Everywhere around the world there are ceremonies that take place representing "out with old, in with the new."
From Fireworks and ball drops, to lanterns, to boats, some do nesting rituals and some do breathwork or Yoga. My favorite is the Burning Bowl, and while this can be done at any point in our lives as a right of passage from one lifestyle to the next. New Years is a great time to incorporate this practice. It provides a powerful visual for people to release the negative things in their lives as they move into the New Year. Children especially enjoy this ceremony. They simply need an adult to help them with their ideas. Just watch their faces as they burn up those negative papers! (For much younger children please help hold their paper to the flame and then let it drop into the bowl.)
Also, It can be done with friends or alone as a personal journey. There's really no wrong way to do it, once you get the concept down.
Not familiar? No worries, follow this easy 4 step (by step) guide and give it a try. Don't be afraid to add in your own personal touches. After all, this process is about you and your intention. Nothing more, nothing less.
First and foremost: Please be safe anytime you're dealing with fire. Do not do the ceremony outside if there is a wind and don't do it near anything flammable that may be on the ground such as grass or leaves. Do not burn inside unless you have ventilation. Make sure the ashes are extinguished and cool before you bury them. By performing this ceremony you acknowledge that you take personal responsibility for doing so safely. Never let children do this unattended! This is an adult activity that kids can participate in with an adult at their side.
Things you need;
Large metal or glass bowl (anything fireproof )
Candle or source of flame
Matches or lighter
Pen, pencil, markers crayon! (it's really about preference and access)
Strips of Paper (I cut 1''x4'' strips, How many is up to you)
1 sheet of blank or lined paper (We call this a positive future or manifestation sheet)
1st. Take each strip of paper and write down one thing you wish to leave behind as you move into the future.
2nd. Ready your bowl, and light your candle. I prefer to say a blessing as I light my candles. The occasion generally dictates the context of the blessing. Usually for release ceremonies I will say something like one/ or a combination of these:
May I be filled with loving kindness.
May I be well.
May I be peaceful and at ease.
May I be happy.
May I be free from inner and outer harm and danger.
May I be safe and protected.
May I be free of mental suffering or distress.
May I be happy.
May I be free of physical pain and suffering.
May I be healthy and strong.
May I be able to live in this world happily, peacefully, joyfully, with ease.
(Ancient Tibetan Buddhist blessings)
3rd. You will now take each strip, light on both ends and place in your firesafe bowl to allow to burn. You do not need to wait until each has burned up, you can add them in one after the other. Once all of your papers have been burned, you will now speak a confirmation as you are putting out your candle or source of flame. Everyone may say something different, I say " It will be so" or "So it will be" Whatever feels definite to you is most appropriate.
(The extinguishing of the flame is representative of the end of the ceremony so it is important not to let it burn continuously!)
4th. Now that you have released what does not serve you it is time to take your blank sheet and write down your positive plans and desires for the future year on your Positive Future/ Manifestation sheet. This is personal to you and your intention for the future so there is no wrong content here. Anything at all that you desire to be or have, whether it's something tangible or some character trait you're working on. Maybe it’s a new job or new friends.
Make sure to add any positive replacements needed for things you burned. For example if you burned up anger towards someone, you need to place forgiveness towards them on your positive future sheet. If you burned up a weight issue, place eating better on your positive future sheet. Got it? This is about personal power and responsibility, so you've also got to do your part.
After you've filled out your sheet, put it in a safe place. You can hang it up somewhere that you can see all the time or put it in a drawer, pulling it out at least a couple of times a week. Or better yet, before bed or first thing in the morning take it out and read it.
OPTIONAL FINAL STEP - Bury the cooled ashes At the very end of the ceremony, when the ashes have cooled, you may choose to find a place to bury them. If only one or two participated in the ceremony there may not be many ashes left. If there are only a few left, you can blow them to the wind!
That's it! It's really that simple, and you will be amazed at how much power simple ceremonies like this one help you to manifest what you desire in life.
May this year bring you to peace, joy and success in your endeavors. Be well my friends.