A New Year Word

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Welcome to 2018!

I have been off in hibernation over the holidays – it is what I do every year.  I visit my family at the beginning of December, my hubby heads off to his family’s house, and I stay at the casa with Travis (the cat) and hibernate.

It is one of my favorite things to do each year.  There is a space that opens inside of me when I am left to my own devices, when I can make my own schedule, and when there is no one, but Travis of course, to listen to me regurgitate my thoughts audibly.

For the past 20 or so years, I have practiced my end of the year ritual.  It is not even about the new year itself but rather the energy that permeates everything and everyone towards the end of the year that resonates with me.  Everyone seems to be in the same mindset; there is more optimism everywhere I look, and I ride the tide and wrap myself in the energy that feels like wrapping up and beginning anew.

There is much reflecting on the previous year ranging from; things I feel I have learned, whom I have perceived myself to be, and situations I would like to approach differently if given the same experience.  I look at parts of my persona I have held onto and review if there are particulars I would want to let go of that have not served me in any joyful way.

I also look at the space I live in and walk through it experiencing any areas where I cringe with a “should” in the back of my mind.  The drawer that I can barely open because it is crammed with stuff I did not know where else to put, so it goes in the “drawer.”  The closet, where a hint of guilt comes in as I skip that one shirt I have never worn but I spent money on it so it has become the “I should keep it shirt.”  The medicine cabinet full of things no longer being used, the fireplace mantle that has somehow become discombobulated and doesn’t represent the feeling of the people who live here.  All of those places that make me slightly turn away from my feelings because it is so uncomfortable to feel that “should” feeling when I did not choose to do anything about it at the time.  I make a list of all of the “shoulds” in my living space and then I discard, clean and organize everything that made it onto my list.  You would think this would take a long time, but it does not.  To clean out one medicine cabinet, two closets, three drawers, one armoire, all the kitchen drawers and upper cabinets, the laundry area, the fireplace mantle, bathroom closet, bedroom built-in, spice cabinet and that “drawer” it took me two days.  Granted, I was up by 7 am and organizing by 8 am, but I would usually wrap things up around 6 pm.  They key I have learned over the years is tossing (i.e., donation piles, trash, etc…).  When you toss things, you have more space to organize the things you do keep rather than have everything become disorganized again.

I thrive in a clean and organized space.  I flourish in a thoughtful space with items hung on walls and nooks that mean something to our family.  I know this about my nature, and it is freeing to embrace it and take the steps, once a year, to support that part of myself.

I am not big into resolutions.  I am sure they work for some people, but for me, they have an undercurrent of “changing” and “shaming” into something that feels more acceptable to the rest of the world.  It is challenging for me not make resolutions without a culture influence creeping into my thought process and disowning parts of myself for others I perceive to be “better.”  One thing I do around this time is I pick a word – one word that means something I want to expand in my life.  Like last year, I chose the word balance.  Over the years, I have shared with my friends my end of the year ritual, and so many of them have joined in, and they also pick a word for themselves.  Towards the end of the year, I start getting text messages and phone calls as we all share our individual choice of word for the upcoming year.  Sharing in this way, out loud, brings the word to life and opens up an opportunity to support one another in expanding the one chosen word into our lives.

HOWEVER, this year I am not picking my word until January 16th.  I am not big into astrology, but it did seem counterintuitive to solidify a new word for the new year at the time of a full moon.  It is the knowingness that everything everywhere has a sense of energy and I usually err on going with the flow rather than opposing what I sense.  Since the new moon is right around the corner, I am going to wait before firmly choosing the word of 2018.

I have found throughout the years when I do pick a focus word, clarity follows.  When I reflect as to why this happens, I think it is almost like an internal litmus test.  I do not consciously think – is this balance?  However, somehow inside things that weren’t “balanced” last year did not get me excited. Therefore they did not gain much of my attention.

Another thing the one word supports is it is an underlying value that carries into all the different areas of my life; spiritual, relationships, career, physical well-being, creativity and playtime, and how I interact with the world.

When my mind becomes overwhelmed or confused this is a word I can fall back on, like a soft fluffy cloud, it is there to support my physical, emotional, physiological, and psychological stability because I know I did not pick it by happenstance.  I committed time and space to reflect, dream, celebrate, experience, and consciously choose my word.  I know with confidence there was heartfelt intention within my choice and that in and of itself brings me a sense of gentle support, anchoring my intentions without being swept away by habits and patterns that I know don’t serve the moment unfolding in front of me.  I have found the new year new word offers subtleties of expansion, extension, and stability.  It feels like moving forward yet standing still without needing to grasp or cling because it was chosen from a place of intended growth and not a place of habituated fear.  It is vast as it steps beyond the previous boundaries but offers a resting place, a pause if you will, when a soft spot to nestle is needed.  The new year word feels like completion but a new beginning all at the same time.

Since I am riding the cosmic tide and delaying the new year word until January 16th, I invite you to join in if you so choose.  Set aside some time, maybe 20 minutes and start trying a couple on for size by writing them down.  How does it feel to write the word on a piece of paper?  Type it on your computer screen, how does it feel when you see it?  Then consciously choose a word that elevates your insides while at the same time brings depth and safety to your heart.

Wishing you freedom and spaciousness as you intend for 2018!

PS – if you decide to do one word for your new year – I ran into MyIntent project last week where you can create a piece of jewelry and wear your word.  From their website, “MyIntent Project is a catalyst for meaningful conversations and positive action.  We believe there is purpose inside each of us and we want our efforts to encourage people to share more truth and inspiration with each other.  We are not a jewelry company – we are a service project.”  I am not related to them in any way nor have I purchased anything… yet.  But, I do love the idea.