Solstice Intention Setting for 2017 (and beyond)

Several years ago I learned an exercise similar to the one I am presenting here based on an Abraham Hicks Teaching. This is my own version of the exercise. I borrowed this post from one of my workshops. The exercise was based on writing and using the energy of the new moon. I’ve revised it for the Winter Solstice – which is, in a way, the New Sun of the year.

IMG_2581Currently, we are at the Winter Solstice, or the longest night of the year. This is a good time to release what we don’t want – what is unconscious and holding us back from moving forward in our lives. Once we have let go and created space within ourselves, we can create a vision and make intentions for how we want to move forward.

For tonight, or, for the next few nights, it is a good time to set intentions. I propose an intention setting exercise this evening. This is a powerful time for growth. During the winter months, the surface of the earth appears to be fallow, but underneath the surface, roots are digging down deep, and seeds and bulbs are waiting for spring to push forth their potential. Right now is a powerful time to plant intentions so that they may grow strong and grounded beneath the surface before emerging in the spring.

You will need several sheets of paper.

Part 1
Choose a topic you’d like to focus on. It could be about money and finances, relationships, love, career, home life, recreation, travel, the environment, creativity, community, education—basically anything that’s on your mind or that you feel needs focus. If you can’t think of a particular topic, that’s ok, because we are going to begin with letting go of what we don’t want. You may just write about all the things you want to let go of in general.

On top of your page write, “I don’t want . . . ” and then just list what you don’t want as quickly as you can. To give you some ideas, there may be things that are happening in your life right now about this particular subject that you just don’t like. (For example: I don’t want to deal with grumpy customers at my job anymore). Write that down. Or, you may have fears about what may come up if you start doing or having what you want. (For example: I don’t want to date any more guys who are afraid of commitment). Write all the don’ts, can’ts, shouldn’ts, won’ts down for the next 10 minutes.

Read over your list of “don’t wants.” You will find that many of the things you don’t want appear to be outside of you. Is there anything that you are doing that might be creating the things you don’t want?

Below the “don’t want” list, or on another sheet of paper, write, “I want to let go of or release . . .” and list behaviors or circumstances that may be blocking you from having more flow in your life. Some of my things on this list might be: procrastination, always allowing my significant other to make our weekend plans, spending more money than I have, not getting enough rest, etc. Write what you want to let go of for the next 10 minutes.

Read over your lists once again. Is there anything else you want to add? Be thorough, but don’t let the energy get stuck. You can do this more than once (it’s a good one to do at the new moons).

Once you are done with your lists, stand up and lift your arms over your head. Inhale. Then, exhaling, gently bending forward while slightly bending your knees allow your upper body to hang, you may even swing back and forth gently. Imagine all the things you don’t want and the things you want to release are flowing from your arms, fingertips, and top of your head and into the earth. Say, “I am letting go now. Thank you Mother Earth, for taking care of this for me.” Now slowly roll the upper body up, one vertebra at a time, knees slightly bent, head comes up last.

Part 2
Look at your “don’t want” and “let go of” lists. On another sheet of paper, take each item on your lists and write the opposite of each phrase, things or circumstances you do want. You may begin the phrases with, “Wouldn’t it be nice if . . .”, “I’d love to . . .”, “I attract people who . . .”, “I’d really like . . . “, “I am surrounded by . . . ” or whatever seems appropriate to you.

The phrases allow you to daydream and envision more of what you would like to bring into your life.

Once you have written all the opposite phrases – you may take the list of what you no longer want and burn it (Solstice is a wonderful time for a fire) or tear it up and throw it away (if a safe fire is not feasible). The list has now been transformed in the physical dimension and represents another version of letting go.

Take your new list and read it out loud to yourself. Imagine inhaling each phrase and allowing the breath to move through your entire body, filling up the space you have just created for yourself.

Part 3
Continuing working with the breath. Inhaling, imagine light and love is flowing through the crown of your head, down your spine, and all the way down to your feet. Exhale, imagine light and love expanding to bathe every cell of your body. Inhaling, let that light and love pour in through the crown of your head and all the way through the souls of your feet. Exhale, that light and love continues to flow outward. Continue this breathing so that you establish a steady flow.

