Every year since 2005, I have chosen between one and three words to serve as my guide, my theme, my beacon of light for the year. Nowadays, everyone is on the Word of the Year bandwagon….I see this as a good thing, because doing this practice for (now) twelve years, has shifted my DNA and how I think about life, love, and my personal work in the world.
I’ve written…if not extensively…at least a little here in this space about my Word for 2016: Create. Other years have been sometimes a complex variety of words and other years, a more simplistic approach.
After more than a decade of this practice, I also know that a Word of the Year never arrives on a schedule.It can be frustrating when you want your life to running in a seemingly tidy way. And, I have to confess, the years of running a coaching practice has conditioned me to strive to have my Word(s) up and READY to go on January 1st.
Some years, though, they lag and fail to reveal themselves for days or weeks, and frankly, with the hustle and bustle and busy-ness of the holiday season, I can see how it’s hard to hear the voice of your heart. My word for 2010 didn’t arrive until March, and it taught me that sometimes waiting is the best possible thing.
Other years, the word begins whisper in your ear long before it’s time to say goodbye to the previous year.
This year, I’ve had an inkling to what my Word for 2017 might be back in September.
I had spent the morning with Jen Lee in a Tea Shop in Brooklyn. After tea, I stopped at The Big Macy’s at Herald Square and was back in my hotel to get some rest. It had been a day of extremes. The New York City Subway at the edges of rush hour then intimate conversation about life, creating, projects, and life as a maker. Back to the throngs of people shopping in Macy’s and then to the complete quiet and solitude of my room.
It was my last solo day in New York – John was due to arrive the following day for our vacation. I changed out of my clothes and into some lounge wear and as I stood in the window of my room, watching the rain come down on Times Square, both the idea of What I Had To Write in 2017 and my Word for 2017 began to whisper to me.
I’ve done more praying and thinking since that moment than I have in years past.
This feels like a big year. I’ve accomplished a lot professionally: three books in twelve months, the successful launch of a new literary/arts magazine with a follow up of a print anthology, and a solid group of clients in my coaching practice.
I also have big goals for the coming year when it comes to my writing life: two books in 2017, all original content.
Personally, the girls both hit big birthdays this past year: Em turned 25 and Katie 21. John and I are beginning our 7th Year together, an auspicious year no matter how you slice it. I will be fifty next year, a milestone age.
This year had felt challenging in a lot of ways, much of it external thanks to the political climate and unrest in the world. Yet, I have a good life. And though I am not blissfully happy every second of the day, each day I experience joy.
I did some of my standard practices for the last few years.I did my own workbook. Played with the inquiry process. Reread some letters and perused my past journal entries.
I looked to outside sources of wisdom. I get quarterly (or so) readings with Theresa Reed. I get an annual Goddess Reading from Amy Palko, though this year, I mixed it up a bit and got a Goddess Gift reading instead of her Word Goddess Readings. I’ve spent some time in church this fall and purchased a Sunday Missal as well as a little collection of Daily Readings from the Church. I also set up an Ancestor’s Altar.
All of this led me to make peace with not a single word, but two words together for 2017:
Yes: Unbound Grace.
In the days and weeks and months to come, I’ll tell you more about them.