The first day of the year is always a good place of new beginnings and newfound or renewed commitment towards creating a healthy and prosperous life and being focused on what matters the most in life. That’s why it was no surprise to receive invitations to 1) participate in a bowl burning ceremony and to 2) a dinner celebrating the unity of friendship. While regretfully I was not able to make either event, I was truly appreciative of the thoughts and sentiments.
I was familiar with the burning bowl ceremony and believe that I participated in something very similar many years ago. If you are not familiar with the ritual, it is a fire ceremony that can take place indoors or outdoors in a ceramic bowl, fire pit, fireplace, anything that can safely contain the fire. It often takes place on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. The purpose is to release negative thoughts, hurts, resentment, and anger from the past to focus on conscious awareness and clarity of love, life, health and prosperity. The concept is to write down on a piece of paper whatever negative thought that you want to leave in the past and to place the paper into the burning bowl. The symbolization of the activity is the smoke carrying away the negativity into the atmosphere to allow for clarity and awareness for the remaining 364 days. It’s a cleansing or releasing of everything you no longer wish to burden your heart and spirit with.
For many people, the intent is great but when real life challenges hit after the honeymoon of the Christmas holiday season and New Years Day, it’s easy to forget to stay in a place of peace and awareness. And we know that people just want to be happy or otherwise Pharrell’s catchy song, Happy, would not have sold over 12 million copies to become one of the best-selling singles of all times while inspiring videos from all over the world of people dancing in the street and feeling free to just be in the moment to the song.
So beyond the ritualistic moments of the first day of the year, there are some easy and simple ways to remember to stay in or return to the moment daily. The key isn’t necessarily what time of day you do it, but what works best for your schedule. The goal is to just be consistent, conscious and aware on a daily basis, even if only for 5 to 10 minutes. It has to be likened to nourishment like eating or drinking water.
So just commit to ONE thing because most of our lives tend to get full and busy. So consider one of these if you don’t have ideas of your own. But mainly, whatever makes you feel happy and feel good inside.
Prayer…whether it’s reading scripture or speaking aloud your hopes, dreams and desires for the day, prayer is grounding and creates focus.
Meditation…allowing your mind to clear itself devoid of anything and just soak in the moment either silently, with music, or guided. Especially in the spring, I love to lay in the bed really quiet before I arise and just listen to sound of the birds chirping while I contemplate and visualize my day.
Music…inspirational, gospel, kid’s song, feel good, whatever makes you smile and be appreciative for the moment you are in, just hit play and listen to it while showering, getting dressed, driving, exercising or cooking.
Yoga/Exercise…stretching your body and releasing tension and sweating out any negative energy.
Signing onto Happify…a science based-approach to inspire happiness through quick fun-based activities, tools, and skills that can increase happiness on your pc or as in app on your phone.