While the New Year, as defined by the Gregorian calendar, may be arbitrary in many ways, the cultural narrative of fresh beginnings that surround this time generates a powerful opportunity for renewal. The New Year is a threshold: a gateway we all pass through cyclically. Whether we do this consciously or not, we are each transformed in ways large and small by this transition. The first few weeks of the year offer us immense support for leaving behind the parts of ourselves we’ve outgrown and inviting new dreams to grace our days.
To invite healing into our world, we
must first allow ourselves to imagine it.
The future is unwritten, and it is our sacred responsibility to be clear about what we want that future to look like—for ourselves and the world. What we write becomes real. As our words materialize on the page, they take on substance, meaning, and a pulse of their own. Writing is an act of creation, an act of defiance; it is an affirmation of belief in the value and validity of our own experiences.
Words hold power. When we take the time to clarify our desires and call upon the courage to express them in writing, they take root deep in our psyches and begin to ripple outward. They weave themselves into the fabric of the world and become a new chapter in the collective tale we are telling.
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Below you’ll find a two-part ritual to bring your dreams alive in the New Year and beyond. The first is for yourself, and the second is for our world. You will need a pen, journal, and some quiet time to write and reflect.
S T A R T W I T H D E L I G H T
Magic is possible when we allow delight to be our guide.
Write down anything and everything that you suspect might delight you. There is nothing too large or too small. It doesn’t even have to make sense. Allow yourself to be surprised by your words and the desires they reveal. Below are two lists I wrote last year. If you’ve been following my journey, you may notice many of the things on these lists have come to fruition.
The list on my phone read:
Collect acorns / Mend my clothes / Grow corn / Make tamales
Keep bees / Sleep outside / Bake more cakes / Talk to strangers
Travel to Morocco / Eat an apple that’s pink on the inside / Ride a horse
While the list in my journal read:
Make love more—in the morning, in the woods
Sleep on soft and worn, warm linen sheets
Learn the birds by sound and sight
Drink fresh water from the Earth
Bathe with flowers, just for me
Work my hands in clay
Lie naked in the sun
Wake before dawn
Own a home
In 2019 I realized my lifelong dream of traveling to Morocco, gathered and processed acorns for the first time, and unexpectedly purchased my dream house. You’ll see that the second list tells a story that is deeper and more intimate. It reads more like a poem. Writing by hand allows us to touch something within ourselves that we simply cannot with a keyboard. Experiment with both formats and observe what parts of you come alive in each space.
Keep in mind that these are not goals. While setting goals and making plans to meet them is valuable in and of itself—this is not that. The plans we make for our own lives rarely materialize as we’d hoped or imagined that they might. But those things which find us, as we are picking up the pieces, will inevitably lead us to the life we are meant to live.
What would delight you this year?
w r i t e i t d o w n
T U R N T O W A R D T H E W O R L D
As the world around us continues to disintegrate, we must bravely turn our attention toward the imaginal realm, for it is here we will discover solutions which lead to our collective liberation. The imaginal realm is a fertile space of possibility. Our ancestors knew this world well, and through it, they dreamt us into being. Now it is our turn. We must, as a species, first imagine and then enact a radically different narrative than the one we are currently telling and retelling. Like those who came before us, we must dream the world into being. Our lives depend on it.
We dream not only for ourselves but for the world.
So, dare to dream extravagantly for the wild places and future generations. Dare to dream for the forests that are burning, and the families separated at the border. Imagine all the things you want to see in the world and write them down in the present tense. Do not limit yourself by what is or is not possible. Just allow yourself to imagine the most magnificent outcomes you can conjure. Keep going until you feel your vision come alive on the page.
This is not frivolous—it is a powerful act of prayer.
When we write our dreams down or speak them aloud in the present tense, neural pathways in our brain begin to form, which match these experiences and create a space of receptivity for them to come to fruition. So, when you feel complete with what you’ve written, read your dreams aloud to someone you love and trust. Allow yourself to settle into a felt sense of what it would be like to live in a world where all your dreams had come true.
Share this practice with your friends, family, and community. Set aside the page and speak from the heart, building on one another's words. It is an immensely tender experience that fosters deep connection and makes space for us to experience grief and joy collectively—and that is the medicine that our world needs.
May the days and weeks ahead
be filled with dreams come true.