So, we have thought about intentions, and we have begun to consider the words that identify how we want to feel. Those (five) words are the place from whence our intentions arise. Because every day we can choose to do things that make us feel that way.
But there’s more:
You may have bumped into the idea of having a Word of the Year. You can find out more about this habit here.
A Word of the Year is a kind of overall intention. It gives you a direction, a way of formulating how you want to be in the world. It also has an uncanny habit of bringing into your life exactly what it says.
My word for 2013 was
And oh boy, was it?!
This year has fundamentally changed how I feel about myself. I have undergone a revolution in my core beliefs and my way of approaching the world. I have turned my attitudes about my place in the world and, most particularly, in the world of work, on their heads. In some ways, I have also revolved (the other meaning of revolutionary), coming back full circle to revisit issues that I thought I had dealt with before.
I have revolutionised the way I write and the way I feel about my writing. I have set up this website and begun to dream new dreams about the kind of things I want to create. It is exhilarating.
Let me tell you, revolution doesn’t have to be a violent upheaval that ends with tyranny and blood.
I have to confess that when the word first came to me, in the form of just revolution, (while I was still in the malaise of a serious bout of influenza which brought me close to being hospitalised), I was a bit scared. I knew it was the word I needed, but it sounded frightening, as if I could be inviting an earthquake into my life. Was I really ready for that much change? After all, with limited energy, poor health and a susceptibility to anxiety and stress, it didn’t really sound a good idea to invite those kinds of energies into my world. So I fiddled with it until it felt more friendly, more manageable. And more appropriate to what I could cope with. It became:
I AM REVOLUTIONARY
And this year, I have been.
So the question then becomes, what do I want to be next?
I don’t have to stop being revolutionary, of course, but 2014 needs a new word, something that allows new energies into my life, allowing me to blossom and grow in new ways.
I have been sitting with my five words and my journal and calendar, contemplating what I want to be and do next year. How I want to build on the intentions and lessons that revolutionary brought with it? I thought about kind, lovingkindness, courage, and strength. The first two felt too soft, and the last two, too tough. I needed something flexible, something I can grow with, something I can work with whilst still treating myself with lovingkindess. And this is what I came up with:
Dare feels good. It popped into my head at 2am on the way back to bed after a loo break (TMI), and I knew it was the right word.
Dare is about having a go, putting yourself out there, but not in a way that is perfectionist. Not in a Nigel way. Dare means trying something out and seeing if it fits. It means trying something, and knowing that it doesn’t matter if I fail or if I don’t get it exactly right the first time, or even if it turns out to be the wrong thing after all. At least I will have tried. At least I will be in the arena fighting, as Roosevelt would put it.
So, I invite you to take time to sit with your feelings words, with your creative and life intentions, and to consider what word might truly describe and inspire how and who you want to be in 2014. What feelings and new adventures do you want to manifest in your life? What energies do you want to invoke?
When you consider this, do it in the spirit of lovingkindness towards yourself. Look at your life with a gentle hope, not in the spirit of forcing yourself into new contortions. This is not some New Agey wishing, some pseudo-psychobabble soppy thing. This is a life affirming way of moving yourself to new levels, of becoming more yourself every day, and of being deeply, affirmatively and satisfyingly creative.
Everyday life is a continual act of creativity.
When I say ‘sit with it’, I mean: allow yourself time to consider. Allow ideas to filter, percolate and bubble in your mind. Don’t force it. It will come to you. Let it happen. You know deep inside what you want for yourself as a creative being. Allow it to emerge. And then rejoice in it. Allow it to inspire every corner of your life for the whole year.
I guarantee it will take you places you can’t even begin to imagine right now.