Sunday, January 2, 2011

Starting the Year Off Right

This morning at our spiritual community, we did our annual beginning of the new year ceremony.  First, we write just a few things that we enjoyed about the past year, a few things that we are thankful for right now, and a few intentions we have for the coming year.   The center collects those, and mails them back to us at the end of the year so we can see the progress we've made.

Then, on another sheet, we write things that we want to release from our lives--old hurts or sorrows, behaviors that don't support us, grudges or judgements that we've been holding onto, or whatever doesn't really serve you.  We also go outside for our burning bowl ceremony, where we toss that piece of paper into the fire, and watch all those things we don't want in our lives anymore go up in smoke.  It is a simple thing, but it does feel very freeing.

Finally, we each select our own white stone.  Then we are supposed to meditate for a while on what spiritual quality we would really like to have more of in our lives this year.  Once we've settled on one, then the rock is supposed to remind us all year long about creating that in our lives.  The idea is kind of like the concept of carrying a gratitude rock in your pocket that, whenever you touch it, reminds you to be thankful for something in your life right that very minute.

I was teaching the Middle Schooler Sunday School class today, so not only did I do this for myself, I got to lead the students in doing it for themselves.  That was fun, as well as valuable.  It's amazing to see these 11-13 year olds scribbling down all the things they want to release from their lives.  Some of them were very clear about their intentions, while others were less so.  But either way, I think it is a great practice for them to start doing at an early age.

So we've celebrated and honored, gifted and received, visited and welcomed, and now set intentions for the new and released the old.  And while we've continued to do some educational stuff, and are always learning SOMETHING, tomorrow we'll start back on a more regular educational routine.  My blogging will also go back to more middle school or educational focused posts, after several weeks of kind of lighter, holiday articles.  It's time...

PLUS, they announced the new superintendent of the Wake County schools, and those of you who know me KNOW I've got some opinions on that matter....  So tune in next week for details!

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