Saturday, December 31, 2011

Letting Go Of The Old, Leaning Into The New

A new ritual added itself to my New Year's Eve this year.  The fine, crisp afternoon was perfect for the bonfire I'd been conjuring in my mind.  I cut up some  scraps of paper and took a couple of pens down to the pond where I've been piling branches.  After we'd built up a lovely little chimney of flame and sipped on something mulled we turned our minds to what we'd like to let go of on this last day of the year.  What habit, what attribute, what way of holding ourselves against life could we live happily without in 2012?

In the not too distant past I might have prepared a phone book sized list of things I needed to shed.   But  these days my "Buddha's brain" is a slightly kinder place.  I have given up my status as a self improvement project.

As I warmed by the fire and admired the hazy orb of moon, my mind poked around in the dark basement of memory for the give-aways .  Into the fire with fear, ditto for my lack of faith in myself on a number of fronts.  Into the fire with hesitancy, doubt, with timidity and a final flourish of firey sparks for what holds me back.

Fire, that primeval Mister Clean, so fittingly medieval on the last day of the year.  No dancing, no char rubbed on the face, simply a little tossing of bits of paper to remind us of one ending and one beginning and our intentions for both.  Let go of the old, lean into the new.  Burn down the old shack of musty habits.

I always spend some of New Year's eve contemplating the past year and thinking about the new year.  Refections, intentions, whatever you want to call them, they are worthy of a visit every now and then , worthy of the flashlight of awareness.   You can get really organized and pull your thoughts together as they do over at A Liberated Life or The Uncaged Life.   But if you're like me, you might be a bit more free form, just wandering back over the path that carried you through the year and then letting your heart pull you toward where you belong in the new year.

My intentions are crowding around the parts of my life that have to do with my art, health and spiritual practice. They are keeping company with words like openness, bravery, faith, passion and gusto.  That seems like a hopeful first course.

I wish you the best of what 2012 has to offer, filled with the joy of simple pleasures and an appetite for this precious life.   May you savour every bite, the sweet and the savoury, the slightly bitter and even the tough bits.  It is my great pleasure to travel this leg of the journey with you.


  1. And the same good wishes to you, Carole. I'm looking forward to this leg of the journey.

  2. carole, and it is my great pleasure - and honor - to travel this leg of the journey with you.

    love and light to you...


  3. "...letting your heart pull you toward where you belong..." Yes... Am looking forward to continuing the next leg with you too :) Listening to the whispers and longings of the Heart.
    Much love...Christine

  4. lovely ritual and thoughts. as I wrote on another blog I am letting go of "doing nothing" and inviting in "keeping my seat" Ha ha.

  5. I love the idea of 'giving up the idea of a self improvement project' - very freeing!!! and free is where we fly! flying with all the good, the bad and the ugly - we are all of it! wishing you the very best Carole xo

  6. Your step off the old path and onto the new road has been rich and I like your choice of guiding words. 2012!

  7. David - Thanks. And your recent post reminded me of my blogs 3rd birthday, which passed unnoticed by me. Am I a bad blog mother?

    Lynne - always a pleasure. a bow to you for your inspiring intuitive art.

    Mystic - always a pleasure to have your company.

    suki -I always like the way you think!

    Jeane - I like that, "free is where we fly" and it is so important to embrace it all. It's what creates the richness, I think.

    Blue Sky - Thanks and looking forward to exploring space and other places that you go with your work this year. Always a fun ride!

  8. Dearest and a moon...under the primeval medieval spell of letting some things go...making sweet space for the Luna See to come.

    Here's to a wondrous walk 'round the wheel.
    and hugs too.

  9. Yes, to you too, "a wondrous walk round the wheel!" xoxo

  10. Hi, Carole! Great to be back in blogland after two weeks away for Christmas in the USA with family, and catch up with you here now. While in the States, I went with my sister to a Winter Solstice celebration which was fantastic. We participants wrote down on paper what we wanted to release from 2011, and also what we wanted to manifest in 2012... and then these papers were burned in a cauldron. The energy that night was amazing! Looking forward to sharing another spirit-filled year here with you. Wishing you all the very best in 2012--PEACE, LOVE & JOY! ((HUGS))

  11. sounds great. we didn't get the what we want to manifest part, we'll add that in next year. and no cauldron. love that image! wishing you a year filled with the wonders of the world and creativity. hugs to you.

  12. Hey! You sneaked this post in while I was gallivanting in Hogtown! I love the cleansing fire of this post - your passion for living a simple, quiet Buddha-brained life is inspiring. For me this last year has been filled with the joy of receiving delicious teachings from my blogging sisters and brothers. You, in particular, have given my artistic side wings - fledgling flappings they may be, but they flap, I tell you! They FLAP!

    Happy New Moments, my friend! May we share many more to come!

  13. Loved the Hogtown trip! Enjoyed every adventure right along with you (especially the chocolate Buddha!) and lunch at Fresh, the trip to the Paper Place (and I didn't even have to leave home). It is wonderful how this inspiration travels around amongst us all. We never know what sparks another.

    And your great discipline, honesty and quick wit inspire me constantly. And a wish for a brilliant and creative 2012 as we plunge into this delicious new year.

  14. "May you savour every bite, the sweet and the savoury, the slightly bitter and even the tough bits. It is my great pleasure to travel this leg of the journey with you."

    Yes! Yes! So thankful you are here to "travel" with! Best wishes and blessing in the new year.

  15. and it is so lovely to keep your enthusiastic, bright company as we travel!

  16. I always love to read your reflections.. they often mirror my thoughts.. trying to filter out the fear and get some guts has been my mantra in the new year as I paint towards my gallery show in february.. thanks for the inspiration.

  17. like your new year's mantra! good luck with your show!