My "Word of the Year"
A few years ago I read about this idea of selecting an aspirational word that
represents something you’d like to embody more fully in the coming year. The idea
engaged me. Not a word that I would use to judge myself. Not a word that was
too unattainable, or too vague. Not a quality that I wasn’t already familiar with. But
something more like a seed that already existed in me that I wanted to tend, to
become aware of, to remove obstacles so that that quality might grow into its own
fullness. That first year I decided on the word “kindness”. I did already see myself
as a kind person, but I wanted to be maybe 10% kinder. So I just decided to take
that as my “word of the year.”
I tried just to have the word in the forefront of my mind. I didn’t actively seek to
become kinder. I just had a sort of radar around the word. I noticed when I was
not kind. I did not berate myself for that. But, I did take note. I didn’t keep score, or
keep a journal about it, or tell people about this journey. It was not like a self-improvement project. I just committed to NOTICING kindness in my life. Both
kindness that I received and that I offered to others.
Simply to note it, had its own rewards. I think I became a bit kinder merely because it
was on the front burner of my life. I discovered that it was a more difficult challenge than I might have thought. I read some articles about kindness. I thought about people I know who are kind. It was an adventure that felt well worth taking. I commend it for your consideration.
Think about some quality that you already have but might like to embody more
fully. Maybe you’d like to be; braver, more honest, open-minded, confident, kind,
trusting. Or maybe you’d like to say “yes” more often, or maybe “No”. Maybe you
seek more patience or adventure, self-acceptance or light-heartedness. Maybe you’d like more connection, deeper friendships, more solitude. Maybe you’d like to read more or ,
or, or??? As the calendar turns, it seems like a good time to also consider what kinds of turning we might like in our own lives. I see this “Word of the Year” as more of a magnet that on its own draws you toward it rather than something that you resolutely march toward.
Let me know if you try it and what you find. May 2019 unfold with opportunities for
you to become more of who you want to be.