On marking loss and time with ritual.

Photo by Prateek Gautam on Unsplash
  • Get a seed from somewhere (any seed is fine, a flower seed, a seed from a fruit you ate, whatever) as well as something that symbolizes your hope from your new future (a crystal, a feather, postcard of somewhere you hope to move, whatever comes to mind is fine)
  • Pick a special place in nature and go there with these items and your journal
  • Place the items all in front of you; sit with your journal and meditate on the past life items you are about to part with, thanking them for all they have been and meant to you; consider writing this down in your journal as a letter
  • Then bury them in the ground (or if you don’t feel comfortable with this option, place them in a bag and you can dispose of them in another way that feels comfortable to you)
  • Then, take the seed and the item that represents your new life, and write a letter to them about your hopes for the future
  • Bury the seed in a new spot close by
  • Rest your hands in the dirt after you bury the seed and visualize this new future and new phase of your life, as if they are sprouting like a seed
  • Put the other item somewhere in your home where you can see it often
  • Have each person, when it’s their turn, explain the following: Name the loss(es) they have experienced in the past year, and how it has affected them
  • Then, pause, and the individual whose turn it is lights their candle and says something along the lines of, “This flame honors those and that which has been lost, and it also symbolizes the way in which I will honor those losses in the coming year.”
  • Then the individual shares their plans for honoring that which has been lost in the coming year. It could be as simple as regular visits to a loved one’s grave; a charitable donation; or a new way of being you would like to cultivate.
  • After each person has gone, break for conversation, tea, laughter, reflection; whatever comes up.
  • Keep each candle going until your event is over then safely put it out. Light it every time you want to acknowledge and remember the losses and the future hope and honoring you will bring to them.

Teaching awakening + healing through vulnerability + self-compassion. Finding hope in a messy world. Author of the Sunday Soother. http://catherinedandrews.com

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