For the past several years I’ve chosen a word in the month of January to serve as a theme, a reminder of sorts, for the year ahead. Last year’s word was RESILIENCE and I think it came to me because I was nearing the completion of my memoir and that’s the theme that had surfaced as I dug deeper into my story in order to write that last sentence. It was hard to finish my manuscript. And even though I had the word resilience plastered all over my work space and used it to describe my memoir’s theme when asked, I sometimes had a difficult time finding any resilience. I started feeling even less resilient as I struggled to take on the task of writing the book proposal. But I dug a little deeper and finished that too. THEN, I had to take on the task of submitting to agents. Yikes! Again, I had to dig yet again into the depths of myself where grit, determination, will–resilience–rest. All this attention around my word for the year got me to thinking more about what it meant. Not what the dictionary says, but what it feels like in my heart.
I asked myself, “what does this word mean to me?” Resilience? As I dug for meaning, I came to understand the word as spirit.
I’ve come to understand that it’s when I abandon my spirit, my God-self, that I feel less equipped, less resilient, to take on life’s challenges, struggles and suffering. But, like magic, as soon as I sit down and get quiet and remember to trust in the grace that comes to me when I stop, I am able to focus and finish and even flourish.
In December, I sat still and asked my Higher Guidance what word would best serve me in 2017. The word came in easily and effortlessly. My word for this year is NURTURE. I’ve been sitting with this word for some weeks now. At first you might think, “Oh, so this word — nurture — means more trips to the spa, maybe a retreat or two and just kick back and take it easy.” Well, maybe. But, really it’s deeper than that. Much deeper. And, well, kicking back is not necessarily conducive to finding an agent and publishing my memoir: my number one intention this year.
I decided to examine the word nurture and outlined what it means for me, at least right now. I quickly listed ten things. Upon reviewing my list, I laughed out loud. Without realizing while in the action of writing my list, I had written one thing twice: Set (and hold) boundaries.
At first, you might not think about boundaries as nurturing; but, in fact, without creating space for yourself it’s nearly impossible to go to the spa, on a hike, have lunch with a friend, or simply curl up with a cup of tea and good book–all things that nurture and feed the soul.
I love spending time with the people I love and admire and look up to. I aim to carve out time this year to be with these good people while at the same time doing my work in writing and teaching and being. I’ll do all this because I will nurture and protect my boundaries.
I have lots of good things besides setting boundaries on my NURTURE list for the year. And I aim to experience them. But, obviously, the first task is to make space for them. How about you?
I wonder what word might serve you this year? I wonder if you got still for a minute or two, what word might bubble up? And I wonder what would happen if you made an outline of what that word means for you, just you?
Lastly, 2017=10. Ten is a good number, a good omen. It’s gonna be a good year. Believe it!
Much love and peace to you. And Happy New Year!