End of the Year Gratitude Practice

As the year comes to an end, people often start thinking about what this year meant and all that happened in this past year.

A lot of emotions, thoughts, and feelings arise. We tend to think of wanting the year to just end so we can start a new one. A new year with new resolutions, ideas, plans, dreams, and promises that will definitely make our lives better.

2017 sounds a lot better than 2016.

We focus on how difficult this year has been for us and what we have been through. We cannot wait until January 1st, for a new start and beginning.

Then we focus in on all the hardships and the negatives of the past year: how 2016 was such a hard year.

And burnout kicks in…

In the midst of December, I find myself feeling this same way. Burnt out, lacking motivation, and needing something exterior or externally get me through the rest of 2016 because, wow, it has been a lot. I am ready for it to be over!

But as I think more about 2016 and I start tuning into my body, mindfully looking at what comes, without judgement, 2016 really had a lot of highlights.

Yes, there were moments that were difficult and tested me. But there were also many moments that were unbelievable and amazing, events in my life that were life-changing, eye-opening, and inspirational.

Reflection of the past year of these moments and events in my life that led me to where I am now and who I am now, ready to start 2017. Without the hardships, the stress, and the obstacles, I would not be who I am. I would not have grown.

Lately, I have been feeling all the energy around me and listening to others feeling this same way. They want this crazy, hectic, stressful year (especially this holiday season) to be over. The want to reawaken in 2017 with new energy and inspiration.

But I ask you to look at things a little differently, starting right now.

I am going to ask you to take a moment and just breath. Allow yourself to feel your body and notice your thoughts. Notice what comes up from this past year in 2016. Reflect. Let it just come.

Is it all bad? Is it all negative? I am sure there are a lot of thoughts going through your head that are. But as I mentioned before, there are also moments of happiness, positivity, and light. Maybe they don’t come to light immediately, but they’re there.

Notice all. Do not discredit any of these thoughts, emotions, memories, images, or feelings that come. They are all real, and they are all you.

Now take a moment and thank yourself for everything that came up, take note of everything that came up. Become aware. And realize that you are here now in the end of December 2016, still breathing and showing up as you. Embrace this time and the moment.

I recently used this exercise to make note of all that has happened in this past year. I used this as a way to thank myself for all that my body and mind have been through in 2016.

It is amazing what we as humans can endure in one full year and our body still shows up, breathing, fighting, and living every moment.

Now thank 2016 for all that it has taught you and for making you who you are today.

About the Author

Sarah Ferrante, Ph.D.

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