You’d be forgiven for wanting to eagerly move from 2020 to 2021.
This year has been hard. We have been in something collective, across the whole world. But it’s been different for each and every one of us.
As I spoke to my Dad who has struggled being on his own. To our experience of working whilst juggling our two little ones, home schooling and everything that came with that. To the disconnection, the longing to be hugged, to be with friends and family. Something so fundamental to our human nature.
That’s why grief has been so present this year. The grief of losing the people we love. The grief for the loss of the life we thought we had. The grief for the loss of jobs. The grief for the loss of control. The grief for disconnection from our loved ones. The grief experienced in this year has been collective and it’s been big.
Have you known it as grief?
This year has challenged us all like no other.
But I want to invite you to take a pause before you go into 2021. A moment to reflect. To be with everything that has come with 2020, including the grief we’ve all experienced.
If we run into 2021 without this pause we’ll take it with us into 2021. And we will do that, it will come with us in some way.
But taking a moment to honour the year that has been. To honour yourself within this year. Can allow you to move from one year to the next with grace.
That doesn’t mean it needs to be nice and pretty. It doesn’t. It means allowing what is present for you. It means acknowledging it all.
Because despite 2020 being a phenomenal year, you’re still here. You’re here in all your beauty, your love. You’re still here. And you deserve to be acknowledged. We all do.
So please take moment to transition from 2020 into 2021.
Here are some ideas of how you can do just that.
I always like to journal at the end of the year. It doesn’t need to look a certain way and you don’t need to follow any formulas, just write what intuitively comes to you. You may want to ask yourself some question or you may just want to free hand.
What have been my biggest challenges?
What have been my biggest lessons?
What have I learnt about myself this year?
What were the blessings this year?
What do I need to grieve for this year?
What do I want to take into 2021?
What do I want to release before moving into 2021? Are there any parts of yourself that you’re releasing?
There are many ways to do this but this, for me, is non-negotiable. Take the time to acknowledge yourself, do what feels good and right for you. You can combine this with journalling by simply writing down the things that you want to honour and acknowledge about yourself.
You could run yourself a bath with oils and candles.
Gift yourself an early night with a good book.
Acknowledging your grief
This is really important, particularly if you’ve lost someone you love or perhaps you’ve lost your job. We’ve all experienced grief in one way or another. This is very personal but I want to offer you a way to do this. I like to light a candle and then have a picture of the person I love. If it’s grief associated with this year, or of a job, you can choose a symbol for the loss you want to acknowledge. Again it may be a photo from this year or it could be an object. Trust yourself, what comes to you. It may also be part of you that you need to grieve for, perhaps you’ve let part of yourself go this year.
Then if you can allow yourself to sit in the silence of your grief. You can play some music, to help support you (see below). Or simply sit in the quiet.
Grief is painful, it hurts our very core. If you need any support please get in touch, you don’t have do this alone. If you need any support please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.
Music can be really powerful. You can create a playlist that signifies this year or create one that symbolises the energy that you want to take into 2021. I’ve created a playlist for you, of all the songs I’ve used this year to support myself and that I’ve used in all the sessions that I’ve run this year. You can listen to it here.
Meditation and prayer
You can sit quietly in meditation, setting the intention to allow all of 2020 in within you and simply see what comes up for you, see if you can allow it in.
This year I have found comfort in prayer. This can be religious but equally it doesn’t need to be. Most of us pray without even realising it. The little voice that comes in gently asking for something, for help. Perhaps say a prayer for 2020 and 2021.
Light a candle
To symbolise the light in the dark. To welcome in light for 2021.
Set a gentle intention for 2021
I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions because when we’re setting them, we’re coming from a place that we’re not good enough, or we don’t have enough. We’re trying to fix or change ourselves or our life. Instead set a gentle intention for 2021. It may be a word that comes to you, a feeling, or it may be something more tangible. See what comes to you without it being rigid and without becoming fixated on the outcome. My mentor Nicky Clinch says “you can have whatever you want as long as you let go of what it looks like.”
Or you can create a ceremony and bring in some or all of these elements together. This is what I’ll be doing over the course of this week.
2020 has been a year that has broken down systems. It has opened us all up to the grief within our hearts. It may just have opened us all up to something else, something different as we move forward with our lives.
I wish you a whole 2020 and a magical New Year.
Nicky Duffell is a Registered Nutritional Therapist and Maturation Coach, bringing together nutrition expertise, functional medicine and powerful coaching techniques to support the whole you: Mind, Body and Soul.
Nicky qualified from The Institute for Optimum Nutrition in 2009 and is registered with The British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT), and the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). She is also a member of The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), and has a specialist interest in grief work.