A New Year and a New You

Happy New Year! I’m not just saying that. This time around, I’m greeting January with an eagerness and optimism that has eluded me the last couple of years.

For a long time, I misunderstood the power and potential the new year brings. The holiday actually felt like kind of a letdown after the fun and frivolity of the Christmas season. New Year’s Day would arrive and bring with it a return to seriousness and discipline.

Like many, I would think about things to take on or give up with the goal of being healthier, happier, or more productive and organized.

Like many, my intentions would usually fizzle out by early February.

It wasn’t until I discovered Unity and began taking part in the powerful Burning Bowl and White Stone ceremonies that I realized how transformative releasing and holding intention can be.

The tradition of these ceremonies at Unity has helped shift my thinking about the power of welcoming the new year from a spiritual perspective and regarding myself as a divine being.

The Power of Release

It makes sense, doesn’t it, that to welcome something into our lives, we need to make room for it? The same goes for our spiritual lives too. Over the years, so many of our thoughts harden into beliefs. It happens so imperceptibly, we don’t even notice, and before long our thoughts become our worldview and we start saying things like, “That’s just the way it is.”

But the third Unity principle—Our thoughts have creative power to influence events and determine our experiences—tells us otherwise. It reminds us we are creating our lives with the power of our thinking. Doesn’t it stand to reason we then have the power to change those thoughts?

Your gifts are many and your power is greater than you may realize. May this be the year you take these truths in to your heart and live boldly as the spiritual being you are.

Maybe that’s the reason so many New Year’s resolutions don’t last. The intention is there. The desire too. But alone they can’t surmount long-held beliefs that keep us stuck in the patterns we’re so eager to break free of.

That’s where the Burning Bowl comes in. The act of naming what is to be released, writing it down, and then watching its destruction is cleansing and even transformational. It’s a potent reminder we are not bound to our personal histories or condemned to do what we’ve always done.

When I participate in a Burning Bowl ceremony, I feel lighter, as though a space is being cleared in my mind and soul for something new and wonderful to come in.

The Freedom to Create

The White Stone Ceremony is the perfect complement to the Burning Bowl and a wonderful boost to get started on setting an intention for what the new year could bring. It is an invitation to listen to Spirit within and discern a message bearing the “new name” to be worked with throughout the year.

This is a wonderfully intuitive process. Not about thinking or wishing, it’s about knowing and trusting we are being guided by Spirit within to aspire to the highest expression of our divinity.

Writing the new name on the white stone is a declaration of faith that we are foremost spiritual beings and an important reminder that we do not undertake our worldly changes and challenges alone.

With a new name—strength, power, change, or anything else that comes to us—we can greet the new year with an inner fortitude that mere human willpower cannot match.

Trust Your Spiritual Gifts

So as the new year unfolds, try imbuing your resolutions with the knowledge of your spiritual identity. As you hit the gym, count calories, practice patience, declutter, or seek to improve yourself some other way, trust you are not bound by your past or limited by your vision of the future.

You are every bit as divine as you are human. Your gifts are many and your power is greater than you may realize. May this be the year you take these truths in to your heart and live boldly as the spiritual being you are.

About the Author

Rev. Teresa Burton is an ordained Unity minister and licensed Unity teacher. A dynamic speaker and creative instructor, Burton makes Unity teachings easy to understand and fun to learn. Before answering the call to ministry, she worked as an editor for more than 25 years in various capacities in print and digital publishing.

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