Yes, it is the season of graduation. Even one of my own children graduates from high school this year, so I am up close and personal with it all right now. It struck me that whether or not we are wearing a cap and a gown, or taking that long walk across the stage for our paper and a handshake, we all are graduating from something this June. Maybe not school, officially, but June sees things end. Our lives are tied to the school calendar no matter our age. We are historically connected to the cycle of the seasons in terms of ritual. With summer arriving, it can be a time to mark the move into a new cycle. I see that as a gift. It means I can stop for a moment, take stock, and let some things go. Say goodbye. Just like graduation from high school offers my child.
I have a few tips, questions you can ask yourself, and rituals to find your own graduation ceremony this month. Taking the time to see where we have been allows us to digest our life, and move on to the next phase.
What are you Graduating From?
Four Questions to ask yourself
What did I ace this year?
If you looked back at your life, September to June, what do you think you got the best mark in? Were you an amazing contributor at your book club? Or did you finally figure out how to make peace with your neighbor? What was your top subject this year?
What did I barely pass or maybe even fail at this year?
This isn’t an invitation to get sad, but a chance to notice where you struggled, and what you learned. It is great to succeed, but it doesn’t teach us much. Our real growth is where we struggle. What did you learn from the tough patches this year? What new wisdom do you have?
Who showed up as a mentor or teacher?
This is a chance to tap into the power of gratitude. If you struggled, who helped you out? Who answered back when you texted late at night and who always made time to listen? There are bonus marks if you can think of a tough place for you, and did someone mentor you and you grew?
What am I transitioning out of that is bittersweet?
Graduation is usually thick with celebration, but it can be a very bittersweet time too. Did you say goodbye to a role in life that meant a lot to you?
Did you retire? Are you now an empty nester? Taking time to recognize and feel these changes can help us eventually let go so we can move on.
The Power of Rituals
Creating a ritual will close a chapter and open another
Three DIY Rituals anyone can do
Graduation assists transition. You move from undergrad to grad. Amateur to professional. There is pomp. Circumstance. Flowers. Gifts. Dinners and more. Why not help yourself move on with your own graduation rituals. Here are some offers I make if you want to more deeply acknowledge or celebrate.
Do you need a trophy? A certificate? Make one for yourself. Give a speech of acceptance. Display it proudly. Feel the shift when you stand in the power of a job well done.
Need to thank someone for being a mentor? Send a card, email, or splurge on flowers. That makes the giver and the receiver feel good.
Glad it’s over. Good Riddance!
If you think about classes you hated, you might remember burning the notes. A great thing to do. You can write down what you never want to experience again, and burn it, shred it, or bury it. The composter is a favorite for me.
Be your own valedictorian. Give a speech. To your family, to your friends, or just to the cat. What would you say about the year gone by? From the wide eyed optimism of last September, through the struggles and victories that got you to June. Look back. Enjoy this rear window view, and be grateful for it all. Good and bad. You learned. You lived. And you are ready to move on.