Word of the Year

Words are so powerful. If you have tried affirmations you would know the immense power intentions can have, when they are verbalised.

What is ‘Word of the Year’

Choosing a Word of the Year is harnessing the power of the word(s) by aligning your values with your intentions and choosing the most representative word for those intentions.

In place of having rigid resolutions or goals, a word encompasses a whole lot more. It is a mirror to what you hold true and what you want to follow through for the year ahead.
The year may not even go as planned or as expected but if you have a moral compass in the form of a word, it becomes easier to make choices when you feel challenged by obstacles or difficult circumstances.

How I chose my Word

At the end of last year, I felt a strange need to find closure before moving on to new things. It was just an overwhelming need to look back and let go of things and beliefs that no longer worked for me. I thought of ways I could say my good byes before walking on newer paths.

I thought about it for a few days and the Universe sent some help along. I chanced on a ‘Decoding the Year Workbook’ (more about that in another post) that promised to help me analyse the year that was ending and find my way forward. Over the next few days, I worked through my feeling, emotions and learnings and what it was that I needed to focus on in the coming year.

I tuned into myself to look at my values, the principles I hold dear and evaluated whether my life was a manifestation of these values.

I also realised that over the years, my values had changed. Maybe it was experience, maybe I was changing but I definitely needed to make space for a new set of empowering beliefs. It did not mean I was fickle, it probably meant that I was open.

After some deep thinking, I came up with the words, ‘Open‘, ‘Receptive‘, ‘Blossom‘. I still had to choose only one. I had to ask myself what was it that I wanted to do in all spheres of life and what was one thing/mood/emotion that I wanted by my side as I navigated the year. Of course, I wanted to grow and to blossom and yes, I wanted to be receptive to whatever life was giving me. And then I thought of my beliefs that had been holding me back. I wanted to let go of them and be more open to not only what life had to offer but also to a newer way of thinking. I wanted to be open to opportunities and also to places and people.

So, the word for me this year is ‘Open‘. I would try to stay open to life.

Open Lotus Flower
Image: courtesy Pixabay

I hope to turn this new year into a new beginning with my word guiding me. The year could be unexpected but I would trust the path, knowing that all is good, that I am living my values and that I am exactly where I am supposed to be in this journey.

Have you tried to set an Intention for this year or chosen a word to guide you? I would love to hear how you choose your word.

Renew, Rejoice

Almost a week into the new year and no talk of resolutions, wishes, desires? I had been a stickler for the New Year routine for years when I realised that all I was doing was making the same list over and over again, narrowing or expanding the scope. That made me give up on resolutions.

Still there are times when life needs a course correction, when things become dull or uninspiring, when everything seems jaded. How then to find joy and contentment in daily life even when I am not climbing mountains or clinching that deal?

Here are some of my mantras for constant self-renewal.

Change your surroundings

Tackle your immediate environment first. Clutter can cause a lot of stress. Getting rid of the unnecessary gives you a priceless commodity-freed up space. Cherish that and feel the calm descend.

Another way is to go for a walk or a drive to an area you usually do not frequent. It may not be always possible to travel or to go on a vacation. The stimulus of being in a different place would bring in fresh ideas.

Do not draw from the same well

When feeling stuck in a rut, try to do things differently. Be creative in other areas. If you normally find your creative outlet in painting, try sculpting. If you write, try music as a way to get your creative juices flowing again. You need not even take rest or a break. Turning from one creative activity to another is a great way to rejuvenate your mind.

Examine your life script

Forget star alignments or God’s will or destiny. Much of that happens to us is governed by our minds-our perceptions, our imagination, our expectations and our vision. Analyse how you perceive yourself. Think about how you expect your life to turn out. Enumerate the things that are holding you back. Then, try to understand why you are not living your life the way you would really want to. Frequently, we are the ones holding ourselves back. We all can write our life script and work towards making it happen.

Stay fit physically

Physical fitness is a precursor to mental agility. Working out, taking care of what you eat, staying active make you feel good and in control. A healthy mind resides in an active body.

Connect with nature

Living an artificial lifestyle leads to stress and dissatisfaction deep inside. Spending some time communicating with nature brings on a sense of calm. It may not mean spending time in hills or near the sea as that may not be possible. Going for a walk in the relative quiet of the morning, taking up gardening or even contemplating with your own potted plants are great ways to feel closer to nature and yourself.

Practise Gratitude

Expressing Gratitude on a regular basis brings an amazing amount of positivity into your life. Start a Gratitude Journal, keep a Gratitude Jar, count your blessings with beads, enumerating your blessings every morning are great ways to keep negativity in check. If you are unable to let go of your negative thoughts, replace one consistent negative thought with a strong positive one. It would soon work wonders in your life.

Seek out new connections

Seek out new people in your life for they would bring an element of newness and expand your mental horizons. Make friends with people of different age groups and social background. It is as important to interact with an eight year old than with an eighty year old. Make connections with people from diverse professions.

Review your Identity

We cannot and do not change what we are essentially, but we do change our habits, hobbies, even professions over a period of time. Give more time and thought to the direction you would like to move in and the person you would want to become.

Rejoice in the wonderful gift of life that has been handed to you!