Happy First Day of 2012.
It’s a new set of months, 12 of them coming at us all shiny and new, unbent, unbroken; hopeful like a brand new pair of jeans.
It’s also the day we dread. It’s New Year’s Resolution Day.
I'm suggesting you try something different.
For the last 4 years I have followed the wise guidance of Christine Kane, counselor and visionary to millions. Rather than start the year with a resolution, which feels all burdensome, more of a millstone than a touchstone and generally doomed to failure, Christine offers a kinder approach: the Word for the Year.
Having a Word for the Year is more like having a guide than a goal. It’s a word you can whisper softly to yourself multiple times a day, or rattle yourself with when necessary to get on track. There is no use-by date, no shelf life, no feelings of failure.
The first year I replaced my resolutions with a simple word, I chose “engage”. It was a beautiful word to accompany my journey through a year of immense growth and change as I developed my art practice. Engage worked so well I used it a second year as well. Using the word engage was infinitely more powerful for me than any resolution charging me to Do Better, Try Harder, Achieve More. Engaging was measureable immediately, kinder to myself and others, and useful in nearly every situation.
Engage, as in connect, involve, mesh.
Last year I got flashy and chose moxie. Originally a name for a soft drink years ago, it became synonymous with spunk and courage. I had spent weeks looking for a good word, sounding them out and imagining their usefulness. Moxie sounded dashing and fun. The image in my mind was of a certain artist in 6-inch heels and jaunty beret, striding confidently through each doorway swung open just for me.
If you’ve ever worn 6-inch heels, you can see right away what a bad fit that was. My rakish beret was more Princess Beatrice than courageous, although now that I think of it, wearing that hat took guts.
In other words, moxie was fun to think about, but just not … real. At least not for me. Moxie will be relegated to list of Not So Good Ideas along with the “new” recipe for Coca-Cola and my stylish Crocs.
There's just no excuse for this.
This year’s word is a better fit. Interestingly, it seems to have found me. In a weird sort of way I have become aware of the word “awareness”. I accept that it’s been following me around for quite some time and expects to be invited in to stay. Rather than look for a flashier, sassier more interesting word, I’m going to accept the kindness and guidance of the universe and go into the year 2012 holding hands with awareness.
I’m framing awareness as a call to enlightenment, appreciation and understanding, all of which I could use a little more of. It’s also pretty open ended and useful in many contexts. I can hear it being used by our local deputy (Ma’am, are you aware of the speed limit?) or by Handsome Husband (Hon, are you aware of that thing on your forehead?). I’m really hoping to hear it whispered to my deepest self, shedding light on my motives, my attitudes and my preconceptions. It’ll be interesting to see how this concept infiltrates my actions and supports/challenges/awakens or otherwise lifts me to a higher level of being in the world over the next 52 weeks.
Think about it. What word will guide you through the coming year?