I have never liked the idea of making resolutions for the new year. I always broke them soon out of the starting gate. But I did want to go through my year living with intention. This is where Word of the Year comes in.
It first came to my attention in 2009. I read about it on a few message boards. I thought it was the silliest thing ever. How can a word change your life? Your year? Again, pure silliness.
Then I had cancer.
The aftermath of the cancer tilted my world upside down. I was forced to deal with anger and a whole boatload of fear. As 2010 approached, I thought that maybe have one little word to focus on, to be the rudder of your year wasn’t such a bad idea after all. So my word for 2010 was courage. That word played out in full force during that year. The pinnacle being driving by myself with three kids for 4 days to visit my parents. For some people this would not have been a big deal. For me, though, this was HUGE! This trip was a symbolic shedding of all things that was rooted in fear. Before I left for that trip I found out that some tests I had taken during my cancer had been misread. I was told that it was possible that I had bone cancer. I took my word and went on my trip anyway. That was my coming of age trip. My coming of age word.
My words for the following two years weren’t as powerful but then for 2013, I chose Deep for my word. Out of that word came this blog. I can’t put into words how that word affected my life. Last year’s word was ‘Be Still.’ I don’t know just how successful that word was as I don’t consider myself any more of a still person than I was at the beginning of this year but I do believe that the process of trusting rather than falling into fear was begun this year. It’s going to take more than one year for that word to become a reality for me.
Which brings me to this year. 2015.
I have said many times that this past year was a rough one. Much loss trickled through the days of 2014. There was loss of relationships (many relationships were lost during this year,) loss of confidence, loss of my art…. and the list goes on. I wanted a word to reflect the consequence of all this loss. I had a few floating around my head but wasn’t too sure which one to pick. I joined an online mailing group headed by Susannah Conway This group wasn’t a Christian group but, for what I was using it for, it didn’t need to be. For five days I received an email that helped me to come up with a word. It was a lot of fun to do these various exercises.
After the third day I came up with peace, enchanted, wonder and delight. The more I thought of these words, though, the more I realized that something had to come first to lay the foundation for these words. The foundational word is healing. I need to heal from .toxic relationships, hurtful words that were thrown my way and ruts of nasty habits. I need to heal before peace, enchantment and wonder can take up residence in my life.
My word has been confirmed in a myriad of ways since its picking. The word ‘healing’ has been popping up in the most unexpected times and places. Even though the new year has not officially started, I am already working on this word and seeing fruits of my focus.
There are many ways that healing needs to take place in my life; emotionally, spiritually, physically and creatively.
Physically– My body has been slowly breaking down this past year. I have known for some time now that I need to make some changes in my eating and exercise habits. For my birthday, I was given a Nutri Ninja. I love this thing! I can make the yummiest green smoothies.
Spiritually–I recently read Found by Micha Boyett. That book was a life-changer for me. Boyett studies the practices of the Benedictine monks in order to fortify her prayer life. Her search struck deep for me. As a result, I am praying through and reading the Psalms daily. This has changed my prayer and praise life.
Creatively–For Christmas I was given a camera. For the past three days, once the light starts to crease the sky, I go outside with my camera and take pictures with all its bluey-greyness. I find such beauty at this time of day and it is soothing my soul to be able to take pictures of it.
So far I am enjoying this healing work. It is soothing to my soul.