Once that flow is established, imagine it is three years from now. All the things that you want have come to pass, and you are enjoying your life beyond your wildest dreams. You are having a party to celebrate your success. What are you celebrating? What are your surroundings? Who is there? Try to write at least one detail for each of your senses. Do this for 10 minutes (write as quickly as you can).

When the 10 minutes is up, read your vision back to yourself. Imagine that your vision is a powerful seed of potential. Release that seed into the sky. If you’d like, read your vision to the sun and beyond the farthest reaches of the universe. Know that what is best for you is what will grow. You may even add at the end, “This or something better is now coming to me for the good of all. I love you (Universe). Thank you. So it is.”

Don’t Stop Here
IMG_0500Over the next few months as the Sun gets higher in the sky, you may begin to get ideas on how to move forward with your vision, or opportunities may come your way that will move you closer to your dream. Remember to take action once you are shown the way – otherwise your intentions are just daydreams.

Three years is 1095.75 days. Break your Three-Year Success Dream into doable daily steps – they can be the teeniest, tiniest doable steps along your path, or they can be big leaps. Maybe take some small steps to build up your confidence with some hops and pirouettes thrown in. Do it your own way, with your unique style. Do it in a way that is fun and where you are least likely to beat yourself up. Maybe some of those small steps become habit, and once they are established, you reach a turning point.

What can you do, see, be? Continue to wonder what it feels like to do, see, and be something completely new, while having gratitude for where you are now. Who can you call or enlist to help you on the way? Who and/or what can you let go of? What one little step can you do today that will become 1095.75 steps? Can you enjoy the journey and not worry about the destination?

Go even farther with more writing – focus on an intention and everyday come up with 10 ideas toward making it happen. Push the ideas. How can you combine your intentions so that your ideas can get really wild? Let yourself do this for 30 days every day, and then, when 30 days are up, do it for another 30 days. Before you know it, you will be compelled to take action. (I was introduced to this habit by James Altucher. Read more about the habit of 10 Ideas a Day here.)

Start with what you’ve got and where you are. Most importantly, start.

Happy writing and intention setting! I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

If you would like, feel free to share your intentions in the comments!

Thanks for reading!



Stone House, Wine, the Forest, and the Sea


This is stunning. Fantastical beauty by Amanda Palmer and her father Jack (and friends).

This video is a lush dreamscape. Just watch.


I originally saw this video on Pitchfork.


Flying, swooping, listening to Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah sung by Jeff Buckley while riding in the forest.

sun through the forest (c) 5.2015 Holly Troy

The sunlight shining through the trees was stunning. Through the camera lens, the light took on an almost solid quality.

Light as entity.

Just as I was coming to this place I was here in the song:

. . . your faith was strong/but you needed proof/you saw her bathing on the roof/her beauty in the moonlight overthrew ya/she tied you to a kitchen chair/she broke your throne and she cut your hair/and from your lips she drew the halellujah . . .

I stopped to listen – and that’s when I saw the light.

Snow, Lace, and Strength

Today it is snowing in Flagstaff. After a winter of very little snow, we have a snowstorm at the end of April. A snowstorm this time of year in the mountains is not unusual; a final shake up before the ease of warm months takes over.

I have not had a chance to write Born on a Thursday for two weeks now! Over the winter and early spring, I slowed way down, walking for hours every day through the pines with my canine companion, Stoney. It was exactly what I needed to do. Stoney’s leash was the gossamer thread that kept me from losing my way as I looked hard at my life.

blue shatter (c) 2012 Holly TroyA few weeks ago I found myself at the center of the labyrinth. Still point. A shedding of old skin. Decisions. Walking back toward the light, life gained momentum. Taking in experience, not much time to write.

Springtime in Flagstaff is much like coming out of the labyrinth. Suddenly the world stirs and people are ready to be out. It’s a relief that I am ready, too.

There is magic in perseverance, going with the flow, and following your dream. Little webs of ideas, small acts of kindness, and seeking and creating Beauty cast ripples out into the past, present, and future. Life is good.

Janet Echelman illustrates this magic in her TEDTalk below.

Born on a Thursday will resume next week!

Thanks for reading.

