So, like many of you, I choose a word of the year to guide each year.
Its been interesting to observe that process time and I’ve noticed something happen over the years.
When I pick a pretty word, a gentle one that warms my heart, that feels calming to say aloud….I have a gentle year (which is usually oh so appreciated).
But when I pick a word that feels deeply uncomfortable to say aloud, let alone write about in a blog post, those are the words that change my life. Those are the words that I need to choose to make transformations happen.
The words that have done this for me over the years are:
Thrive (I know it sounds gentle but nope….to learn to thrive we end up dealing with the ways we are only just surviving).
Confidence (yup, that was one of the words that was hard to say aloud).
Confidence was the word I chose in 2012 and like with all of these more uncomfortable words, I feel like they actually take 2 years to really manifest the greatest effects. Confidence felt like it was getting to the core of what I most wanted to change in my life. While it has been mighty tough exploring confidence, I look at the past 2 years and see how much has changed within my body image and self-love as well as my business.
So it seems as though every 2 years I’m ready for a get-you-in-the-gut word and my word appeared in September, but it has actually taken me this long to really acknowledge that it is the guiding word.
Because its a big one. Because its uncomfortable to say. Because it might be the thing I most need to address in my life.
Are you ready for it?
I realized it this fall at the Wise Bodies, Wise Hungers retreat led by Anna Guest-Jelley and Rachel Cole. I had taken one of Rachel’s Retreatshops in the summer in Vancouver and at the retreatshop, I had gotten clarity that I was hungry for Love (which was no surprise). But after the retreatshop I took all those realizations and safely tucked them away, not really thinking about them much until I was sitting in a circle on the wood floor of the Green Gulch Zen Center for Wise Bodies, Wise Hungers and Rachel asked it again. It was like I opened the book where I had written all that emotion and had shut it tightly until that moment.
Except this time I saw what was underneath the hunger to be loved and to love. It was the hunger to feel worthy of love. To not just feel like I would be worthy of it (or any good things that might happen in my life) once I achieved something or had healed certain emotions. That I was worthy of it today, without doing anything to change, or improve.
Because we are all inherently worthy of love, just as we are.
I always want these guiding words to be a part of my personal and business journey too and this one, oh heck yes it speaks to them both. I briefly mentioned in the ‘Behind the Scenes‘ post that I had an exciting week this fall where I had a great call with a publisher and was full of hope. I also felt worthy (which felt really foreign). I saw my work with Be Your Own Beloved as worthy of being in book form. So when that fell through, I was left holding that worthiness in my hands and wondering what to do with it.
Should I let go of that feeling of being worthy of something good to happen?
Am I only worthy if I have the approval of others?
Or, like this journey of self-love, is worthiness something that I get to bestow upon myself?
I also want to unravel the places where I have been seeking worthiness. Where I have been expressing my hunger for this worthiness. Like feeling worthy of buying things. Feeling worthy or unworthy in my relationship to food. This is the way these ‘words of the year’ tend to work for me. Of noticing where there is work to do around that word in order to get to the healing part of it.
To be totally honest, I also hope and want to step into what confidence has taught me and really explore what if I lived from a place of worthiness, not unworthiness? I feel like these years of confidence have really got me to that transition point, ready to step away from living from a place of unworthiness and into a new story, a new experience.
This feels like the wild unknown.
Like the unspoken under it all.
Like one of the core layers of healing work in this lifetime for me.
I just have to pause and say how grateful I am for the work Rachel Cole puts out in the world. I wouldn’t have found my way to this word, to being ready to unravel my unworthiness and to build a new relationship to it without her incredibly unique approach.
So, have you found your word for the year yet? I know its kind of early and I don’t usually have mine by this point in the year, but I wanted to speak this one aloud before I could tuck it away in my back pocket again.
If you do have a word, or a few you are pondering, I’d love to know! Are you craving a gentle word this year or an earth-shaking one?