A Journaling Activity for Closing the Year
Thank you for following Women Connected and all that you do to support the rise of the Feminine on our planet!
As we close 2017, I invite you to reflect on this past year before jumping into the new year.
There are many kinds of transitions that we experience in our lifetimes. As women we move through the archetypal cycles of the maiden – mother – matriarch – and crone. Each year we transition through 4 seasons, celebrations, and traditions. People come into and leave our lives. We go through transitions with our body as we age, when our health changes, when our weight goes up and down.
William Bridges teaches transitions with three identifiable stages.
- We begin with an ending. Something is lost or completed. There can be both celebration and sadness in this stage.
- We then enter the neutral zone – which often doesn’t feel neutral at all. It can be confusing and disorienting. We are often uncertain about what a new beginning may be. In our world of wanting to feel in control, we may feel very out of control.
- Eventually, the new beginning does arrive. We may feel joy and even relief. The new beginning holds the possibilities of our hopes and dreams.
Below is an exercise based on the Women Connected Inner Journey Process ™ that you can use in your written or art journal as you review and close 2017.
1) Prepare your space. Whether you are writing or expressing yourself visually, arrange all the materials you’ll need for the exercise. You might want some relaxing music, a favorite chair, and enough time when you won’t be interrupted.
2) Settle into your body using a meditation or yoga pose.
3) As you feel into your body, allow these questions to take you through your transition:
-What’s ending? What are you ready to be done with? Describe the situation.
-What regrets do you have? What does this ending represent for you? What emotions are you carrying?
-What do you cherish about having had this experience, relationship or situation? What are you celebrating?
4) Respond with art materials or write about these questions in your journal or do a combination of both.
5) Reading (processing) your work. Add what comes up back into your work.
a) What is an exact description of your spread?
b) What are the feelings that are being evoked as you work in this spread?
c) What is the story around your spread?
d) How does this story connect with the larger story of women in our world?
e) What have you learned as a result of going through this situation?
6) Healing and Integration. A symbolic or ceremonial release (list below).
“A symbolic or ceremonial experience is real and affects one as much as an actual event.” — Robert A. Johnson
In the Inner Journey Process, completion, pulling the learning all the way through, is a healing step. There are many ways to heal a hurt, regret, or disappointment and integrate its valuable lessons.
Below are releasing practices for different kinds of healing. Pick one that works for your situation or create a releasing practice of your own.
- Detach: Repeat to yourself, “It’s not mine.” Whenever you feel some emotional weather creeping up suddenly, imagine it blowing (peeling, falling, melting) away.
- Forgive: Cry, beat a pillow, write spontaneously and unfiltered, shout obscenities, say good-bye, and then wish the other well
- Empty: After a bath or shower, imagine the draining water taking away old energy, thoughts, and beliefs.
- Burn: Release by burning photos, letters, or thoughts written down on paper – with gratitude.
- Soften: Notice any tight spots in your body. Release the claw-like grip of an issue or thing by imagining it and breathing into and softening that place in your body.
- Release: Write a letter to someone as if you were going to send it; instead bless it and burn it with gratitude.
- Celebrate: It’s never too late to celebrate something that was overlooked. Send yourself flowers, reward yourself with a special treat like a spa day, invite some friends to dinner in honor of the celebration.
- Let Go: Create a special ritual of letting go using a small object that symbolize your holding patterns. Place it on a special altar to anchor your intentions. Wish it Goddess speed and, with your out breath, release it – with gratitude.
- Talk To Your Ego: Let it know that it has no control over you today.
- Be Aware of Low Energy: Notice the moments and thoughts that aren’t a part of your higher nature. Ask yourself “what might I be resisting?” and take an action towards completion.
- Get Support: Some things that need to be release required support. Invite a friend, mentor, coach, or therapist to support you in releasing deeply held experiences.
Happy New Year!