Practical ways to harvest, honor, celebrate, release, & create anew
It’s that time of year again… to turn inward, attune to the season, and dedicate time and space to reflect on the gifts and learning of our latest journey around the sun.
It is easy to forego reflection practices like this in favor of prioritizing the urgencies of the moment. Instead, consider that it might be even more important in times like these to follow through with them.
This is what many of our ancestors did for thousands of years. In my heart, the more people do something like this, the better for all of us and the evolution of our shared world. With reflection comes deeper understanding, and this makes it more likely that we will honor and integrate our learning as we move forward – individually and collectively.
I have brought together elements of various practices into a reflection exercise designed around the following basic questions:
The practice creates a context for deeper learning and for intentions to surface for the coming year and beyond so that we begin the next revolution around the sun having honored where we have come from, and connected to where we are heading from here.
You will notice that each aspect/question can be very rich in itself. Take your time. It's best to give the practice plenty of room to breathe and evolve. Set aside large blocks of time to do this on your own, individually at first... if you can, take walks in nature, sit by a fire, sing, do art, listen to music, write in your journal, or speak into a recorder... whatever works for you... then share your insights, reflections, and discoveries with people who are close to you - your partner, your family, mentors and allies, etc... and perhaps later with a larger group of people in your community. Create sacred space… Use sage or incense; or you can light a candle… Be patient, be mindful, honest, open, and deliberate. Create a context that helps facilitate reflection. Traditionally this process was conducted over many days, even weeks, during the darkest days of the year - in a ceremonial way.
And of course, if you engaged in this process - or something like it - last year, it’s great to get those notes out and reflect on your process, insights, and intentions from that time.
Enjoy exploring the aspects of the practice that resonate most with you and share it with others if the experience proves helpful and useful.
I am reminded that our shared future indeed will be a woven tapestry of our individual and collective visions, intentions, commitments, choices, and actions.
Each section contains a series of guiding questions. Some will resonate with you more than others. Just gravitate to the ones that feel best, and you can create your own of course.
Feel free to share it with others if you think it could be useful to your friends and families (BTW, some form of this can be very cool to do with your family during the holidays).
May we create the time and space to harvest from and release the year past - and may the learning and growth serve to fertilize possibilities for the coming year - and beyond!
Happy and rewarding NEW BEGINNINGS to you all. Here comes the light!
Christopher Kuntzsch partners with leaders in sustainability and social change to provide change-management, leadership development, facilitation, coaching, and consulting services. He is a father, adventurer, and musician, co-founder of Ecology of Leadership programs at the Regenerative Design Institute in California, and currently serves as Strategy Manager in the Office of Sustainability at Stanford University.