Saying Goodbye to 2020 with a Burning Bowl Ceremony

I’m not yet to the point where I feel like 2020 has been a great favor; however, it does feel like it has been a year of shaking the nonsense out, huh? And, while I don’t believe all of the nonsense is gone just yet, 2020 has, at minimum, brought a lot of it to light. It’s provided an opportunity to re-evaluate what is truly important and of value in life. We were definitely given much to work with this year, weren’t we?–and some much more than others.

I have never been one to celebrate the New Year by going out or partying. To be honest, most years I am not awake at midnight because I highly value my sleep, and I want to feel good on New Year’s Day. With that being said, I appreciate that the New Year gives us an opportunity to be reminded of the fact that we can have a fresh start and can always begin again.

Contrary to how much of the west has portrayed the practice of yoga as only physical, it is actually a deeply spiritual practice with an emphasis on philosophy and self-inquiry. I want to share a New Year’s Burning Bowl Ritual I use with my yoga classes on the last yoga practice of the year that you could try (regardless of if you practice physical yoga or not) if you are looking for something new and different to do this year. It could be especially helpful if you feel like you have a lot you are carrying with you from 2020 that you’d like to let go of.

First, be intentional about taking some time to reflect on 2020. Light a candle, get a cup of tea, blanket, notepad or journal, and pen. Create an environment that is grounding and soothing for you. Maybe play some relaxing music. Remember, as you reflect, you can use tools such as grounding, orienting yourself to the room (by looking around at things), and deep breathing to help you stay present in your body in order to avoid any feelings of overwhelm. I also recommend after you complete the burning bowl ceremony, that you somehow physically move the energy out of your body as well: perhaps a dance party in your living room, some yoga, stretching, or taking a walk. If it feels safe and comfortable for you, perhaps even invite your family to join in on this ritual with you.

In your journal, respond to the following prompts:

What has 2020 taken from you?

What has 2020 given to you?

What did you learn about yourself?

What did you learn about life and the world we live in?

What do you want to remember about this unique year and take with you into the future?

After responding to the prompts above, get a separate piece of paper (that you will burn) and answer these questions with courageous honesty. Let. It. All. Out.

In order to honor your highest Self, what beliefs, thought patterns, and/or energy do you want to release? What behaviors do you want to change or let go of?

Take some time to write, and when you think you are finished, keep going: Allow your stream of consciousness to speak on the pages.

Once you have finished writing, go outside with it, a lighter, and either use a small fire pit (if you have one) or a bowl that is safe to burn in. Bless all that you wrote and acknowledge that it has in some way served you, and acknowledge that you NO LONGER NEED ANY OF IT: That you are committed to moving forward free. You can even state the following out loud:

“I release all thoughts, beliefs, energy, and behaviors that no longer serve me to make room for the abundant blessings that are ready to grace my life. And so it it.”

Then, light your writing on fire and watch it burn. Watch it and sense the fire of transformation happening within you.

And so it is.

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