January is almost over and I am finally able to sit down and write out my intentions for the year and share them with you. I don’t do resolutions. I feel like they set us up for unrealistic expectations and also infer that there is something to resolve or to fix about ourselves. And while I have my own perfectionistic tendencies that want to insist that “yes, in fact, there is a lot to fix!” I am now able to breathe deep through that and allow all my parts to come to the table, even the imperfect ones.
January is a great time to check in with your own core values and look at how you embody them.
So, instead of focusing on what I’ve been doing wrong in the past or what I have failed to do, I look at the new year and ask “how do I want to show up?” To answer this question, I try to choose a word of the year rather than a resolution. The word is meant to be an intention that represents my desired mindset or an overarching theme.
How You Show Up Is More Important Than What You Give Up
What does it mean to “show up”? It means that you’re being the most authentic you. And it’s not just how you present to the world, but also how you live out the day-to-day. We often pay so much attention to how others are seeing us (and it really is important to feel seen by the world), but there’s another essential question: how do you see yourself?
This is no easy feat. It takes bravery and courage to show up in this way.
You seek a purpose-filled life, one that you consciously and lovingly create. Unfortunately we are all inundated with what the others – social media, the boss, family and friends – have to say about what we “should” be doing. When we live our lives according to other people’s expectations we aren’t being true to ourselves. Comparison, perfectionism, and loneliness live in the “shoulds” and following others’ dreams.
Getting in tune with what your word of the year can help you set an intention to come back to you. Here. Now.
A single word can remind you that you’re on a quest to learn, to be present for yourself. and find a way back to you. Doubts and feeling of “not enough” will probably creep in throughout this process, and that’s ok. Allow and give yourself permission to have those feelings and then come back to your authentic self. Try to think about who you are already and check into your values and what you know is truly important.
No, It’s Not Too Late to Come Up With a Word of the Year
It’s still the right time to reflect on the last calendar year and look into the next. You can do this at any time. Looking back on the last season and into the next or considering the time since your last birthday and who you want to be before you’re another year older are also great options. It’s important to remember that we have to pay attention to where we have come from in order to look at where we are going and that we can do that at any time.
Last year, my word of the year was integration. I was working on a more wholehearted way of showing up in the world and a more integrated way of looking at my perceived “faults.” I wanted to stop compartmentalizing. I wanted to integrate my body with my mind and not just live from my head space but in a more fully embodied way. Since I don’t see balance as a true and realistic goal, I saw integration as a way to try and fit it all in and honor all parts of myself.
It has been difficult to settle on a word or intention for the year for 2019. Partly, it’s because I have too many possibilities. Plus, I realize I’m not quite ready to give up “integration” as my guiding word. I am still very much learning how to integrate mind and body and I am still learning to accept and love all the imperfect parts of myself. I don’t want to move on to another word and pretend that I am done integrating because I know that’s a lifelong process
And yet, I’m feeling called to give 2019 its own particular focus. I am hoping the new word opens up a new path, a new intention, and a fresh look at how I approach life.
To Show We’re Never Done Growing, New Year = New Word
This year my word is intuition.
For so much of my life I have ignored my own thoughts and feelings in the effort to please others or avoid conflict. Part of what integration has taught me is that I have my own very unique mind and body. I want to deepen the attention I offer to my own emotions, curiosities, body, and thoughts. I want to pay attention by tuning in and slowing down.
And then, I really want to learn to trust my intuition. I want to really believe that I have a knowing in me, just as everyone else does.
This 2019 word took a while to find. At first, I went between the words “compassion,” “ease,” and “gratitude.” I am still playing with these as options for 2019. And while I didn’t ultimately choose any of these, hopefully all will find their place for me this year as well.
All of this gets back to how I want to show up – and how you want to show up. I suggest taking a little time to tune in and be gentle with yourself if the word of the year doesn’t come instantaneously. This is a chance to find yourself if you feel like you have been a little lost.
There is nothing to fix, you are right where you need to be. And if you take a minute you will also see that you are probably already embodying your word of the year in some way. It is important to recognize how you are already showing up with this word in your life.
There are many different paths to clarity. Journaling, meditating, or prayer can all help. It can help to talk with a trusted significant other, friend, or a therapist about this if you want.
At Be Well Counseling we can help you work through the things that come up for you when doing this work of finding purpose and connecting to your authentic self. Please give us a call today.
You might also be interested in the Creative Being Retreat coming up in April. This retreat will help you take the time to tune into how you want to show up and who you are becoming in your life.