|Letting the Year Register
You can think of Letting the Year Register as a gratitude practice because it's an opportunity to recognize what has fed you and challenged you in the past year. Even if you wouldn't choose to repeat the challenges again, I bet that you can identify at least one way that they strengthened you and made you better able to know and trust yourself. Whatever you experienced, it has brought you to this moment ~ on the cusp of the new year.
As you do this practice, you might like to have your 2014 calendar or phone nearby to help jog your memory. You could also scroll through your social media accounts to see if your tweets, status updates or photos remind you of experiences that you may have forgotten.
Although you may involve technology in your process, I find that it's most helpful to let the year register on an actual piece of paper. I like to use an 18" x 24" sheet of newsprint so I can see the whole year at once, and this size also gives me plenty of room for writing down all of my noteworthy experiences. If you don't have a large sheet of paper, you can use a smaller one, or you might make a mosaic of twelve sheets of paper; one for each month. See what feels comfortable for you.
If you use a large sheet of paper, I recommend folding it into 12 squares (one for each month of 2014). You can do this by holding your paper horizontally and folding it in half, and then in half again. Next fold the paper into thirds. If you unfold it, you should have twelve equally sized squares.
You can now label each square with the name of each month, and begin to fill in the squares with notes about what happened, month-by-month. Here are some suggestions for what you might include:
~ accomplishments/goals met
~ surprising experiences
~ challenges you navigated
~ fears that you faced
~ what you let go of
~ major milestones in your life
~ memorable events or trips
~ new friends/relationships
Once you have filled in your paper, take some time to look over the year and acknowledge all that you experienced ~ both the joyful times and the challenging ones. You might let it rest for a day or more and then come back to it and add notes about experiences that you may have not remembered in your first pass.
Writing in a journal can be an effective way to integrate and digest what you feel when you look over your year in this way. This helps you allow your experiences to more fully nourish you. When you feel finished reflecting, you may want to save your sheet of paper as a way to track what you did in 2014. You may also want to find a way to release it before the new year begins. I often participate in a New Year's Eve bonfire, and let go of my year that way. See what feels appropriate for you; there's no right way to do it.