Maureen Hoff
December 31, 2015 2:11 pm

I’m super cynical about the New Year. I’ve never liked the holiday, I don’t like that I’m expected to kiss a smooch buddy at midnight, and I definitely don’t like that I’m supposed to make a list of changes that I’ll start when I wake up the next morning. If anything, I’m probably most moved by this tweet that showed up on my Twitter feed this morning:

That is, I did approach New Years similarly, until today when I saw a beautiful Facebook post from Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of the best selling novel, Eat, Pray, Love. I’ve never read the book. I haven’t seen the movie. But I do know it’s about self discovery, and I am a sucker for self discovery. And Gilbert’s New Year’s tradition also seems to be a method of self discovery. Instead of pushing us to try and set goals that we’re nervous we’re going to fail at achieving, because that’s the New Year’s Resolution Curse, Gilbert looks at the New Year as a feat. “You made it,” she reminds us in her super inspiring Facebook post. 

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Gilbert shares with her Facebook followers how she closes the year. Instead of vowing to do a certain set of things, she writes down on a piece of paper the things she wants to leave behind in the previous year, as well as the things that she wants to welcome into her life in the coming year. She then burns the paper, and scatters the ashes in the nearest body of water. What a beautiful, rejuvenating New Year’s ritual.

I for one plan to try out this ritual tonight, maybe even with a broomstick and witches hat to make it feel really magical. Thanks, Elizabeth Gilbert, I bet this brings a lot of clarity and hope to peoples’ New Year’s!

(Image via Shutterstock.)