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"Burning Bowl" -- letting go of the pain/negativity of 2007 and embracing the blessings of 2008

The church I've been visiting hosted a "Burning Bowl" ceremony on New Year's Eve; we wrote down what we needed to let go of from the past year, and then burned the paper. Ben and I wrote ours at home and then went to the church just to burn the negative bits of 2007. (He wasn't comfortable staying so we left right afterward)

I am such a "compulsive excavator of my own emotional navel lint" and a "nit-picking, obsessive truth-teller" that I didn't expect any surprises from this exercise, but it has completely turned me inside out. All my snarled, unraveled bits are sticking out and I can't see any pattern to this unholy mess! I'm slowly twisting myself right-side-out again, but damn! If you try this, be prepared for a flood of ghosts and maybe enough darkness to blind you for a while.

2007 happenings to let go of

burning the negative of 2007

I wanted to get more photos but I was scaring the lady guarding my bowl already. At least I got one! I also wanted to spend a bit more time at the bowl and actually watch it burn... that paper was strangely hard to let go of.

Oh, and earlier that day I was at the store and the cashier asked me what I was doing for New Year's -- when I told her, she said "maybe I need to do that" and I told her that if she wanted to write it down I would burn it for her. I didn't expect her to take me up on it because that seems like a lot of faith to put in a stranger, but she did! It seemed like it was a turning point for her ♥ It was definitely meant to be -- I originally went into a different line, then switched to hers even though it was longer.

I also wrote a thank-you note to God/dess for the wonderful things that will happen in 2008 -- I plan to put that letter away and open it at the end of next year.

2008 blessings to grab hold of

I've been looking forward to this year because the number 8 is a spiritually significant number for me. I'm not sure what this year will bring, but I feel it will be amazing. I have a lot of new goals, and they feel closer than before -- thanks to all the growth-inducing pain of 2007.

LJ idol topic 8: "What the New Year Will Bring" ((if you liked/got something from this, please vote for me!))

sounds: Fauxliage: "All The World"
connecting: , , , , , ,

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suesniffsglue ══╣╠══
I love this post! I think I might take on that letter-writing idea, I really like it. It's interesting to think how different my life is now than I would've expected it to be at this time last year.
belenen ══╣analytical╠══
yay! ;-) and yeah, mine's pretty different too... though in some ways, I'm surprised at how much it stayed the same.
theindiequeen ══╣╠══
You were there!? I didn't see you!

That was pretty great though. I had so much to burn.

We should chill soon.
belenen ══╣artless╠══
yeah, we were only there for a minute! Ben hadn't been to church in a very long time, so it was a big step for him to go and I didn't want to push him to stay. I actually looked for you, but didn't see you.

We should! I have a very flexible schedule so just let me know when you're available!
deleon ══╣╠══
That is a very cool idea.
belenen ══╣progressing╠══
I thought so ;-)
ckocher ══╣╠══
I really love the letter writing idea - I think I may borrow that for myself!
belenen ══╣iconoclast╠══
libra_dragon ══╣╠══
I love love this post! Great one.
I like the idea as well. Very cool and interesting.
belenen ══╣inspired╠══
yay! thanks so much!
unusual_focus ══╣╠══
What a great post! Thanks for sharing. :}

I wish I would have done something like that. Maybe it's not too late..
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
thank you! and it is never too late.
kevloid2008 ══╣╠══
hey I know a couple of witches that do that thing. I went one year - they had an actual little cauldron (seriously) and accidentally dropped it in the river when they were emptying the ashes. they had a fit and I laughed as it drifted away.

that may be my oddest new years story.
belenen ══╣shock╠══
oh, you ARE rotten! :-p *shakes head*

if it is in question, what are the other contenders for your "oddest new years story"?
kevloid2008 ══╣╠══
febrile_lune ══╣╠══
Wow. I'm really proud of you. And I love the way you describe the experience... you're so raw.

I am tempted to do this. I'm not sure if I'm ready... haha no, actually, I'm definitely ready. INEEDTOLETGO. But there is one thing I'm afraid to let go of because I haven't gotten closure/told someone something I need to tell him before I can let go of it.

but that was a tangent.

I'm going to do this when I'm ready, and I think soon.

thanks for sharng.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
thank you ♥

it's hard! dredging all of it up at once! damn. Don't try it lightly! You'll know when you're ready. ;-)
mme_furiosa ══╣╠══
Beautiful ritual, beautiful gesture. One year I burned all my angsty adolescent journals in a New Year's bonfire. It was incredibly cathartic.

belenen ══╣overwhelmed╠══
OMG! I can't imagine burning journals... *shiver* it was hard enough to let go of one paper that had a lot of my heart written on it, I can't imagine a lot at once!
mme_furiosa ══╣╠══
sidheblessed ══╣╠══
You went through some emotional stuff this year but you pushed through and learnt from it. I hope 2008 brings you every joy!
belenen ══╣hopeful╠══
*deep breath* yes I did! what a crazy insane year.

I hope for every joy in 2008 for you also!
bellerisa ══╣╠══
If I knew of a local church that did 'Real' things like that, I'd probaby go to church more regularly.

You certainly had a lot to let go of. I hope 2008 brings you all that you want. *hugs*
belenen ══╣blossoming╠══
yeah, I was happy to hear of it. ;-)

me too! :D
acid_burns ══╣╠══
When parts of me grow up I want them to be like you.

I hope 2008 brings you beauty and balance.
belenen ══╣openness╠══
awwwwwww! You made me... I can't even describe that emotion! Touched /awed /humbled /amazed ♥ I feel deeply honored.

and you also, lovely lady ♥
puppetmaker40 ══╣╠══
What an interesting way to put 2007 behind you.

They do something like that in Time Square by setting up a chipper/shredder and letting people put their things they want to get rid off on "Good Riddance Day". They even have paper there for you to write down things.
belenen ══╣inspired╠══
very cool! ;-)
authentic nourishment
shioneh ══╣authentic nourishment╠══
Oh Bel, this was so inspiring. What a beautiful way to let go of 2007.

Looking at your page made me ache and hurt and feel all kind of things. Thankgod that the pain of 2007 is over. I also LOVE the idea of thanking God/dess for 2008! Such a positive amazing idea! This post was so inspiring that I could barely sleep last night because the idea made me excited and renewed. I would love to do this, I think it would help me a lot. I hope I am actively ready for this soon, I am certainly emotionally ready. May 2008 be magical.

(the photo is very beautiful despite you having to take it very fast)
shioneh ══╣unfolding╠══
Also, I forgot to say, well done for letting go of the paper.. That must have taken strength. I'm so glad you did this exercise.
belenen ══╣╠══
wherdafux_d_cat ══╣╠══
Nice. I've always liked the idea of burning bowls but hadn't thought about turning in the other direction as well. Well done!
belenen ══╣artless╠══
thanks! ;-)
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on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.