I’m wondering how you’re closing your year. I don’t mean your plans for New Year’s Eve, rather, how do you find yourself as we tick off the final days of 2023? Excited? Exhausted? With anticipation or regret? Grateful? Content? Whatever it is, maybe you’ll carve out some time to reflect on where you’ve been this year, and with what are you aligning as we move into the year ahead.

Here are a few notions to get you started:

The garden of your mind. What is happening in there? Do you know? Is that voice in your head- your lifelong roommate— an ally or enemy? What are you growing in the garden of the mind and what practices have you put in place this year to create an inner space that is fertile ground for clarity, creativity, insight and presence? 

Priority update. What are your priorities at this point in your life? Have you done an inventory recently? It’s a useful exercise to take stock and then compare: What is most important to you now? Does your daily/weekly schedule mirror those priorities? If not, why not? There will likely never be the perfect time (or even a good time) so maybe you just decide that now is the time and adjust where you are out of alignment. 

The gift of self compassion. There are stretches of road in this life that are not easy. For all its magic and beauty, the path is also full of setbacks, disappointments, failures, betrayals and heartbreaks. What have you learned that you want to take with you, and what would it feel like to just let go of the rest? Acknowledging that you’ve been hurt, and offering yourself both grace and compassion are necessary steps to move forward wiser and less burdened, rather than closed off and weighed down. Starting the new year with a solid dose of self love might be a better way to begin again.

Consider gratitude. As you pause to reflect, recalibrate your perspective or orientation to what you have instead of what you don’t have; what you’ve accomplished instead of what is undone; what you get to do instead of what you have to do. Fill your gratitude cup as you end the year. Start full, with the intention to keep it that way.

Expansion. Perhaps the ultimate goal here at Earth School is to acknowledge and embrace more and more of yourself: the wholeness of your being, your life, the light and the dark of all that is you. To expand until you see that the true Self simultaneously incudes and transcends all of that. In what ways, or in what parts of your life or self expression are you contracting or expanding? How and where might you put focus on expansion?

We continue to live through dark times that feel impossible to process. Moving into an election year, it feels imperative to make note of where we are and get present to what we are bringing to the literal and figurative tables at which we have a seat. Considering this intersection– you & 2024– I’ll leave you with just three more questions. In the weeks and months ahead, what do you want to learn; how do you want to serve; what contribution do you feel called to make as an expression of who you are and the wish you have for this world?

Wishing you all the blessings for a peace and purpose-filled new year.

Ever Grateful,