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Twenty-twenty felt like an epic dystopian novel come to life. A global pandemic, murder hornets, and a recession (to name a few) have left our zen heading for the hills. (Even meditation master Deepak Chopra has struggled to make sense of the collective chaos, writing in a CNBC op-ed: “In a time of crisis, the impulse is to go into emergency mode, fear, concern, and panic.”)
As we say good riddance to this turbulent year, we’re setting our sights on 2021 by swapping out traditional year-end customs with novel reset rituals designed to give us fresh ways to ground ourselves, even as the world continues to rock the very earth beneath our feet. And given typical New Year’s resolutions are said to have an 80 percent failure rate, there’s even less motivation to end an unusual year in the usual way.
The good news? Science says repeated behaviors—even ones as simple as counting to five aloud or keeping a daily journal—can help reduce stress while providing comfort because they satisfy our desire for predictability. We asked five experts to guide us through a series of practices that focus on different elements of our lives—work, relationships, home, self, and the universe at large—so we can set about making powerful intentions that’ll stick around well beyond Valentine’s Day. These rituals aren’t just about looking ahead: They also help us look back and honor where we’ve been so that we can move into the new year with our whole selves—the good, the bad, and the resilient.
Crystals for Energy
Crystals have been used for centuries for emotional, spiritual, and physical healing. Ancient Greeks and Romans favored mineral-rich formations as medicine and battle-time protective amulets, and Mayans and Native Americans saw them as connections to the divine.
Today, they’re still not just for looks. Crystals can offer an energetic boost on your professional path, whether you’re looking for shifts in your work life or struggling to find meaning in your job. Each gem is believed to come with its own vibrational properties that, when combined with your energy field, have the potential to alchemize into positive shifts that align with your intentions.
When it comes to a professional refresh, there are plenty of gems to choose from. If an upcoming presentation or sales meeting gives you the jitters, keep carnelian (a reddish-orange stone that stimulates the root chakra, responsible for grounding and safety) in your pocket and use it as a physical talisman, gently touching it while you give your speech to bolster your confidence and silence negative self-talk, says Lisa Butterworth, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Crystals. Similarly, holding white moonstone (associated with the crown chakra and known for easing the challenges that come with change) for a few minutes before you start your workday can help you benefit from the stone’s intuitive guidance. Green jade, meanwhile, stimulates success, and when focused on your professional life—set next to your laptop while you send out résumés, for instance—can attract new business and opportunities.
No matter which stone speaks to your ambitions, you can incorporate a crystal into everyday life by keeping it in your place of work, whether on your desk or in a plant in your office, to serve as a regular reminder of your professional aspirations. But first, take it through the following two rituals to maximize your career manifestations and carry them with you into the new year.
Take a Crystal Bath
Bathing itself is an act of self-care. Add water-safe crystals (first imbued with your intentions) to the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for career success. To soak in what you wish to cultivate in the coming year, draw a bath, and set the mood with candles, essential oils, flowers—whatever makes you feel warm and fuzzy. Clasp your chosen crystal in your hands and slowly submerge yourself, holding the stone just above the water. Breathe your career goals out and over your hands, saying them either aloud or silently, and visualize in as much detail as possible how you want your work life to unfold in 2021. Then drop the crystal into the tub, and imagine those very dreams being sponged up, first by the steamy water and then by your body. When you’re done soaking, place the crystal somewhere you’ll see it regularly as a reminder of your New Year’s wishes.
No tub? Set an intention as described above, and drop your crystal in a jar of water overnight. In the morning, add the infused water to a spray bottle and liberally spritz yourself. Or hold the crystal in the shower, meditate on it, and envision being washed in the energy of your professional desires.
Build a Crystal Grid
If your crystal collection is already ample, it’s time to tap into the power of sacred geometry (the belief that certain shapes have spiritual or sacred weight) by making a Flower of Life grid on the final day of the year. A hexagonal construction consisting of 19 circles that’s been found engraved in ancient temples, this powerful pattern is thought to amplify the stones’ energy, the potency of which benefits your affirmations.
To make your own grid, print out or draw a Flower of Life diagram (pictured above). Place six stones in the centers of the outer circles, then six more in the centers of the inner circles, at the tip of each petal blooming from the flower in the middle. Finish with a master crystal—the center stone, which represents your guiding ambition—and slip a piece of paper with your work-life wishes written on it under the anchor to fuse and ground your highest desires with the main stone’s energy.
Leave the grid out for 24 hours to tether your intentions to the start of the year. On January 1, meditate on your aspirations by reading them aloud. Then dismantle the grid, and place the master crystal on your altar or nightstand. Let it serve as a reminder of your dreams, edging you closer to achieving the intentions with which you built the grid.