Om shanti,


30-Day Challenge – If I Weren’t Afraid

In just two days, it will be January 1st, 2014. I’m proposing a challenge to help you open up to some new possibilities in your life. Check it out below.

January 2014: 30-Day Challenge

An exercise I am borrowing from Sonia Choquette, good vibe expert.

Every morning when you wake up, look in the bathroom mirror and say out loud, “If I weren’t afraid, I would (fill in the blank).” Repeat the phrase, “If I weren’t afraid . . . (fill in the blank)” over and over again for three minutes. Don’t think about it, just let the first thing that comes to you finish the sentence, “If I weren’t afraid, I’d . . . ”

For example (off the top of my head as I write this post):

If I weren’t afraid, I would hike the Pacific Coast trail.
If I weren’t afraid, I’d quit my job.
If I weren’t afraid, I’d visit Cuba.
If I weren’t afraid, I’d travel the world on a sailboat.

If I weren’t afraid, I’d ask for breakfast in bed.
If I weren’t afraid, I’d build a permaculture garden.

You get the picture. It doesn’t have to be huge, just fill in the blank with the first thing that pops into your head.

Do this first thing upon waking, before you look at emails or your phone. Do it when you wake up in the morning because you have to go to the bathroom. It’s best to do when you are in a semi-dreamy state, or before anyone else distracts your day. Three minutes, whatever comes to your head.

Now, pick one thing and do it. If they all seem too huge, break it down. Take the first thing from my list – If I weren’t afraid, I would hike the Pacific Coast trail. If you haven’t hiked in a while, then go for a walk around the block. Start building up to it. Research the trail. Get a hiking buddy. (I live in the desert, so chances are I couldn’t just fly off to Northern California and go . . . but I could prepare).

Or, If I weren’t afraid, I’d build a permaculture garden. So you rent, and you own no property. Get a flower pot and plant something. Start somewhere.

After 30 days, notice what has changed in your life.

“If I weren’t afraid . . . ”


* * * * * * * * * *

I’d love to hear how it goes. Feel free to comment.


self-portrait in NY light (c) Holly Troy 2013

New Moon (Practical) Magic Phase II – Starting where you are

The next New Moon is in Capricorn on January 1st, 2014. This is the perfect time to talk about phase two of the new moon ritual, since Capricorn is a sign based in practicality, ambition, and duty – and phase two of the ritual has to do with the practical details of putting tiny steps toward your dreams into motion. It’s turning the “I wish” into the “I will”.

Stars Sparkle (c) Holly Troy 2013In the first part of the ritual, we use our imagination and our bodies to release what we don’t want, to reveal what we do want, to envision our lives as if we received exactly what we wanted, and let it go. I have found that with the somatic experience tied into the imagining, the ritual alone creates a powerful shift and focus. (Review the New Moon Magic here).

By reviewing your goals and intentions with the moon cycles, it is easier to stay on track with your progress. I find that as I evolve, it is easier to go through transition while being connected to the moon cycles, which are eternal. Sometimes change, even when it is welcome, can be unnerving, and being connected with nature’s cycles keeps me grounded and connected with, not only my purpose, but with Earth as well.

I am working through the chakras with each moon cycle. Last month, I focused on the second chakra. The second chakra is where we experience the power of relationships, pleasure, sweetness, sexuality, and the desire to create. It is about activating, inviting, and energizing sensuality in our lives. It is our emotional center, and it is linked with water. Water is constantly moving, as are our emotions. The second chakra is also ruled by the moon.

I found that as I wrote out my “three-year success party” I had a lot of gratitude in my life for experiences I have already had. I wanted to include all of those people who have been there in my life – especially my creative life – to my party. That was an amazing, uplifting feeling! And of course, I wanted to include new friends, too. My imagination wanted to integrate the old and the new, which helped me feel grounded and open at the same time.

Boulders in the path (c) 2013 Holly TroyAs the work from the New Moon evolved throughout the waxing and now the waning of the cycle, my intention was to write out the practical next steps from the ritual. But something happened. I found myself feeling stuck – especially in matters pertaining to relationships. I shared this “stuckness”, this inability to imagine things differently, and my friend Terry suggested an open-ended question – a technique she learned from Richard Bartlett.

