Every year I choose a single word as a compass, a guide, a solid 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 today?”
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 realize 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 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.
One year my word was INTEGRAYTION, intentionally spelled with the word gray in it because I wanted to let go of my extreme black and white thinking and live more in the grays. And 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.
The last two years my word has been 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.
Of course I had many opportunities to do this last year: with my back and my grief and finally writing and publishing Heart Sparks. And, scary as each activity has been, when I come back to my word, I see how saying YES completely supports my desire for expansion every time.
This year is all about adventure and newness and courage and connections, but I hadn’t been able to narrow my intention down to a single word. And then Reverend Tinker Donnelly of Heartworks, where I now attend most Sunday Spiritual Gatherings, offered the idea of life being an expedition, a pilgrimage, a PASSAGE.
She created a wonderful acronym to reminds us what we need on any passage:
P= Preparedness: Equipping ourselves with appropriate “gear and tools” for the journey. Consistent and regular spiritual practices.
A= Adaptability: Accommodating the road and/or changing direction when conditions prompt doing so. Willingness to move beyond the parameters of personal agendas and expectations.
S= Spontaneity: Capitalizing on what is present and exercising resourcefulness. Confidence and creativity applied to the needs of the moment.
S= Single-mindedness: Trusting the direction of our inner compass. Setting course according to the ‘true north’ of our innate sense of purpose and values.
A= Availability: Maintaining receptivity and openness to all that is on our path. Authentically revealing and discovering Spiritual Truth, without defense or pretense.
G= Gratitude: Loving the journey. Appreciating the experience of each precious increment of unfolding Good and consciously recognizing the gifts of every experience.
E = Enthusiasm: Demonstrating energized creativity. En Theos – Living an inspired existence!
I love how each of these words can support me as I venture into this new year, ready to experience things I’ve never felt or done before, ready for this unfolding PASSAGE.
What’s your word for this year?
You may come up with several. Take some time to discern the one that will best help you do and be this thing you are wanting.
How can using this word help you live a life you love?
Consider choosing a word that makes you uncomfortable, that will most clearly align you with who and what you are wanting to become.
I’d love for you to share your word with us by clicking on the Comments below. By naming it and claiming it, you really OWN it!
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