Out with the Old.. In with the New

Out with the old, 2014

In with the new… 2015

“Ringing in the New Year with Releasement

and Renewal”

The beginning of another new year brings with it the promise of a fresh start. Many of us wake up on January 1st with a new resolve to become a better version of ourselves than the person that went to sleep the year, albeit, the night before. We set goals and create lists of all of the things we hope to accomplish this year that may have eluded us in years past. Our minds are full of new ideas and our daily calendars become filled with new to do lists. And yet somewhere in all the excitement and energetic promise of this amazing opportunity for a New You in this New Year…we falter. We abandon gym time for pizza delivery, morning meditation for sleeping in that extra hour, green tea and the nicotine patch give way to our old familiar friends coffee and cigarettes. I’m sure you can fill in your own New Year’s Resolution gone awry and we could fill pages and pages!

So what happened?

With the promise of a newer and better year to come, we tend to place so much emphasis on the adding of things… workout routines, healthier foods, romantic relationships, and other “goals” to our already full lives that we oftentimes overlook the necessity, wisdom and inherent value of releasing the old patterns and behaviors that may have been blocking us all along. Setting new goals without taking a mental inventory and letting go of the old stuff is like buying a whole new wardrobe without cleaning out your closet first, there’s just no space to put things! Releasement is absolutely necessary if we are to create the space for the new goals and resolutions to take root and become a part of us.

By releasing old hurts, resentments, negative thought patterns, or any other memory, belief, or experience that happened in the past, we free up the mental space for the new goals and possibilities.

Releasement ceremonies and rituals have been practiced for centuries by many indigenous traditions and belief systems. There are many ways you can create your own version of a releasement ceremony, below are two of my personal favorites:

Fire Releasement Ceremony

 What you’ll need:


Writing Utensil

Fire Safe Container

Write down what you want to release or let go of on paper (try to be as specific and detailed as possible…the more you can express your internal contents the better).

**Using a fireplace, beach fire pit or any other fire safe container, place your completed paper(s) into the fire and let it / them go.

Mindfully observe as your writings transmute and release into smoke and ash.

(** If fire safety is an issue or for younger participants, other variations of this might include using a paper shredder; tearing into small pieces and placing in a sealed, airtight container; or writing with marker and placing in water**)

Sand / Shore Releasement Ceremony

What you’ll need:


A stick or something to write in the sand with

Stand at the place where the ocean meets the sand and begin to write the things you wish to release,

Mindfully observe as the ocean tide releases your writing to the sea,

By practicing the ancient wisdom of releasement, you can clear the mental clutter and make room for the NEW YOU to emerge with each NEW DAY and celebrate the amazing promise of this NEW YEAR! HAPPY 2015 EVERYONE! Let’s make it our best year yet!


Brandi Callison is a writer, ordained minister, widowed mother of four, and currently works as a clinical supervisor within the NAMI-OC family. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from Cal State Fullerton and a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Depth Psychotherapy from Pacifica Graduate Institute. She currently resides in Dana Point with her youngest daughter Catherine, her best friend…a 90-pound Rottweiler the lovely “Miss Sitala Jane” and the canine mastermind of all household wrongdoing a 9-pound Chihuahua / Terrier mix named “Sir Jasper”.

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