Our Gift for You – New Year Ritual

As you know we love a ritual on The Bridge Retreat so would like to offer you this simple ritual to enjoy by yourself or with your family and friends around a fire. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

“Rituals can bring meaning and beauty into the simple and sometimes unnoticed aspects of life. If honoured, rituals allow our souls to speak.” Donna Lancaster, Co-founder of The Bridge Retreat

Together close your eyes and allow time in silence to reflect upon the last years challenges and highlights and what they have brought you. What gifts can you now recognise these experiences offered you (even the painful ones)? Write them down. Each person in the group takes it in turns to share briefly about any major challenges of the year and the lessons/gifts within them. Say thank you for each of them. Then each person shares their favourite events, savouring together the best moments of 2018. Say thank you for each of them.

Once again all together close your eyes and allow time in silence to reflect upon your last years ‘mistakes’ or regrets. Things you did or didn’t do, said or didn’t say, that perhaps you feel sorry or sad about. These can be big or small. If these regrets involve people you have hurt, write the names of the people down too. Each person takes it in turn to read these out loud to your group. E.g. ‘I know I hurt you mum when I didn’t see you on your birthday and I’m really sorry for this’ Also sharing with each other what you need to forgive others and/or yourself for. E.g.’ I need to forgive myself for not being there for my Nan before she died.’

Write down what you want to leave behind as the year turns. E.g. Being unkind to myself, gossip, over thinking, busyness etc. Then take turns to speak these out loud with the words ‘I am choosing to let go of…’ Once each person has spoken, throw all your papers into the fire and together watch them burn. If you’re feeling really wild you could even sing together too..! If not, play a special piece of music as you silently watch the flames burn away the old.

On pebbles/special cards/notes each write what qualities in yourself that you are reclaiming or taking with you into the new year (for e.g. Trust, hope, playfulness etc). Share with the group and place in a jar or bowl/box to take with you.

Each person then says what they appreciate about themselves, other people (present and absent, alive or passed) and in the world. Give thanks for each. Then take it in turns to appreciate each other in the group, one person at a time. E.g. All focusing on you, each person in your group, offers you an appreciation…something they love or like about you. Then move onto the next person until everyone has received appreciations. You can also write them down for everyone to take away as a lovely reminder of how loved they are.

Complete the ritual with a dance, shaking off the negative past and welcoming in the new year ahead. Each person can take it on turns to choose a favourite track they love to dance to. It’s also lovely to play music for your loved ones who have passed to involve them in the celebrations!