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5 Top Ways to Wind Down the Year

“Reflecting on the Year and making peace with ourselves.” The Practice

You know me and that I am really big on reflecting, noticing and letting go, so that we can strive to be in every moment of our precious lives. We cannot change anything that has happened in 2015, but we can become aware of the happenings of the year, take notice of what we may learn by reflecting, then making a note of what we have learned and what are the “teachings” that stand out for us and what actions will we want to take in the new year.

Here are my 5 ways to wind down 2015 and step into 2016 fully aware, feeling blessed, and ready to live your best life.

  • Take a deep breath!
    Breathing is so underrated. We just wake up and expect that we will wake up and breathe! What if we had to remember to take each breath? It might not go so well for us, right? So begin 2016 fully connected to your breath. Realize deeply that you are alive and your breath is your life force. We inhale and we exhale- we don’t do just one or the other, we absolutely have to do both. Who gives us this gift of our breath? Set the intention to notice your breath, feel your breath circulating throughout your body, ground your feet onto the earth and breathe, feeling grateful for this precious gift. Make this your top priority for the year- “Daily I will notice my breath, feel grateful for my breath, and I will use my breath throughout the day to bring me back home to my heart.”
  • Reflect on the highs, the lows, and the “ordinaries.”
    Before you begin the new year spend some time in silence, settle into a comfy chair and look at 2015, noticing what was wonderful, what were the hardships, and what did I do in-between? This reflection time is meant to be your teacher. With no judgments, pretend you are watching a movie and take note of the experiences that stand out most- and see if you can be aware of the teaching. What do I need to learn from this particular situation? Can I see the blessing underneath the pain? The first step in releasing is becoming aware. This is a practice of awareness, so review your past year with compassion and curiosity.
  • Create your best 2016.
    Now that you are aware, spend time contemplating what you really want for your life. Ask yourself, “What do I really, really, really want? What do I want personally, what do I want professionally, what do I want spiritually? Begin to write what comes to mind, no filters, perfection or judgments, just write. You will be amazed at what comes out from your inner being- from your heart. Our desires, our intentions are powerful, so know that you are making a claim on 2016 that you will live the life of your dreams. You will live your life from the inside out fully connected to your deep desires.
  • Take care of yourself.
    This is a must for living the life of our dreams. How can we possibly step into our power, our love, our compassion, our life without being cared for? Who better to care for us than ourselves? Yes it’s wonderful to know that we are loved and cared for by others, but the first person to care for you is you! We MUST make it a priority to listen to our inner voice that says, “Stop, breathe and then begin again.” I do this all day long. I am so connected within that I can hear the voice say, “Stop Barb and take care of yourself.” This is different for all of us, it can mean take a bath, take a nap, go get a massage, go for a walk, whatever taking care of yourself means for you make it a top priority- you deserve the very best love and care.
  • Spend time with people you feel great around.
    We are the company we keep. Look for ways to celebrate closing out 2015 with those you love and care deeply about. We spend much of our days doing, how about ending the year being.

As this year comes to a close, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for walking this path with me. It is an honor and privilege to be with you. Together we are living in each moment, being vigilant in our thoughts, words and deeds, patiently not perfectly, we are the light, love and renewal in our own lives and the lives of all around us.

May you always know you are loved, you are complete and you are enough. Live the authentic, heartfelt life you wish to live- this is your birthright as a human being. Go for it.

Happy New Year, my friends!
I love you,

About Barb Schmidt

Barb Schmidt Barb Schmidt is an international best-selling author, businesswoman, philanthropist, and spiritual teacher with over thirty years devoted to spiritual development and research. In 2001, Barb partnered with Florida Atlantic University’s Peace Studies Program to promote dialogue in the greater community on the topic of inner peace. Additionally, she taught a class on meditation and spiritual practices as part of the life-long learning program at Nova University for five years. For the past ten years, she has been offering workshops and classes on spiritual practices throughout the world. A sought-after speaker, Barb regularly lectures at schools and organizations to spread her message of living a meaningful, happy life.
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