New Year Release and Set

Happy New Year my lovely readers! As I wind down the day and prepare for some grounding and some partying, I’d like to share with you my plans for a first annual “release and set” ritual.

Everyone has their own traditions for the new year, the more superstitious the better IMO, but this is an area I haven’t quite mastered until now. Aside from kissing my love at the stroke of midnight, and making some shallow resolution that lasts about 3 hours, I have never really harnessed the power of the new year. That all changes tonight. But it’s not a resolution. I’m actually doing it. No, really.

Let’s bring it back to “release and set.” It’s not a new concept, it’s actually quite simple: giving equal value and consideration to the burdens that you need to release from the past year as you do to the intentions you want to set and manifest in the year to come. **take a breath from that run on sentence** My resolutions have typically skewed toward one of those two methods. Either releasing bad habits (like over eating or indulging in sweets), to setting new intentions (like exercising on a regular basis). News flash… neither of them stick. I believe a big part of this, is it’s not encompassing both the light and the darkness that a release and reset does.


Releasing what no longer serves you is a healthy exercise to perform each and every day of the year, and this day is no exception. But what I’m talking about here is bigger than the day to day cleanse. Yes, release the tension from your body. Yes, release the lingering frustration from a conversation with your boss that day. Yes, get over the fact that you had that third cup of coffee when you knew you shouldn’t have. But let’s take it a step further tonight. What about releasing a grudge and forgiving someone from your past (this year or even further back). Why not release that regret you’re carrying from not seizing an opportunity or following your intuition. How would it feel to release the grief of a loss you experienced, or the darkness you’re harboring from empathizing with someone else’s loss?

I’m prepared for this to be emotional. And I’m prepared for it to take some time. I’m a pusher-downer. When something happens to me that wounds me, I push it down. Yes, I cry or complain (or both) and deal with it until I can move on. But once the healing starts, I push it way down. Tonight I plan to find what’s down there and release it. Yikes-a-mundo.

Until this release can take place, the intentions I set for next year feel silly. How can I expect to achieve my goals while carrying around the dark feelings from a year gone by? The reality is that I can’t.

Get Set

Once the emotional hurdle of releasing has been cleared, the fun can begin. While I’m not a big believer in aggressive manifestation, I do fully support setting intentions and goals. If you’re in a corporate work environment like I am, you’re probably ready to barf at the sound of the word “goal.” So let’s go with intentions. Not to mention the subtle differences I feel set them apart entirely.

A goal is something you work toward, sometimes at the cost of peripheral and inner vision. Blindly working toward a goal has prevented me from listening to my intuition and subsequently missing amazing opportunities as a result. Also, goals carry with them the connotation of success and failure. Changing a goal can feel like failure to some, so let’s not even put that on the table.

Intentions are more of ideas for goals. Something you want to work toward or would love to have occur, while remaining open to the influences of the universe and your guides and all of those who lead you toward what is really best for you. It’s a way of working toward your purpose, rather than against it. But a little less dramatic than that makes it sound. Three cheers for intentions!


The actual process is going to go a little something like the steps of the new moon ritual, but will be more collaborative and will likely sport a glass of vino on the side. I’ll write all that I need to release down on paper, chatting with my husband as I go to work through any darkness it brings through the surface. I’m actually thinking tissue paper because of reasons. I am also banning Adele from the house for the night. Ain’t nobody got enough tissues for that.

Once the release writing is complete, a little impromptu prayer, followed by the burning of the paper over a candle. We’ll see how this goes down. We may have to move the party outside for that bit.

Burned papers cleaned up and fire averted, we can move on to the good stuff and set some intentions. For this, I’ll consider the things I feel led toward this year, and “formally” state that I intend to continue down that path. In addition to accomplishment, intentions can be ways of thinking, actions, behaviors, really anything! One intention that I plan to set for this year is to continue to make the time for chakra work. It’s not a huge thing, and it’s not a new thing. But I know the value and importance of it, and therefore it is an important intention of my own for next year.

Once written, I’ll fold up the paper and leave it in a special place under a piece of rose quartz. On my birthday, which happens to come pretty damn close to the half way point of the year, I’ll break it out and see how I’m doing. More on that mention of aggressive manifestation and my reasoning for leaving it alone for a solid six months at another time.

So that’s it!

Like I said, it’s not new or groundbreaking. But it’s new for me. And being that this is the place for me to share my own personal experiences old and new, I thought you might like to consider the “release and set” process for yourself. Is this something you’re doing already? Do you have another kick ass ritual? I’d love to hear about it!


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