Word Of The Year



What HAVE I done??

I’m gonna keep this short and sweet because I don’t know how to write this one. I usually love my word of the year posts, get all poetic and shit, find a song….

Not this time.

I am going to say that my word absolutely chose me; when it happened it was clear and I’m not turning back from it. I’m also going to say that I spend a lot of time espousing the idea that , while we may think of our word as one thing, it can often surprise us.

And there’s the rub for me.

When I felt this word choose me  it was awesome and I was sure of exactly what it meant. I had also, over the past few months, for better or worse, set certain things into motion that demand my allegiance to my word. It is absolutely the right word for me. The word chose me on December 20, and I published a blog that day (full of hints, BTW!).

And then….well, my small mind has gone into overdrive, not helped at all by  all the music I was listening to, the poetry I was searching through and any wisdom about the word I was desperately looking for , because , really,  nothing defines it.

(I have a friend who chose MAGIC. Why the hell didn’t I? Or Beauty, or love or…)

My word exists in a kind of vacuum.

The idea of it is all about letting go, about allowing things to unfold as they will. About being honest and open, being prepared and taking action and then allowing the universe to catch me as I fall, or support me as I fly.


Here’s a message I wrote to some friends yesterday..” Just have to say that I am trying to write my annual WOTY blog and it’s impossible. Mainly because I am scared of my word. I am all ahead of myself with it. Fearful. The truth is that a lot of this trust stuff is already set in motion and I have to trust that I did ok. But my, god! my head is an alarming place to be about now. I want to take it back and choose a less pertinent word”.

Pertinent for sure.

I was talking to a few of my yoga buddies over breakfast the other morning after class and I was telling them about the idea of the WOTY. And then we started talking about tattoos and I had this idea of getting all my words tattooed somewhere (my arm? my back? my ass?).  Anyway, I was lining them up…Yes, Enough, Open, Free, Curious…..Trust.

And I saw the progression to Trust…the preparation that has happened over these last 5 years. And so now it’s logically time to take that huge leap of faith and trust not only in preparation, but to allow myself to trust others and especially to listen to and trust myself. I think that this last year of curiosity has laid the foundation for that, because I have taken little baby steps into that idea of trust, of following my own instincts, and they have (mostly) paid off. What if I….fill in the blank. And I have become completely exasperated with my procrastination about things (read fear, mistrust, right?) and know, deeply, that has to change because it affects so much.

The word is pertinent and inevitable.

I have no idea where I read this quote, but I like it… ” In the end, the secret to living your authentic life is trusting the universe”. It reminds me of a long ago yoga class where the teacher likened savasana to the idea of falling back into the arms of the universe that loves you and wants the best for you. I’ve held onto that. I’m not a theist, so that pretty much describes the way I feel about my Higher Power, that whatever we are taught to rely on in AA.  I can get behind a universe that supports me, but I have to do my part and trust that. right?


And I do that by being honest and authentic and open and accepting of whatever unfolds.


Why is that so scary? Why ISN’T it?

Well, it’s time to power through.  I don’t know where it will lead (GAH!) but I’m willing. Once again the idea of not trusting is worse than trusting, which is always where I seem to land…something no longer works for me and I change.

And, of course, I did find a couple of quotes.

Here is one from Chögyam Trungpa

“Trust, then, is being willing to take a chance, knowing that what goes up must come down, as they say. When a warrior has that kind of trust in the reflections of the phenomenal world, then he or she can trust his or her individual discovery of goodness. Communication produces results: either success or failure. That is how the fearless warrior relates with the universe, not by remaining alone and insecure, hiding away, but by constantly being exposed to the phenomenal world and constantly being willing to take that chance.”

Italics are mine, BTW.

And another from Neil Gaiman:

“Remember your name. Do not lose hope — what you seek will be found. Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have helped to help you in their turn. Trust dreams. Trust your heart and trust your story.”

And one more:
“Meet this transient world with neither grasping nor fear, trust the unfolding of life, and you will attain true serenity.”
~ Bhagavad Gita

Trust dreams, trust my story,trust preparation, trust my heart, trust others, be honest, know my true self, that deep inner knowing that I am working so hard to connect to.

Trust that the universe loves me and wants the best for me, that it is conspiring to help, not hurt me. Trust enough to go out and engage in the world, to risk things, to be my honest self

Tall order. No idea how this one will play out. It feels big.

No  It feels HUGE.  And scary. And wild. Not since that first word, that YES have I felt challenged by a word. It’s time, I think.

Here’s perhaps my favorite poem, ever, by Mary Oliver:

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
‘Mend my life!’
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognised as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.


