Choosing a word of the year has become trendy, which means there are those who love it, those who hate it, those who feel they should follow it though they’re not sure they want to, those who feel badly (or righteous) because they’re not doing it, and those who don’t know what to think about it all. This is not an exhaustive list, but you get the point.
I can’t remember how many years I’ve chosen a word to be my north star for 365 days. It must have started around the time I gave up on resolutions and decided on a kinder, simpler way to step into a new year. I’ve fallen deeply in love with the process. It works for me. Usually there’s one main word that shows up (this year it’s Home) but there are often more swimming around in my consciousness, like a constellation instead of a single star. I’ve learned to welcome whatever intuition brings.
The last two years I’ve also chosen a daily practice. In 2012 I went to Celebration School. 2013 became a Year of Noticing. Both involved a daily Facebook check in. I loved the feedback and community that came as a result. But since I tend to leave my practice to the end of the day (a habit I’m slooooowly changing) I needed one that didn’t involve sitting down at the computer right before bed. This year I’m turning inward and my practice (writing a poem a day) will be less public, though pieces of it will show up here, I’m sure.
This year we traveled on New Year’s Eve, coming home from a week with my family in Canada. What struck me the morning of January 1st was that it was just another day (with extra permission to sleep in) and I was the same me I’d been the night before. So many years I’ve gone to bed on December 31st hoping that by the end of the following year I’d be different – thinner, more successful, happier, more rested, better known. This year I’m feeling good about who I am and the path I’m on. There are still habits I’m working to shift (see above) and days that I wish things would happen faster but it’s a relief to not feel desperate about change.
For 2014, as I hold my words close and begin my new practice I am keeping my heart open to the me that lives this life, day in, day out, with the disorganized desk, the cluttered inbox, the soft belly, and the strange resistance to making space for pleasure and creativity and enough sleep. Because that me, she’s doing the best she can and she’s worthy of my kindness and my love.
How have you begun your year? I’d love to know.
P.S. If you do have a word and want it to keep it close in tangible way, here are three wonderful options for you: Kelly Barton’s beautiful hand painted wood slice and Liz Lamoreux’s custom soul mantra necklaces or pocket talismans.
P.P.S. I’m excited to be back after my creative sabbatical and I’m working on a few changes behind the scenes. Stay tuned as I unveil them over the next weeks – I hope you’ll like them too!