In our society we tend to celebrate new beginnings and fresh starts. We are a self-improvement culture, sales and it seems like anytime is a great time for a New Year’s resolution. What we don’t seem to focus on, ampoule however, is creating a great ending before we start a fresh beginning.

There is an esoteric principle that states that every act of power has a chosen beginning, duration and ending. Most of us are great at choosing a beginning and planning all the steps in the duration, but we never end our acts. And because we never end our acts, any new beginnings are inevitably mired down in previous unfinished acts. That’s why we seem to get bogged down in our creations – they are hindered by all our other attempts to create!

What does a great ending look like? A great ending is the act of stepping back from the events in which you’ve been engaged and taking a long look at what you’ve done. Take a long view of what has been accomplished, feel the distance between the beginning of the endeavor and now. Feel the weight of what has been achieved. Appreciate all that has gone into creating the final product. Appreciate your own efforts, and those of others who have contributed. Then, let it go. Release your creation to have a life and independent will of its own. Only when we let go of something completely have we fully created anything.

For instance, suppose you’ve planned your daughter’s wedding. Perhaps the creation started with the announcement of the engagement. Then, the duration of the endeavor was filled with planning, meetings with caterers, bakers, ministers and musicians. The big day arrives, along with hundreds of guests. The ceremony and celebration proceed according to plan (or not according to plan) and, finally, your daughter and her new husband depart on their honeymoon. You sit in the reception hall as the last people leave the party. Now, or the following morning, would be a good time to end this act of power. As the band gathers up its things, look back over the entire process. Feel how it felt at the beginning of the process, relive the events that happened in between from where you stand now. Look at what has been achieved, and appreciate all that has come to pass. Then, release your daughter and her husband to freedom, to their own free will and the development of their marriage as they see fit. Appreciate all that you have done and let it go. This is a great ending.

So if you want to begin anything in your life, magical or ordinary, make sure you have cleared a space for this new creation by taking the time to end all that has been. What if you haven’t quite finished the previous event, but are no longer interested in it? For instance, say you started to get a degree in engineering, but now decide you want to go to Hollywood to be an actor? No problem. You don’t have to finish something to end it. Simply appreciate all you have gained, all the effort you have put forth into the previous endeavor, and let it go. Let there be a gap of at least a day between your ending and a new beginning. Let that day be a sort of “limbo,” a space of transition or transformation, a breath of air. Then, begin anew.

Before you make a fresh start, make sure you’ve made a great end. You must end before you can begin. Here’s to great endings!