For the past couple of years, I have chosen a word for the year. Where a lot of people make resolutions and often drop them before the end of January, a word brings about a different kind of awareness.
I learned of the idea from Christine Kane’s blog. The idea is to bring more awareness into your life about how you are living and how you want to grow. Rather than say "I will exercise more" and then beat yourself up for not doing that, you choose a word that embodies whatever it is you want more of in the coming year. It could be anything: ease, creativity, self-love, laughter, or clarity, for example. Then throughout the year you hold onto your word and, hopefully, realize that over time you are seeing a shift in your life.
In 2009, I chose the word "focus" to help myself break some nervous habits and to teach myself to devote my attention to the task at hand and not get distracted.
As that year came to a close, I started mulling over new words for 2010 and settled on "release" after being frustrated with an overflowing dresser drawer. What started off with me gathering things around the house for donation turned into me dropping things (quite literally releasing objects repeatedly) and, while still in January, I lost both my dog and my grandpa.
At that point in time I decided I wasn't ready for "release." It was too much too fast and I began to think about changing words.
I decided instead to go with "shine." This stemmed from a song my grandma and I used to sing when I was little: "This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine." It felt like it was time to let myself be me without apology, without trying to fulfill anyone else's expectations- just to truly shine in myself.
To a certain extent I think I've done that. I spent this year getting to know myself better and letting my true self come out for others to see. It has been an important step in my personal growth.
Now I'm looking forward to 2011 and what I want for the coming year. I have a new word for the new year which I will share with you tomorrow.
In the meantime, did you choose a word this year? If so, what came out of it? You can read what happened for others at Christine's blog.