Wheel of Reflection

Wheel of Reflection

A Ritual to Begin the New Year

"Dreamtime," watercolor by Helene Cotton

"Dreamtime," watercolor by Helene Cotton

I have done this ritual for the past 6 years. I find it very rewarding and interesting. It is particularly helpful if you feel that you had a rough year. You might be delighted as you reflect back on some of it’s sweetness.

This exercise asks you to slow down, to pause, and take the time to review the past year so that you can recognize the surprises, successes, failures and wisdom learned. After the review, you begin the new year with a sense of fullness and clarity.

You could do the whole exercise at once, or break it in half or quarters. If you break it down, make a firm commitment to yourself to complete it in a timely fashion.

To begin, draw a large circle and write 2015 in the middle. Write surprises in the east, successes in the south, disappointments in the west and wisdom in the north.

As you reflect, start in the East with surprises.  Think back and begin to write a list on another sheet of paper of all the surprises you encountered in 2015. Be sure to take your time. Let your mind wander and really reflect. Then move clockwise around the wheel to successes in the South. Again take your time, pause and write them down. Next up in the West is disappointments. Try to take your time here too. It’s important to feel and acknowledge disappointment in order to heal. You will end up in the North with the wisdom that you gained during the year. As you reflect, notice what you have learned and how you have grown. Write it all down.

Once you have completed your list of items, you may decide to share them with someone you trust like a partner, friend or therapist.

January is known as the “Dreaming Time”. It’s the time to visualize your future, filled with possibilities of what can happen, what you desire and what you wish to create. And once you’ve given yourself sufficient “dreaming time”, you actively begin your new year in February.

Within the next few weeks declare 2015 as being complete and contemplate what support you may wish to ask for in 2016.