The Power of Words - Choosing your Future
Thresholds have a tangible magic – they hint at ritual and ancient lore. In literature and in life they mark rites of passage - from past to future, from this place to another, from one phase of our life to the next. And perhaps the shiniest of these thresholds is the boundary from the old year to the new.
New starts, fresh chances and let’s do it betters!
And ever since I can remember, the ritual has been to set new goals for what should be achieved and resolutions for behaving differently – eat less, run more, spend less, save more. Most of which don’t survive Twelfth Night, discarded with the decorations!
But what I have found to be powerful and significant has been something rather different – a ritual that plays to something more mysterious, a little deeper in inception and travelling a lot further in impact. I’m talking about choosing a word for the year – a single word that will serve as a touchstone, providing learning, perspective and understanding.
I have to thank Christine Kane for my introduction to this way of creating new possibilities each year. Three years ago I downloaded her guide – now updated – and set to it. I wanted so badly for COURAGE to be the word. I felt I had great need of it and it would serve me well. But the one that actually stole its way into my heart and mind was actually …. ABUNDANCE. This definitely felt right, but I didn’t understand how it would show itself as the months unfolded – secretly hoping a Lottery win would be just around the corner!
What actually evolved was much richer. I found abundance actually meant something beyond money to me – friendships, personal relationships, well-being, health and new interests, were all thriving in my life. I started to notice, and be grateful. ‘Abundance’ was the word I went to when I felt low, had a decision to make, was troubled, confused or at a loss. And it became a new habit to feel abundance around me every day.
What I learnt in that first year wasn’t what I expected – it was so much better and much deeper. So, sitting down the following year, I trusted this process and I trusted I would find my touchstone for the following year. But I’m only human after all, so I wanted it to be ACTION! I was setting out in a new professional direction and knew I needed energy, focus and determination to get me where I wanted to go and to make my new life happen.
Instead, GRACE happened. I hadn’t seen this one coming – what did GRACE even mean? This seemed counter-intuitive. I was a hustler, a go-getter, a pioneer – why GRACE? But I had enough belief in this Word-For-the-Year malarkey to know that the purpose behind this word would slowly become clear. I worked hard on my new venture, and yes, I made things happen. I changed from full-time to part-time for my employer, and within a year I had launched my new business, Freestyle Careers. This expresses who I am and the clients I want to serve. It’s me.
But what I gradually discovered was that I needed something else to maintain balance and peace in my life - GRACE. I started to feel the wisdom of sitting quietly, accepting the gift of stillness, and like a palm tree, bending with the tropical storm. I couldn’t control everything – some forces were more powerful than I was. But GRACE kept me strong, whole and made me wiser.
Walking with Grace
Have I finished with GRACE? Well no. One of the best things I’ve learnt from this process is that once you’ve mastered your word – and by that I mean understood its meaning and lived it in your thinking, emotions and actions – the gift just keeps on giving. I have ABUNDANCE and I have GRACE in my life and I know that this time next year, I will have a third touchstone. Have I chosen it yet?
The truth is, this year’s word has already chosen me.
In my next post I’m going to walk you through how I ‘choose’ my word each year – are you in? If you’re looking for something deeper and more genuinely YOU to herald in 2018, I think I already know the answer!
See you next time for the big reveal.