Last night my women’s group did a ritual for the new year, one in which we uncovered our dream seeds.
We each released an old pattern that we are ready to let go, something that has been hindering us.
We danced and shrieked, yelped and shook to let it go. And we were helped by our sisters, supporting us, moving and sounding with us, touching us.
Afterward, we sat in twos and shared what we are longing for in the year ahead. Out of those longings, we distilled a few key words as touchstones. I call these dream seeds.
I had already chosen my dream seeds last week as I engaged in a week-long process with my husband, one we do every year. We revisit the year, harvesting the gifts and lessons of the outgoing year. We celebrate, mourn, honor, and let go anything we need to let go.
Then, after resting a little in the gap, we begin to dream and vision the year ahead. We listen for what the year is already dreaming through us and how we can align ourselves with that.
Choosing a Word for the Year as a Guiding Light
One of the steps we take is we each choose a word or theme for the year.
Or rather, we let it choose us, waiting patiently for it to drop in any time leading up to or following the new year. A word that feels resonant and right, needed, full of meaning personally now, vital.
This year my word is Grace.
As in Divine Grace. The inspiration, magic, miracles, blessings, deep presence, and wonder that comes from the divine. Merriam-Webster defines this as “unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification.”
But I mean it also in the sense of acting with grace, for me to embody grace, to create grace in my art and life. The American Heritage dictionary says of this meaning: “Seemingly effortless beauty or charm of movement, form, or proportion.”
Naming Additional Dream Seeds as Touchstones
My other dream seeds are safety, abundance, divine inspiration, and trust.
I am calling in these qualities and experiences in the coming year. And committing to doing my part to cultivate them.
That last part is important.
While the magic of ritual, dreaming, and intending is potent, we also need to follow them up with commitment and action, if we really care about the dreams we wish to create.
Too often I see people setting intentions and dreaming big dreams but never doing anything to bring those dreams to life. Then, they feel disappointed when another year passes and they are no closer to their dreams.
Planting Your Dream Seeds
A first step to going deeper and actually planting the dream seeds occurred to me last night, during the ritual with my soul sisters.
I asked myself the question: “What might my life be like if this quality were fully embodied, fully present in my life?” I began to explore the feeling of that in my body, getting the taste of it deeply within.
This is so helpful and essential. To not just approach our dreams and heart’s desires with our minds. But to bring our bodies on board, and also our spirits and hearts.
Today in my journal, I asked the question again, taking just one dream seed at a time and answering as fully as possible. Really imagining and living into what my life would feel like, look like, be like, how I would show up differently, what would be present if this quality, this dream seed were fully activated.
It’s a delicious exploration and one that stretches me out of my comfort zone to imagine new possibilities and push up against old boundaries I long to outgrow. As a child of a Holocaust survivor, I have seriously wrestled with feeling safe in this life, and that in turn has limited my thriving. I have been engaging in nervous system healing and looking at the patterns and behaviors around this, so that I can transform it.
As I explored these questions in my journal, I found myself often writing what would not be present any longer, what I wanted to be rid of—“I wouldn’t be so anxious.” “I wouldn’t feel so conflicted about money.”
I let myself write that but then I challenged myself to name these states in the positive. What would be present? How would I live? What would be different? What would that really look like? “I feel relaxed and open.” “I feel clear and aligned in my stewardship of money and resources.”
Your Turn: Discover and Explore Your Dream Seeds
I invite you to take a similar inner journey.
What are you longing for in the year ahead? What 3-5 dream seeds can you distill out of that? Is there one that feels the most alive, your word of the year?
Now, take one dream seed, one word at a time, and write in detail about how your life would be different if this dream seed were to bear fruit.
Write about it in the present tense, as if it is already happening. Not “I would trust my judgment,” but “I trust my judgment.”
And finally, is there one action or practice you can take on to help you cultivate each dream seed this year?
Perhaps you wish to make a list of actions that support your dream seeds and post your list where you will see it throughout the year. Are there healthy habits, practices, or other steps that would support you having more of this dream seed in your life?
Choose one or two actions to take this week.
To the flowering of your heart’s deep dreams,
P.S. For more on the process of dreaming your new year, read here. Or join me for a delicious two-day retreat to harvest the outgoing year and dream the new. I will guide you through processes both magical and practical and help you make a vision-map to guide you through the year ahead.