Every year I choose a single word as a compass, a guide, a tangible reminder of what I want to manifest for myself. The word serves as a touchstone 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?”
The first year I chose the word BE. Because I was always planning, dreaming and imagining the future, I was rarely present where I was.
BE-ing was very uncomfortable.
It made me slow down and experience where I was, not where I wanted to be NEXT. It made me sit still and feel my emotions. I began a yoga practice and discovered that the simple act of breathing can calm me and bring me back to the here and now.
The next year my word was 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 following 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.
Last year my word was INTEGRAYTION, intentionally spelled with the word gray in it because I wanted to let go of the extreme black and white of my thinking and live more in the grays. I wanted to find ways to meld my two seemingly opposite work worlds together more, to let go of my all-or-nothing way of being. A friend gifted me a beautiful necklace with the word stamped in silver and it was a lovely expression of further integrating my work with my personal life.
This year my word is EXPANSION. I want more space in my life. I want to show up bigger, both inside of myself and how I connect in the world. I want to open myself beyond what I already know and do well, to what else might be possible.
Expansion is all about breathing deeper and living at the edge of what is familiar and comfortable. And moving into that opened space with courage and intention and faith.
Already this year I have had several opportunities to do things that bring me right to that edge. And, scary as each activity may feel, when I come back to my word, I see how saying YES completely supports my desire for expansion.
- I am part of an online writing community, re-committing to my daily writing practice. Click here to read my latest piece.
- I am going to a workshop in San Diego this month to create my own Geography of Loss Art Quilt
- Instead of doing a safe, written interview with a Passionate Person for the website, I was asked to do a video interview via Skype (check it out below!)
- I joined a movement/drawing class to connect with the Rhythm of Being
- I am following through with my dream to move to California
- I am pursuing opportunities to share my Mac training videos with a much larger audience
- I am leading a women’s retreat at a new facility in the desert in April
And this is only March!
In the midst of all of this external expansion, it’s just as important for me to also lean into the inner expansions I am creating – to breathe, and rest and be still in this new and wondrous and sometimes vulnerable space.
What’s your word for this year? How does it help you move toward your dreams?
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