This Beer Might Be Gluten-Free, But This Letting Go Stuff Is Serious Business: How To Tap Into the Power of the Winter Solstice To Facilitate Change in the New Year

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.” ~Neil Gaiman 

All of a sudden it’s December 12th. And all I can think is, WTF?

I’ll admit it. 2014 kicked my butt. Big time.

There were more than a few moments that had me asking the Universe to just HOLD ITS HORSES for a minute and give it a rest already with the onslaught of life lessons being thrown my way.

This year was a crash course in friendship and self-love and business and aunthood and dating and intimacy and figuring out how to wake up to the world — and to myself — without completely losing my mind on a daily basis.

It was kind of an intense year, you guys.

But mostly, this year was pretty amazing. And served to remind me that I am exceedingly blessed.

I’ll be honest, though. There have been times I’ve lost sight of just how lucky I am. Times when I have allowed fear and uncertainty and expecting the worst to overshadow the good stuff and the blessings and the awesomeness that surrounds me.

Just last week, in fact, I fell into a black hole of what ifs and imagined the entire infrastructure of my life crashing down around me and found myself in a complete panic over eight hundred things that WEREN’T EVEN REAL.

Sigh.

I do this sometimes. Get all worked up about the possibility of things going wrong and then spend three days freaking out over nothing instead of just enjoying the fact that I have a cool job and amazing friends and a rad family and everything is totally effing fine.

(Seriously. It’s fine. Stop worrying so much.)

I’ve wasted more time than I would like to admit fabricating stories and creating scenarios in my head in which nothing works out and I end up having to rebuild my life completely from scratch.

Doing this gives fuel to fear. And I’m over it.

As this year winds to a close, we will no doubt be bombarded with talk about resolutions and goals and figuring out what it is we want to accomplish in 2015.

Which is great. Because, hooray for knowing what you want!

But before you jump into goal-setting mode and start filling your plate with all sorts of aspirations and resolutions and new tasks to tackle, I’d like to suggest you take some time to identify the things you’d like to release as the new year approaches.

Because we have to clear out the old crap — both tangible and intangible — before anything new can make its way in.

I firmly believe this. And I have seen it play out in my own life over and over again.

So this year, I’m choosing to let go of my need to obsess over the worst case scenario and my habit of anticipating bad things before they even happen.

Because joy has a difficult time squeezing in when fear and catastrophic thinking are taking up all the space in your brain.

And my tool for accomplishing this goal? Gratitude.

Which, yes, I talk about seemingly incessantly. But that’s because IT WORKS, you guys.

Fear and gratitude are mutually exclusive.

There is a lot I’d like to accomplish in 2015, and a lot of experiences and amazing things I’d like to invite into my life over the next twelve months. But I know that I have to interrupt my pattern of projecting failure onto the future if I ever expect any of my aspirations to truly come to fruition.

Because if you’re fixated on the potential for negative outcomes before they ever arise, you won’t be able to truly enjoy or even see all the really great stuff sitting right in front of you.

And if you fail to actively express gratitude for all the blessings and beauty and awesomeness in your life because you’re too busy wondering what you’ll do if it all suddenly disappears, I guarantee you the Universe isn’t going to suddenly gift you a bunch of new things to start not appreciating as well.

It just doesn’t work that way.

The winter solstice is approaching on Sunday, December 21st.

This marks the shortest day of the year, the point after which daylight increases daily and consistently until the summer solstice in June of next year.

If you ask me, the winter solstice is the ideal time to start inviting in newness, to begin identifying what it is you want to create in 2015, to start taking small steps towards those goals and aspirations. The energy of the season at that point encourages and mirrors this process perfectly.

Even better, this year’s solstice coincides with the new moon, which occurs on the following day, Monday the 22nd of December.

The new moon marks the beginning of another lunar cycle, and is the phase of the moon that is most rich with potential for growth, creativity, and manifestation on all levels. It is a time for planting the seeds of new endeavors, setting intentions, igniting and initiating change.

The convergence of the new moon with the winter solstice is setting the stage for some pretty powerful transformations to take place.

I say we harness this power.

Over the course of the next week, therefore, I encourage you to take an hour or an afternoon — or five minutes, if that’s all you have — to figure out what it is you want to release at the end of this year, what you need to let go of in order to make space for that which you truly desire.

And start practicing gratitude like it’s your job.

I’ll be over here doing the same.

With a hot bath and a gluten-free beer on the back burner. Because letting go and making space doesn’t have to be boring.

I have a good feeling about the coming year, you guys. A great feeling, in fact.

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