The end of the year can remind us to pause and reflect. It's an opportunity to recall any lessons learned from the past year, check off any goals we accomplished, and start preparing for a new year.
Spirituality encompasses an activity, ritual, habit, and/or way of thinking that brings your spirit alive and helps you connect with your essence; something that reminds you of your purpose and continues to inspire you to live from your center.
If it’s been challenging to set time aside for this contemplation and rejuvenation, not to worry! Below are some ideas to help you incorporate spirituality into your New Year’s Eve plans.
1. Have a spiritual gathering.
Invite family and friends over and take turns having each person share a favorite inspirational quote, book excerpt, or poem. In the spirit of keeping things positive, each person could also share a personal experience from the past year that instilled in them a sense of hope and inspiration. Other ideas: meditate or sing/chant together. Having a meaningful gathering can be a good way to reconnect. You may be surprised by what you learn about each other!
2. Begin one of your goals.
Maybe you had set intentions in the beginning of the year, which you didn’t quite get to meeting. It’s not too late to start on them before the year ends! Sign up for that gym membership online, research that overseas destination you have been meaning to travel to, or order that inspirational book to help you create positive changes. You will end the previous year beginning at least one of the goals you had set for yourself, feeling more confident about completing your list, and creating new intentions.
3. Enjoy your own company.
This may not be the most popular way to ring in the new year, but it can be the most calming. Don't feel bad about spending this time on your own, rather embrace this opportunity to do something relaxing and uplifting. Dedicate this time to yourself, whether it’s to get organized or have a solo dance party. This one night should be all about taking care of your needs and wellbeing.
4. Meditate and time your meditation to go over midnight.
Going inward and re-centering can be the perfect way to end one year and begin a new one! If you would prefer meditating with others, Vipassana centers around the world have courses that run through New Year’s Eve. Other ideas: look into local meditation centers, meet-up groups, yoga studios, or get in touch with members of temples and churches, who may be organizing gatherings of their own. If you don't have access to any of these, consider #1, above.
5. Give back.
Choosing to help others on one of the most self-indulgent nights of the year can be a humbling experience. Giving back to our local and global communities helps remind us of our values and purpose, allowing us to a gain a larger perspective and greater self-awareness. Doing a quick Google search of "New Year’s Eve volunteer opportunities," I was able to find homeless shelters looking for folks to help cook and serve food, rideshare organizations seeking volunteers to provide safe rides to those who are intoxicated and can't drive, and nonprofits looking for people to help with local celebrations. If you aren't sure where or how to give back, write an email to an organization asking for more information or reach out to a friend who already works with an agency to find out to get involved.
However you choose to spend your time, have a safe and peaceful New Year’s Eve!