So we are a few weeks into 2016. How are all those New Year’s resolutions, intentions, goals, plans, (fill in your preferred word) going for you?
If I’m being honest, I’m a bit of a New Year’s Resolution cynic. It’s true. Maybe it’s all those years my super-committed plan has been to loose weight. For good. Maybe it is because I always felt like I had to somehow overhaul who I was to be the person I was “supposed” to be. New Year/New You and all that jazz.
I don’t really buy into any of that now. Losing weight is the least important thing in my life. And I don’t believe anymore that I am so awful that I need to transform myself into some totally different individual. All good things in my book :o)
This year, though, I did do a little new year’s something. I kind of sat on it to see if I liked it. And it turns out I like it. I actually love it! It’s simple. It’s clear. And, well, I’m getting ahead of myself.
I got an email from the sparkly Genavieve Shingle Jaffe (sparkly lawyer extraordinaire), who I adore!! She wrote about how she has been picking a “Word of the Year” for the past few years. The idea being that the chosen word represents what she wants to explore, embody, and experience for the upcoming year.
I fell in LOVE with this so totally! I mean, I LOVE WORDS!! Words are where it’s at. I love reading (words). I love writing (again, words). And I love to gab (umm… more words). Words have power. And so the idea of finding a single word to use as my compass for the year felt oh-so-fab!
Think about it? One word. Easy to remember, right? It’s not a 14 line mantra or a 20 word affirmation that you have to get just right or a list of goals that you can barely remember after a few days. One word. One word to use as a guiding force, as a beacon of light when the darkness hits. One word with which to pave the path of your life.
All right, so I wax a little poetical– I just really dug the idea!! So I went on a quest to find my word. I started thinking about how I wanted to feel. And I started thinking about what I wanted more of in my life. I wanted to find the perfect word (no pressure there).
I thesaurus-ed the heck out of words. Did I want to choose expansion or liberation or connection or energized or lively or fun? Dedicated, determined, uninhibited? Confident? Then I hit on bold. Ooohh baby, BOLD. Boldly this! Boldly that! The word to change my life…
But it didn’t feel as right as I wanted it to. It should have felt right, shouldn’t it? I mean, who doesn’t want to be bold? I wanted to be an unafraid, confident badass. But it felt like a lot of work. And I’ve felt a little tired lately. It felt like I was going to have to push and force and bully my way through my year. But that’s what I have a history of doing. And that didn’t feel all that great.
So I went back to the initial question guiding this whole thingy and re-focused on how I wanted to feel. And mostly, I just wanted to feel happier and more peaceful and more comfortable in my life. And then the word came to me. In a quiet moment, when I wasn’t boldly trying to find my word. It just came to me– quietly. Surrender.
The thing that gets in my way– that get’s in the way of my happiness and peace and comfort– is my tendency to try to control things, to try and make things be the way I feel like they should be. To give myself a little bit of credit, I actually have been working on this whole “letting go” thing for years. But I’ve struggled with it. I’m learning (sometimes the hard way, as I’m wont to do) that maybe TRYING TO LET GO OF THINGS I DON’T ACTUALLY HAVE ANY CONTROL OVER TO BEGIN WITH might not be all that logical an approach to life. It clearly hasn’t been over-the-rainbow successful up to this point.
The more I live and learn, the more I realize that most things are not mine to manipulate, to decide, to determine. Most things are out of my control. And trying to control things I didn’t have control over just made me miserable.
Enter the Buddhist concept of suffering: we suffer because we are attached– attached to an outcome, an outcome we would like to be able to control. Latched onto getting that promotion. Attached to having our kid make varsity. Hooked on our body having to look that exact way. Grasped (desperately) to things being the way we think they “should” be– like we have any clue how it should be…
When it comes down to it, surrender is the thing that I have resisted and that has been missing in my life. And that word– surrender– feels good down in my soul. It feels quiet and calm and hopeful and peaceful and joyful. And, when it comes down to it, THAT is what I want. I want THOSE feelings. I want the release of surrender.
So now for you? What’s your word? What energy do you want to guide your life, light your path, to bring you home to yourself this year? It’s all about you. You choose what you need. You choose your word and you live it to the fullest. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of your word. Surender your fear and boldly go where you’ve never gone before. What calls to you? What’s your word…?
P.S. If you’re feeling the vibe, share your word with me by commenting below or responding to this email!! I’d love to know what’s powering your year :o)