Welcome to 2023

First sunrise 🌅 of 2023 ♥️

Hello beautiful people and welcome to this dose of Celestial Goodness. As always, thank you for joining me in this space and on this journey. If you are reading the blog or watching the video this week, congratulations—you have made it over into a new year. This week’s video available here: https://youtu.be/HJzCMaZ97io

I was joking with one of my friends that there are many ways of marking a new year—and there are many cultures and groups that celebrate a different new year—the Lunar New Year for example—which will happen on January 22nd, marks the year of the Water Rabbit.

Our birthdays—the solar return, are also a beginning point. I turned 40 recently, so that was a new decade and it definitely felt like a new chapter of my life was beginning.

Me with my cake 🎂

My friend and I jokingly devised a new year for each month this year hahaha, so if this one doesn’t work for you—make your own! All of that being said—today, January 1st is the day that most of the world celebrates a new year. Marked by different celebrations, fireworks, and fanfare, we have collectively created a ritual that sends out the old energy of the Gregorian calendar year, and that welcomes a new one.

Along with this comes many little rituals of sort that help us to ceremonially close out old energies in our personal lives and welcome a new energy. I thought about this for a few reasons. First, this was the first year in over six years that I was home for New Year’s Eve—I have celebrated the holiday in different locations, including in England last year.

This year it was nice to be in my space, having a very low key and chill evening. It was also the first New Year’s Eve in at least ten years that I was by myself. Some friends invited me out, but my spirit desired the alone time. I will speak at a different time about the benefits of solitude for the soul. You can be alone but not lonely. I have grown over the years to learn how to enjoy my own company, and in recent months, I have been relearning myself.

Relearning myself 🧡

I also know that my family and friends are a literal phone call away should I start feeling in need of human companionship. I derive great joy from my relationships with others—and cultivating and devoting time to nurturing those relationships will continue to be an important part of 2023; there is also a strong need within myself to nurture my relationship with self. It is for that reason, I know that New Year’s Eve was its own kind of bliss.

I got fresh flowers from the market—while walking over there some rain drops evaded the umbrella—they felt cool on my skin and I remembered the quote attributed to Bob Marley—“some people feel the rain, and others get wet.” I felt the rain, and want to continue living life with the experience of feeling—of not being numb to things like sunrises, sunsets, and the coolness of raindrops. I also stopped for a bit to observe the fog rising up from the pond by my place. Fog always feels so mysterious, mystical, and otherworldly. When I got home from the market, I made myself dinner, listened to the rain, read snippets from several of my books, watered my plants, danced around, and listened to the Buena Vista Social Club.

At midnight, I had a small bit of Moscato d’Asti and I ate 12 green grapes. One grape to signify abundance, prosperity, peace, joy, and love for each month of the upcoming year. I forget where I learned that tradition, but it is a fun one if you have grapes handy! That leads to the second reason that I thought about personal rituals. I spent most of the day doing a deep cleaning of my place. I mean dusting the corners, scrubbing the shower curtains, mopping, dusting all the nooks and crannies… like deep deep cleaning…I probably looked like Cinderella, but there is absolutely no shame in my cleaning game.

When I was little, my mom always wanted everything to be immaculate. I use to mutter under my breath when I was woken up early on the weekends to clean, that as an adult I would do whatever I wanted lol, which didn’t include getting up on the weekends to clean. It also didn’t include deep cleaning before the new year. Turns out that was a lie. It is just hard for me to focus when things are chaotic—my home needs to breathe, to have things in their rightful place, to feel clean and smell good—it needs to be a sacred space for me. We tend to temples, and my home is that for me. It is a sanctuary away from the rest of the world. It is a safe place, a comfortable, peaceful and Zen place for anyone who crosses the mantle.

When I was little, Jamaicans made it seem as if the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve and things were out of place—the clothes weren’t washed, the dishes not put away, the trash all taken out, that was to be your fate for the rest of the year. It felt like oh my God, you were going to be living in filth for a whole year. I would seriously get anxiety about it. Anyway, that is not the case, but yesterday still felt cathartic. It wasn’t as if the place was messy to begin with, but there was something about ensuring that everything was in its place and I was throwing things out that made me feel as if I was ceremoniously saying good bye to 2022. After everything is clean, I also do a smoke cleanse with the windows and balcony door open, and then burn some of my favorite incense.

Good bye to old energies, and welcome to something new. I am curious about other rituals that people do to celebrate the end of an old year and to welcome in a new year. I know that some of my friends eat black eye peas, some people attend a church service, and some have to stay up until midnight to make sure that yes the old year is in fact gone. Some people go to bed at their normal time so that they can wake up feeling refreshed. I read online that in Scotland, the last day of the Gregorian calendar is called “Hogmanay.” It may be derived from Norse and Gaelic traditions, but it involves gift giving, visiting the homes of friends and family, and there is very special attention paid to the “first foot.” That is the first guest to step foot into your home in the new year. I never even thought of that, but I think it is cool. I will have to pay attention to remember who will be my “first foot,” for the year! What are some of your new year’s rituals or traditions?

The New Year’s Day also reminded me that a new energy is being ushered in—both astrologically and in terms of numerology. I will get into the astrology in a different video, but this year is a 7 year in numerology. 2+0+2+3=7. In numerology, a 7 year is one that emphasizes introspection, emotion, analysis, intuition, reflection, seclusion, research, and faith. It is also a year that finds most people deepening their spiritual practices and a year that leans towards creativity and mysticism. What that all sounds like is that some of us may feel a pull to turn inwardly during the year, and even though we spent most of the pandemic inside, this feels different. This feels more like tuning in to our inner voice—to hearing ourselves speak from a soul level, to tapping into our creativity, and to feel more connected with the divine whatever that means for you. I hope that however your year has started off that you feel a sense of peace—a sense of gratitude for what is gone and what has yet to come, and just a sense of knowing that you are loved and supported by life—even on the difficult days.

I saw a poem online which I loved. It says, “The old year is worn and tired. Time now to kiss it goodbye. Take with you its wisdom—the authority and the power of all you have learned. Remember the past year with love, but let go of its despair. Live the year that lies ahead with fresh energy and hope. Be strong, have courage. It is time now for something new.”

Before I end, I do want us to just take a moment—close your eyes if you can, and just take in a deep breath—it should be deep, but comfortable for you. I am going to lead us in a small meditation.

Put your hand over your heart space, and take in three deep but comfortable breaths. As you inhale and exhale, become aware of your breath. Feel a sense of gratitude for your body, which functions mostly on auto pilot. Be thankful for your heart which beats each day, and which also emits vibrations of love out to the world. Be thankful for your mind, which allows you to process so much information. Now I want you to visualize that you are standing by a bonfire. You are able to drop anything from 2022 and prior that may have caused you stress or grieve into the fire. From the ashes will spring a glorious phoenix that brings with it the promise of a transformative energy. Next, visualize a beautiful glass cup filled with crystal clear (and clean) water. You will take a drink from this cup. As the water fills you—as it is cool flowing through your body, you imagine that the new year will be filled with love, joy, prosperity, growth, and anything else that you desire that is in its proper divine timing, and for your overall benefit. You feel a sense of peace and purpose. You become aware of your breath again. Sit with that sensation of feeling your breath rising in your chest. Say thank you, and then open your eyes.

You got this! Happy New Year 🎆

I hope that this year will unfold for you in the most delightful and beautiful ways, and I hope the stars continue to shine brightly over you! As always, thank you, and happy new year. ♥️