My mentor, Christine Kane suggests that, instead of making New Year’s Resolutions for lofty goals that are impossible to keep, you consider picking a word to guide you throughout the year. She recommends that you choose a word that supports the intention for what you want to be more of in your life.
I have been using Christine’s Word for the Year practice since 2007 because it really works. The word serves as a guidepost for me as I make choices through the year. I post the word in my bathroom and acknowledge it daily, asking myself “how can I be that?”
That first year I chose VULNERABILITY. I wanted to let go of control and open to things that I didn’t have the answers to. I was ready to feel what was uncomfortable and go even deeper. I had so many opportunities during that year to practice this: with relationships, how I traveled, choosing to apply for a job that I didn’t get. And I had emergency open heart surgery. Talk about vulnerability and letting go of control. It was the most amazing gift of an experience to be in that space of pure vulnerability and know how much I was loved and supported.
The next year I chose ASK as a reminder that, even though I had fully recovered, I didn’t have to do everything all by myself. I learned to ask for support, money, ideas, companionship. More important, I learned that’s it’s not about having the answers but being able to ask bigger questions and opening to the silence that is larger than me for deep and true inspiration.
This past year my word has been EXPANSION. I wanted more space in my life. I wanted to show up bigger, both inside of myself and how I connect in the world. I wanted to open myself beyond what I already knew, to what else might be possible.
This is what happened in my year of EXPANSION:
In January I moved from my tiny guest house to a roomy 2 bedroom bungalow with great outdoor space for me and my dogs and every other thing that was on my wish list.
I completed a 100 hour Life Coaching program where I learned new skills to engage and encourage my clients. I connected with interesting people and inspiring teachers and I stood in front of a group of 150 people and claimed that I was ready to show up bigger in my life.
Despite “the economy,” my computer training business, Mac to School brought me more money this year than the last three. I offered a new product, unlimited email support, and now receive an extra $400-$600 every month in the mail.
My yoga poses have become more open, on and off the mat, and I am breathing deeper and fuller.
I opened to new definitions of relationship. Letting go of preconceived ideas and expectations has made so much room for deep, healthy, unconditional love in my life.
The biggest expansion has been with my Creative Living coaching. For the past several years I have been sporadically leading workshops that use creativity to encourage people to discover and live their passions. This year I was ready to expand the business and make it a bigger presence. But I had no idea how.
I had been telling friends that I was looking for ways to market the business and the following week an email from Christine arrived, offering a free teleconference called Upleveling Your Business-All About Customers, Creativity and Cash. It was exactly what I had been asking for.
At the end of the call Christine offered her 10 week Uplevel Your Business program. As much as the commitment and the price tag challenged me, when I came back to my word, Expansion, I knew that this was a sure fire way to really step into that bigger, more connected space I was asking for.
Because of the program, I have brought my coaching business Spark the Heart front and center. It was the impetus for the new website and all of the behind the scenes changes. Spark the Heart has brought me more money in the last 6 months than ever before. I led my first Creating the Life You Dream Retreat in the fall and have several workshops already scheduled for 2010. And I am clearer than ever that this is the work I am meant to do.
In all of this expansion, I also expanded in my physical body. And so my word for 2010 is EMBODY to bring awareness to my physical self so that I can more fully embody my work and be big in my life without being so big in my body.
What word would you choose to guide you through this coming year?
I invite you to write it down where you can see it every day. Let it guide you as you make choices and decisions. Let it lead you to a richer, deeper, more meaningful life.
Perhaps you’d like to share your word in the comments as an affirmation and commitment to your new word.