This, to me, feels like an extension of the moon ritual, almost a mini-ritual for when things seem impossible or doubtful. I would say this is:

New Moon Magic Part 1A (or simply a mind/heart opening exercise that you can do at any time) – The Tool of the Open-Ended Question.

If you find yourself feeling stuck, and focused on a problem, simply ask yourself how it would feel to have what you want.

Start with, “I wonder what it feels like . . . ”

My questions are these:

I wonder what it feels like to be in a reciprocal relationship.
I wonder what it feels like to follow through on my ideas.
I wonder what it feels like to be successful.
I wonder what it feels like to have faith in all that I can create and accomplish.

The interesting thing about asking these questions is that I have had moments, weeks, months, and years of all of these things, so I could put myself in the vibration of the feeling for a minute. Suddenly nothing seems so far out of reach. Like water flowing against a rock, the blockages of self-doubt or frustration seem to slowly dissolve. (I know I will touch back on the “open-ended question” in another post – just for now, try it).

lush (c) Holly Troy 2013This may be enough for you when working with the moon. But sometimes, action is required. For example, If you want to be a singer, you need to actually sing. If you want to be good, you need to practice daily, find a vocal coach, find musicians to play with. If you don’t take action, it’s just a wish. The Moon Magic part of it is to help you focus and maybe even build up the courage to take action.

I was going to say break your three-year success vision all down into doable goals, almost Franklin-Covey style, but I’m a bit in the flow of things right now and breaking it down like that is going to stop my flow – and I love goals and charts and measurable things – I’m a Capricorn after all! I’m finding that working along with the cycles of the moon, I am trusting more and having to control less. Occasionally, though, especially for specific projects, Phase II is useful.

So PHASE II is this:

Break your Three-Year Success Dream into doable steps – they can be the teeniest, tiniest doable steps along your path, or they can be big leaps. Maybe take some small steps to build up your confidence with some hops and pirouettes thrown in. Do it your own way, with your unique style. Do it in a way that is fun and where you are least likely to beat yourself up. Maybe some of those small steps become habit, and once they are established, you reach a turning point. Three years is 1095.75 days. What can you do, see, be? Can you wonder what it feels like to do, see, and be something completely new? Who can you call or enlist to help you on the way? Who and/or what can you let go of? What are 1095.75 steps you can take toward something? Can you enjoy the journey and not worry about the destination?

Start with what you’ve got and where you are. Most importantly, start.

Thanks for reading!



Yule: Winter Solstice 2013

I spent the day steeped in Winter Solstice celebration. My co-creative partner Sydney came over this morning, and at 10:11 am she set an inspiring intention for us and our work. Her words invoked a sense of grounding and confidence for our projects that deepened my conviction that sacred sexuality is important for personal empowerment, happiness, health and well-being.

I had planned a ritual for cutting energetic cords. Sydney and I both agreed that the shortest day of the year was a perfect time for letting go in order to make space for new energy to move and grow as the days start to become longer. Unfortunately, I have a bit of a chest cold and didn’t have the energy for the ritual, so instead, we relaxed on yoga mats and listened to this meditation:

I am really grateful Sydney was flexible and willing to spend the day with me despite my low energy. We discussed many creative ideas throughout the day while keeping things really relaxed. Eventually, since Yule is about the returning of the light, we carved the intentions we discussed into some candles, which we decided we will anoint and burn at Imbolq.

It turned out to be the perfect winter day.

ace of cups Tarot of the Moon Garden DeckTonight, for the Solstice and energy for the next six weeks, I pulled the Ace of Cups (from the Tarot of the Moon Garden deck). It was the perfect card for everything we discussed today, and the energy of this Solstice, which for me feels very Neptunian and dreamy and full of vast potential. The Ace of Cups is about symbolism and subtlety, depth of emotion, dreams, fantasy and imagination, and access to a sense of happiness, satisfaction and self-acceptance. Being in alignment with winter energy, where growth occurs underground, the opportunity that the Ace of Cups presents is inward, extensive, heartfelt, and below the surface. (For someone with four planets in Scorpio, I say, “Yes!”)

Happy Holidays! Life is good and sweet and full of potential. Remember to do something you love every day.

Om shanti.