Since I make a habit of setting goals for myself throughout the year, I do not come up with New Year's Resolutions. I prefer instead let go of things from the previous year. I learned this tradition from a peer of mine that studied at Naropa University. Her name is Sonny and she is a Lakota Indian, an amazing woman, a survivor and a beautiful person all around. Since ritual and tradition can be an important component of well being, she shared with the class a tradition that her tribe practices. Keep in mind, I am not versed in Lakota tradition so this is a very abridged version. Basically what we did was write down things from the previous year that we want to let go. This is personal and not shared with anyone. We then burned the paper and the idea is that the things we want to let go of goes up with the smoke and a Lakota spirit (an eagle, I believe) flies down and takes them away. You then bury the ashes in soil and grow a plant or flower in it. Then you can move into the new year letting go of the things that hold you back and something new grows from the intention. Having done this a couple of times, I find it very freeing and a ritual I plan on doing again this week. I have used this also when I was going through some difficult times. My mother had come to Colorado to stay with me for a few days for support. I shared this idea with her and we did the ritual ourselves. We then added writing down what we wish for each other in the coming year. Truly helpful indeed.
Whatever you want to work towards in 2008 or let go of from the past, I wish you all Health, Wealth, Love and a Sense of Groundedness.
Namaste, Shanti and Cheers,