At the end of every month, I get together with a group of girlfriends to set shit on fire. 
I don’t mean that figuratively, I mean we literally stand in my friend’s backyard fire pit and watch things burn. Into the flames go scraps of paper where we’ve written horrors we want to watch turn into smoke, the hopes we want to alight, the injustices that make us so angry we feel like we’re going to combust. 
It’s one of the most therapeutic things in my life aside from actual therapy, and if it all sounds super witchy and woo woo to you, you might want to stop reading because it only gets weirder from here.
 To end 2018, one friend bought us all gift bags complete with paper New Year’s tiaras, small notebooks, pencils with inspirational sayings—”Live Life Today”—and an extra large box of matches. We ate every snack food Aldi sells, drank too much wine, and wrote down the things we planned to leave behind in 2018 and that we want to draw to ourselves in 2019. Then we trooped to the backyard to burn the host’s Christmas tree. 
I love the act of burning for so many reasons, chief among them that it engages all of the senses. Watching and smelling those scraps of paper catch fire and disappear feels like magic. (Note: Burning a full-size Christmas tree in a Chicago backyard fire pit might not be the most legal thing you do all year, but if you can get away with it,  DO IT.)

The motto for the magazine in 2019 is Be More Rebellious, and I’m trying to institute the spirit of it into my daily life. Into the flames went fear, self-doubt, and taking other people’s shit. Into this year I’m welcoming courage, confidence, and compassion for people who aren’t evolved enough to hold onto their own nonsense.

What did you leave behind in 2018? And what will you welcome this year?

In ever-increasing Rebellion,

Yep, that’s actual footage of the tree burning.

Karen Hawkins is the Founder and Rebelle in Chief of Rebellious Magazine. She is a recovering mainstream media reporter and editor who wants to thank her former boss for naming the online magazine she's...