Once again, it’s (almost!) that time of year.
I was telling someone about the idea of Word Of The Year and thought I might jump on here and issue a reminder to those of you who join me and to tell of the genesis for those of you who may not know about this.
In late 2010 I read a blog by someone (and it kills me that I have no recollection of who it was…of course, I was still drinking then, so it’s not a huge surprise!) who talked about how useless resolutions were for her and how she had, for years, chosen a single word as her, what? inspiration, focus, meditation? for the year. I really don’t remember much except “resolutions are useless” and “a word”. I certainly knew resolutions were useless by then, but the idea of a word for the year stuck. It intrigued me and I thought I’d maybe give it a spin.
Well, I thought and thought about my word. I thought a surprising amount about it because, as I stated above, I was still drinking. However, I read about the word after my horrendous Thanksgiving Day bottom and thus I had already set in motion whatever was set in motion that day.
I finally decided on the word YES! It was a big word, a HUGE word, but I felt so sad and desperate and I needed a big word, a big challenge, a big change.
So I chose YES and it chose me. I decided to say yes to everything, no matter how afraid I was, and I was scared of everything. By that point I barely left the house, so this was a big deal. In January I was asked about training to be a leader for the grief groups and I said YES. I just did it. And the year continued like that. I got sober, found work I loved to do and just changed so much.
The second year I chose ENOUGH. I had this notion that it was about being enough, good enough, smart enough, whatever enough. The interesting thing about the word of the year though is that, while we may have an idea in our heads about what the words mean, often times the words work us differently. The word enough came to be more about ENOUGH! I’ve had it vs. I am enough. It was a good lesson for me in allowing the word to work me, and it does. Choosing a word is a lot about trusting the process and allowing. It’s not for the faint-of-heart.
Year 3 I chose OPEN and, wow. It was an amazing year in terms of being open to all sorts of new thought. I went to yoga for the first time, and although it wasn’t until the end of the year I actually established a practice, the genesis was in the word. I also sold my house, my son moved out in his own,I moved to an apartment and changed so much about my life. I found the beginnings of spirituality, something I had been so closed off to for so long. I started a daily gratitude practice and, um, gratitude? I had to be very open to that! OPEN was great word for me.
Last year I chose the word FREE. When I sat down to start this I thought I wouldn’t have much to say about that word, it seemed kind of a bust. But as I am writing I see that the start of that word working me was in September 2013 when I moved into my apartment, and that FREE was perfect word for my first full year out on my own again. Unfettered, not tied down to anyone or anything. No son, no dog….just me. Free to do all the yoga I wanted, to move into meditation, to say more yeses than ever because I was free to. I see now how that word was working me again, vs my working it.
Another part, for me, of the whole word of the year idea is that I don’t let go of the words.They stay with me, and I keep working with them. Just as I sat down tonite and suddenly saw how FREE I was….am this year, there are still a lot of OPEN and ENOUGH moments that pop in, as well as my alpha word YES, which is something I attempt to allow to inform everything I do.
I believe I have my word for 2015, but I am hesitant. Honestly, it’s a big word and it scares me. Writing this has helped though, because I reminded myself that I don’t manipulate the word, it works me, and while I have some ideas of how to practice the word, ultimately I don’t have full control, and the things I am scared of are fantasies in my head, if that makes sense.
Anyway, I’m still assessing and will announce it after the New Year. Bu I wanted to put out this reminder and explanation. Reminding those of you who have been joining me to get thinking, and inviting others to join in if the practice resonants with you.. I dedicate a post to my word, as do many of you. I am looking forward to reading them all in the New Year.
And BTW….don’t worry about January 1st. That’s just any other day, right? Whenever you come up with a word is good. No resolutions, no expectations.
Just hold on to your hats because it can be a wild and wonderful ride!