For a few years on the 1st January, or thereabouts, one of my best friends and I – a woman I call Bruv, a name we gave to each other at school when we decided we were closer then sisters; we were bruvs – have shared our new years resolutions with each other. We started this 8 years ago. This is my latest post, #throwingthenetopen on howI celebrate New Years Day xxx
We started this ritual on holiday in LA in 2007. Our 5-day trip started auspiciously: I got food poisoning on the plane leaving London and spent the entire 11 hours of the journey in the loo. Unfortunately it took me a good 3 days to feel normal again and then get sick again which meant that by 10pm on New Years Eve, I was fast asleep and my friend was ordering room service for one. The hotel porter who delivered it was so distressed that this beautiful blond who he handed over the tray to was celebrating the New Year alone, I think it ruined his evening.
So the next morning we felt we had to make up for it and declared that really, actually when you think about it, what all the New Years fuss is about is actually New Years Day. New Years Eve is so last year…
So we hiked up to the top of the Hollywood Hills and started a ritual we continue to this day. We wrote out our 3 intentions of things we would like to integrate into our year, of the little seeds we wanted to water and hopefully see sprout, then standing on the lip of the hill, we took it in turns to read out one of ours at a time.
This was the year that the devastating fires had spread through California so as we stood there on the ashen covered hills, a feeling of the phoenix permeated the air around us as we shared our intentions with the sky. When we finished we ripped the pieces of paper to smitherins and let them float away with the wind. Because sometimes you can’t hold on too tightly to the wishes of your heart. As my mother always says: life is what happens to you when you’re busy making plans.
A Yearly Event…
Becky and I have done this over the years – I think bar one – and we are kinda flexible with the terms, i.e. I think sometimes we have spoken on New Years Eve, sometimes on New Years Day, maybe once on the 3rd or 4th and this year we will be sharing our intentions on the 6th January on my birthday. And I remember the places more then the intentions. Memories of sitting on the grass outside a friend’s house in Hawaii speaking to my friend on Skype and standing on a balcony in Switzerland under a black sky by a tumbling river nearby, listening to my friend and sharing words too. And the funny thing is I mostly forget my intentions, but I always feel touched by hers. The specifics I am not very good with, but the essence of things stay with me and with my friend there is a way of learning about her and also being inspired by her that this practice allows.
Because it does feel like a practice to me. One that means a lot to me because I get to do it with someone that I love – kind of like a bonding exercise – and two because it clarifies something for me moving forward in the New Year. Even if I do end up always forgetting what my intentions are and never writing them down.
Hey, maybe that’s an addition for this year.
Bhavatu Sabba Mangalam – “May all beings be happy.” S.N Goenka