The Burning Bowl

Looking back . . .

2023 is here, and you close out yet another chapter. The past year, in many ways, was filled with love, friendship, adventure, challenges, lessons, and reflection. But there are other negative parts too. Here’s a simple process to help honor what has been, let go of what is no longer needed, and set your desires to create for the new year.

I’d suggest you see this process as a ceremony of hail and farewell. Set aside time to reflect on this past year with all its lessons. Sometimes a good old kitchen calendar is the best way to remember the past, for often important lessons can be lost in a haze of “busyness.”

  • Sit down and write out all the things you have accomplished over the past year. Remember the memorable things, the heart-warming times, and yes, perhaps even the struggles and the tears. Think on the positive times as well as the negative. (Were you aware that the amygdala, a very elemental part of your brain, programs you to focus on that which you perceived was “not good?”)
  • Write out what you have learned and how far you have come during the year’s time. You may have accomplished more than you thought. Also consider the lessons you have learned. They too are valuable.
  • List what you are grateful for, from the largest to even the smallest of things.

Gather up your burning bowl

On a separate piece of paper, write all the things you want to release from 2022. This can include objects (clearing out the “physical closet” of things that make you feel negative when you see, hear or touch them), habits (ones that no longer serve you), and limiting beliefs (“I’ll never be able to . . ."). Toxic relationships might also be part of this list.

When you’ve finished this inventory, crumple up the paper and place it in a ceramic bowl or pot. As you strike the match and touch the flame to the paper, clearly declare out loud, “I release these experiences in peace and retain all the positive learnings from each one.”

Set your dreams for 2023

After you have burned your “let go” paper? Write out your dreams for 2023. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Where do I want to be by the end of the year?
  • What experiences do I wish to have?
  • What wisdom do I want to gain?
  • Which relationships do I choose to deepen or build?
  • What do I want to learn?
  • Which traits of mine do I want to sharpen? To discard?

Write these down in the first person, as if what you want is happening now. By using “I am” and words in the present tense, your mind thinks your goal is already unfolding. Momentum for movement has begun. Your intention is set for the coming year, specifically directing your thinking and your actions to what you want to create. This also allows you to stay focused on your goals. New strategies will then bubble up in your subconscious mind and make them a reality.

My wish for you

Make 2023 the best year ever, of a positive benefit to you and those around you. May you have an attitude of curiosity as this chapter unfolds. Live unstuck!

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