My word of the year has chosen me, and it’s a doozy – the kind of word that had me saying “really?!” “Oh shit!” and “here we go again!” You see, when a word of the year chooses me, it’s usually to push me in a direction of growth (ahem, big crazy challenges). Because really, for me, change is challenging, and also wonderful and necessary. So I have a love/hate relationship with my word of the year, and I’m always grateful (eventually).
2015:This was the first time I chose a Word of the Year, and I thought it was relatively innocuous, but good. It sounded virtuous – I want to listen more to others. Once I committed to it, however, the Divine took hold and said “now you have to listen to ME, and your BODY, and your own INNER GUIDANCE.” Well crap, that’s a whole lot harder than what I had in mind. This word took me on a journey, helped me to dive into tarot and oracle cards more fully, pushed me to develop my meditation practice (and other woo-woo things) – all in the service of learning to listen deeply. As someone who had fought all things woo-woo for many years (12 years in academic/research psychology), this word turned out to be WAY more challenging than I anticipated. Of course this challenging word has led me down a path that has been the truest and most authentic of my life so far. So there’s that.
2016:Ah, a simple one, right? Pause to stop and appreciate beauty all around you. Pause before committing yourself to too many things to avoid burnout. Pause so you can respond thoughtfully instead of (over)reacting – a parenting practice I aspire to. Mmm, so nice and zen, so mindful! As usual simple is not necessarily easy. Pause turned out to be one huge freaking pause in so many unexpected ways – menopause, pause the business completely for health reasons – actually pause just about everything for health reasons. 2016 was the year that my body finally told me – well you really didn’t learn the lesson of listening to me in 2015, you keep pushing me beyond what’s good for me, so I’m gonna make you listen to me now. (See how that sneaky word “listen” from 2015 just came along for 2016 too?)
Here’s where I’m supposed to tell you about all of the gifts of this pause year: how I developed a deeper and more intimate relationship with my own body (true), how pause helped me with my boundaries and my energy level (also true). But the coolest thing about my pause year was that I got off of my computer and did art. I feel my artist self blossoming and emerging in ways I never expected.
Lots more intuitive painting (even began Teacher Training with Chris Zydel!):
Even started art journaling!
Now it’s 2017 and my word of the year is: surrender. Yikes! For me this is a big deal because I really like the feeling of being in control (no, really, I LOVE it). Surrender feels like the opposite of control which is why I resisted it when it popped into my head on New Year’s Day. I have no illusions, like I did for 2015 and 2016, that this word will be easy or fun or enjoyable. Here’s the interesting thing though – it could be easy, fun and enjoyable if I get out of my own way. What might it be like to surrender to what truly is happening instead of trying to bend things to my own will (or to some version of how I think things “should” be?) What would it be like to float along down the river with the current instead of always trying to swim upstream? I guess that 2017 is the year I will be trying that out. Wish me luck!
What’s your word of the year and how do you feel about it? I’d love to know!