. And after you’ve made your list take a moment to dance in the sense of freedom and possibility that arises out of the purge. Let’s make 2017 your most freeing year yet!
Sari LaBelle is a co-owner of Shanti Yogi, yoga teacher, naturotherapist and life coach.