The December full moon offers the opportunity to reflect on the last year and the last decade. Below, I share a few reflective questions to help you review the year and the last decade. I also share a journal page created specifically for this moon to help you release what you do not want to carry into the coming year.
This December is unlike any other December in my life. I’ve experienced a lot of changes this past year…a lot more than I expected to and they weren’t these big external changes like moving to a new city or getting a divorce or changing careers. I’m still happily married and I love where I live but my internal landscape has changed so much I feel unfamiliar with this new me.
This new me doesn’t live with chronic stress anymore. Nor does she experience panic attacks like she used to. She doesn’t have social anxiety. Her body is relaxed. She’s calm inside more often than not. I’m finally experiencing who I am without the trauma I carried around for forty years. The sad thing is, because I’ve been living with the effects of trauma since I was a young girl, I thought I was normal. I had no idea how messed up my system was. I had nothing to compare it to so how could I know any better?
Our nervous systems have a few natural settings. The first of which is safe and social. If we perceive danger, we switch over to fight or flight feelings and if we continue to perceive danger, we fall down into freeze mode where our bodies literally start to shut down. Survivors of trauma get stuck between the fight, flight and freeze states more often than is helpful or healthy. We all deserve to spend most of our time in the safe and social mode but most of us don’t live there. We visit that place from time to time but far too many of us are stuck dancing between fight, flight and freeze.
“Trauma is the most avoided, ignored, denied, misunderstood, and untreated cause of human suffering.”
Dr. Peter Levine
I don’t live stuck dancing between fight, flight and freeze modes anymore. That’s what happened to me in 2019; I healed something that was such a big part of me and now everything and nothing has changed all at the same time.
Sometimes I’m shocked at how no one can see the difference in me. If I were to lose 100 pounds, people would most definitely notice but with emotional and spiritual change like this, so few people understand how different I am. I shared with a friend the other day how sad I was that it took my until now to get here. I should have felt like this when I was twenty and I had my whole life ahead of me but then again, I still have life in front of me. Who do I want to be now that I have the internal resources to live with more ease? I feel like my future is stretched out in front of me and I have so many more choices now that my time isn’t being gobbled up managing stress and anxiety.
So this December, more than any other year, I’m sitting in gratitude. I’m not sure what I want to release or let go of before I move into another year and another decade but I suspect it will have a lot to do with limiting thoughts. I want the coming year to be a year of wonderment. I want to be in awe of the beauty and perfection that is my life. I want to witness more miracles. I want my heart to burst with joy. I want to celebrate. I want to push my imagination to stretch so I can visualize and believe in the kind of life my soul wants to live.
I’ve compiled a list of questions to help me review the last year and decide what I do not want to carry into the coming year and the coming decade. I’m sharing it here in case you are like me and need a little help reflecting on the last twelve months and the last ten years.
End of Year Reflection Questions
Did you set goals for yourself last year? If you did, how do you feel about them now?
If you could wave your magic wand and drastically change one area of your life, which area would that be and how would it be different? Family? Relationship? Finances? Career? Parenting? Health? Spirituality?
Which thoughts circled over and over again in your mind this year?
Which thoughts would you prefer to occupy your mind in the new year?
Where in your life do you need to show yourself more compassion?
Where in your life do you need to slow down?
What experiences were emotionally heavy for your body to carry last year and the last decade and how can you lighten your emotional load in the new year?
If you could whisper a wish for the coming year in your angel’s ear, what would you whisper? What about your wish for the coming decade?
If your angel told you that in order for your wish to come true you would need to let go of this one thing, what do you think that one thing would be?
Now you’re ready to complete the journal page for this full moon.
If you are not on my email list and haven’t received this month’s journal page, visit my homepage and sign up. You’ll receive a link where you can download the hand-drawn page I created for this particular moon. Print it, grab a tea and a cozy blanket, get comfortable then follow the instructions below.
If you enjoy my hand-drawn journal pages, then you may also enjoy the free online Creative Moon Circles that accompany these pages. You can learn more about those here.
If moon rituals are familiar to you, prepare your sacred space and invite Spirit to join you in whatever way works best for you.
If, however, you are new to moon rituals, I’ve included a quick guide to the steps I follow to prepare for my moon rituals in a past blog post. Take a look at it before moving forward.
Print out the December full moon journal page and gather your pens, paints or pencil crayons.
On the page I’ve included magical symbolism to help with your intentions of release and letting go. In the top right hand corner hangs a strand of garlic. It’s potent energy is included on this page to symbolize warding off unwelcome energy. The broom that rests against the wall below it represents sweeping away what you no longer want around you. The black on the candles absorb and diminish any energy you do not want to carry into the new year. The color black also represents endings and leaving behind old pain and suffering.
The focal point on the page is the hearth. There was a time when the hearth was the center of the home. It provided light and warmth and a gathering space for friends and family. It is where the element of fire lived in the home. Fire symbolizes the Divine light we carry in our hearts and souls along with the spiritual light we carry into our every day lives. Fire is also a strong purifier. It burns and transforms but instead of showing a raging fire, this page uses the softer, more gentle flames that dance upon the candle wicks that sit around the hearth and along the mantle. These smaller flames represent a slower, more mindful release.
Around each flame is a glowing circle of light. In each circle, write or draw an experience, a thought, belief, memory or habit from the past year you are ready to let go of. You do not have to write in each circle. Fill out as many as you want or need. If you would like to take the ritual further, when you are finished, light a candle, reflect on each circle you wrote or drew in then burn the page slowly and safely with the candle’s flame. As you watch the fire burn each circle on the page, think about how you will feel when that experience, thought, belief, memory or habit is no longer part of your life.
If you end up completing this spiritual art ritual, I’d love to see what you created. You can even post the finished piece on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #danasartrituals or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and share with me how it went for you. It’s fun for me to know there are others out there enjoying the moon with me.