Maia Toll
Snow is a nuisance if you plan to celebrate the New Year in high heels and a little black dress…

… but for those of us who are staying home by the fire to dream in the New Year, the snow lends a certain surreal softness.

With the edges blurred, it’s a easier to envision possible futures. Are you ready?

For those of you who have been following along with the Guide to the Darkest Nights series (Finding Joy and Burn Your Past), you’ve been sorting and sifting for the past few weeks. Hopefully you’ve been asking yourself the important questions like what is the song of my heart? And what makes each breath taste like fairy dust and chocolate stars? 

Or maybe you’ve stuck with less flowery prose and asked How do I want to live this one beautiful life?

Maybe you’re beginning to see the shape of your desires and have a word or phrase, a color, or a feeling that you want to guide you as you move into the new year.

Maybe your secret heart knows exactly what you want but, because you can't see how to get there, you're scared to admit to the wanting. Click To Tweet

It’s time to give your intentions, and hopes, and dreams, legs in the world.

Your head will want to lead in this. It’ll want to choose a dream that’s practical and achievable. It doesn’t want yet another failed New Year’s resolution.

But we need to ask the head to hush; this is actually a job for the heart.

Get heart-centered. If you don’t remember how, read about using rose to connect with your heart here.

Then pull out everything you’ve collected over the past few weeks, all the words and pictures and poems and songs that have tugged on your heart strings, made you smile, made you feel settled and calm or elated and ready to fly.

Now is the time for discernment, for clearly saying: this, not that.

I find this easier if you divide your life into sections. I usually come-up with 6. These should be the 6 parts of your life that are most important to you. My 6 might not be your 6, but usually somewhere in everybody’s 6 are relationships (friends, family, life partner), work, and home life. Other things that you might include: travel, exercise, leisure, creativity, and learning.

After you have your 6, spend a little time thinking about where you are now. What’s working? What isn’t?

Then start looking through your collection of pictures and words. Sort through and find what feels right. This is where discernment is key. If you’re thinking about leisure activities and you’ve pulled out a picture of a woman ballroom dancing, ask yourself Do I want to dance? Or perhaps wear a gorgeous dress? Or maybe design the gorgeous dress? Or sleep with the woman in the gorgeous dress? Or go watch a ballroom competition?

A picture can appeal to you for a lot of different reasons. Dig in! Find exactly what pulls you toward each photo or poem or word you’ve chosen.

Dream big! No use in playing small. This isn’t about what you think you can achieve. This is about your heart’s greatest hope. But be discerning: do you really want the actual castle in Scotland or do you want it’s gorgeous formal garden or a house with worn stone walls?

Now the fun begins! After you’ve worked through your 6 categories and sorted what you want for each, start collaging them. If you were collecting physical things— magazine clippings and printed poems— you’ll work on a physical collage. If you collected things online, you’ll be doing a virtual college and will need an app like Canva or PicMonkey. If you’ve been working in your head, begin creating in a way that feels good to you today.

Once you’re done creating, do a little ceremony to begin calling this vision to you. Burning something yummy like sweetgrass or cinnamon can ritualistically call a dream forward or offering a prayer or reiki can ignite the energy.

Hang your vision board where you’ll see it everyday (print it if you created it online). Don’t over think what you need to do next, just hold the images and words and colors in your heart and smile at it every time you walk by.

You might find that by next year your board feels completed and you’re ready to make another!

My final bit of New Year’s ritual: when I wake up on New Year’s Day, I make a list of everything I am grateful for from the year past.

And then I begin the year in the way in which I want it to continue: with good food, or a walk in the woods, friends by the fire, or a good glass of wine. Use your imagination and walk forward with intention!

Work through the whole Guide to the Darkest Nights here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Wishing you light in the darkness and the happiest of New Years.