Opening the New Year



Cracked open.

My word for the year came to me in yoga practice, rolling out of shavasana into birth pose before coming back into the room.

The practice, as I wrote in my last post, also showed me what I needed to let go of, but I love that it gave me my word.


The quick overview of my word thing is that I don’t attempt resolutions, but instead choose a word to work on, to have work on me, as each year begins, opens. This is only my 3rd year doing it, and I have found it very profound. It hasn’t always been what I expected, and that’s what I mean by allowing the word to work on me. I know I want to be open minded, open hearted, open to the possibilities in the next year, but who knows what is in store for me? I’m open to it all. I will aim to be open to it all. I will live openly, my life an open book.

“Vulnerability is the only authentic state. Being vulnerable means being open, for wounding, but also for pleasure. Being open to the wounds of life means also being open to the bounty and beauty. Don’t mask or deny your vulnerability: it is your greatest asset. Be vulnerable: quake and shake in your boots with it. the new goodness that is coming to you, in the form of people, situations, and things can only come to you when you are vulnerable, i.e. open.”
― Stephen RussellBarefoot Doctor’s Guide to the Tao: A Spiritual Handbook for the Urban Warrior

I love this quote because being  truly open is so vulnerable. There are places in my life where I am unwilling , afraid to be that vulnerable, and those places are not serving me. I’d like to open to being wholly vulnerable, and thus wholly myself.  I have learned that my default position is to cut myself off from pain, but in doing that I lessened or even removed the joy, or possibility of it, from my life. It’s why I drank. Not drinking opens those pathways to pain, but also joy, cracks me open enough to let some light in.

I want more light. I want more cracks. I want more OPEN.

As human beings, not only do we seek resolution, but we also feel that we deserve resolution. However, not only do we not deserve resolution, we suffer from resolution. We don’t deserve resolution; we deserve something better than that. We deserve our birthright, which is the middle way, an open state of mind that can relax with paradox and ambiguity.”
― Pema ChödrönWhen Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

I want that middle way…that relaxed state that allows for grief and joy, love and hatred, anger and forgiveness. I want to be open enough to be here, right now, in this moment, rather than off trying to figure things out. Because I can’t figure things out. In this chaotic, this ambiguous, this wild and juicy world all I can really do is be along for the ride.

I want to embrace that being open to all of life’s permutations and to accept and revel in them, good and bad. No more hiding, I want to live openly.

My friend Sassy, upon learning my word said this….


“My friend Michele is another brave soul who will demonstrate it in 2013 with her word:  Open.  That’s juicy.  Deep.  Bold.  White-knuckled, breathless, unapologetic conduit to her truest essence too.  We aren’t friends because she likes my writing (and vice versa) but because we are kindred ministers.  How do you find people like that?  Being true.  How do you be true?  Be brave.  How do you find the courage?  Love what’s in there.  Your true essence.  Tap it and it will be tremendous.”


Her word is two words…”true essence”.  And I love how she gets there through BRAVE, which was the word I was sure was going to be my  word for this year. But my true essence gave me the word OPEN, I believe that.

I love my yearly practice of choosing a word. I shared it on another site and it was immediately jumped on, and now there are a group of people with wonderful words, ready to enter 2013, equipped with the openess to allow their words, personal to them, work on them this year. I am excited for what this year will bring, I am open and vulnerable to it all

My open heart bows to the open heart in you.




Add yours →

  1. Love this immensely!

  2. In this chaotic, this ambiguous, this wild and juicy world all I can really do is be along for the ride.

    Wow. Just, wow. I’m going to read this post several times – you really busted open wide open. Absolutely beautiful writing, M.

    And you inspired me to choose a word, probably a no brainier – HEALTHY.

  3. Beautiful post!!! I used to do something like this, like create a way or a word or some sort of theme for the year to live by. Should get back to doing that… LOVE this post. Thank you…

  4. onecraftymother January 2, 2013 — 1:23 am

    Oh, I love this post, love your word (love your profile pic!!). OPEN. Yes. It says so much, that one word. I picked “Listen”, because when I’m talking or thinking all up in my head I miss so much.

    I love that Pema Chodron quote, too. I’ve read that book a badzillion times.


  5. And in a desperate moment, you can chant, “Open, open, open.” Like that commercial.

  6. I
    Oh Mished, this is such a beautiful, awesome post. I love, love, love the whole word for the year idea. I have been saying Lisa H’s word all week and then I came up with mine because I need to finally put some thoughts I’ve been carrying around for way too long into action. But your word and the quotes were really wonderful and inspiring. Thank you do much for sharing this! Xoxox

    • yeah, the word has to be yours, I was trying on a few, and even when I first said it I didn’t put the word i thought i had settled on in the doc, because…because…and then there was the word. we know it when we feel it. And i just got back from a meeting all about being open and having an open mind. HMMMMMMMM…..

  7. Love, love, love this!

  8. Wow, you are a pretty amazing writer. Pretty. And amazing. I’m glad you shared this. I love that we are becoming real friends. At least in my mind.

  9. absolutely amazing. this is what i love most about recovery, becoming open to the possibility of all that life has to offer. it’s the scariest most enlightening ride i’ve ever been on. loving every moment. here’s to a year of good, bad and ugly.

    • Opening to the possibility to “just be”…
      (loved that poem)…
      falling back, arms outspread,open to it all where once we were so closed…
      glad to be trudgung this road with you!

  10. Oooooo, oooooo. I LOVE this. Now I just have to let my word pick me. 🙂

    And the part about drinking being a way to hide, to cut yourself off? That was me, too. If I was drinking/drunk then I didn’t have to connect with anyone, especially myself.

    I’m so glad to have found your blog. introduced me.

    p.s. I want Anne Lamott to be my neighbor too. 🙂

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