I think that YES saved my life… actually I know it did.

And TRUST?  Now it’s time to trust in that life, that me, that was saved.

(I’m still considering the tattoo….)











Add yours →

  1. Really like this one, Michele. Feels like an especially sweet word to carry around all year. I’m so glad you introduced so many of us to this practice. It helped me so much in the last year especially. Happy new year and new words!

  2. Perfect, so perfect.
    Thank you for introducing the WOTY to me in the first place–I’ve come to love the process and the preparation leading up to the reveal.
    Let me in on a little secret that you may not know about me. Trust is something I have abundant amounts of. Maybe too much sometimes. I think it’s my simple(ton) nature and acceptance of people, situations, and events at face value. Oh man…it’s burned me more than a few times…but, in the long run, it’s served me well and I have some very rich and rewarding friendships because of it. Where I do need to be better are the areas you’ve outlined and letting the Universe figure it out and me trusting the signs.
    Thank YOU for trusting me in the beginning…we have a pretty awesome friendship to show for it, right?
    Happy 2016, Michele!

    PS: Loved the quotes, the yoga references, Mary Oliver…I can’t wait to see your tattoo!

    • see, that’s what i am talking about here…
      the way these words are different for everyone!
      and your attitude is awesome, and one i’d love to cultivate…maybe get burned but at least go for it, right?
      It’s interesting, when you said that the fact is that I have trusted many in the online world, and it’s been beautiful. I’ve met a few of you guys (not you, YET) but I have been pretty trusting. And my life is full of people who, well, i’d trust my life to, friends i have had for years.
      It’s really more about trusting myself though, ultimately .
      And I really need work there…and this is the year, apparently! LOL

      we have a VERY awesome friendship Michelle….. so grateful for you!
      What’s your word? where’s your post?

  3. Thank you for the inspiration! p.s. Some of my favorite quoetey people.*

    • thanks…

      i always mean to tell you how much i adore “where the wild things are”…
      some of my favorite memories of my son are when he was little and we would have spontaneous wild rumpuses..sometimes for fun, sometimes to shake out some problem.

      anyway, glad you like it…pick a word!

  4. It seems a perfect choice for you.

  5. I’m still waiting for my word to hit me!
    I need a bunch of words!

    • you can have as many as you’d like, plenty to go around! Sometimes i just write something and see what the themes are and then hone down from there…and until trust i was trying on several different words.
      it doesn’t have to feel perfect…sometimes you see the perfection in hindsight, just commit to something and see what happens!

  6. I love that you introduced me to doing this, but I got all angsty about choosing until, of course, it just happened. 🙂

    Happy New Year dear friend. xo

  7. Hey Mishedup, I’m so glad I finally found your blog. I’ve seen you around the blogosphere and I’ve tapped on your link a couple of times but always ended up on a site that had been shut down. Today was my lucky day!
    Trust is a worthy word for sure. I am a very trusting person toward everybody but myself. I don’t trust that I’m doing my best, that my best is good enough, that I am worthy yet of what the universe wants to gift me.
    Can I borrow your word for a little while? I promise I’ll give it back, Trust me.
    Happy and Wondrous New Year!

    • Borrow?
      Share i with me! I have another friend who has the same word too…a lot of us need it. So share and please, every once in a while, let’s compare notes!
      I feel it’s going to be quite a good year!

  8. Love it. Trust is a long way away for me. I’m still learning to get out of the recliner 🙂 I can see how it can be a scary word to take on. Lori

  9. Ahhhhhhh! Michelle, how interesting. I chose trust as well. Or rather, it chose me, while I was reading Anne’s post about Faith. I agree, it is really scary! I love everything you wrote about it, and will come back to it and read it again – more than once I’m sure. I’m excited to see how each of us encounter, embrace and move through challenges related to this this year. Many happy wishes and so much love to you. ❤

  10. I adore the terror in your post. shows we are on the right track 😉 also that Mary Oliver poem pretty much saved my life a while back, so always good to see it!

    can’t remember where I came across it now – but have you heard the idea that we are ALL born with a silver spoon in our mouths? because we all get our own individual Trust Fund from Life, which pays out in exact proportion to the extent that we

    a) show up
    b) TRUST
    c) repeat and repeat and repeat ad infinitum, whatever the consequences.

    terrifying, no? certainly for me….wishing you well for a fabulous 2016, and can’t wait to see how it works in you this year! xxx

    • I like that idea actually…but who is going to TELL us about it? I’m glad you told me about it now…i’s definitely tim for me to start tapping into it!
      I think it’s gonna be a great year!

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