Word for the Year

Several people I know choose a word to represent the New Year. Instead of making resolutions, they choose a word and consider it as a guide for the year. If you read this blog, you know I’m not fond of resolutions—too hard to keep, not enough support, built-in feeling of failure by March. But a word to use as a touchstone? Now that sounds like a good idea.

Rebecca Leigh, a writer, chose Wholeness. Rebecca’s description of how the word chose her is worth reading. The world enveloped Rebecca and brought her plans, aspirations, even her work, into sharper focus. That’s an idea worth playing with.

Sunrise in Phoenix

So I set out to let a word choose me, as well. I thought of several but they were not special enough. So I quit thinking. I had yard work to do. And while I was sweeping fig leaves off the patio, it came to me: Light.

Light as in illuminated, to make sure that I don’t plunge into dark thoughts, assigning people motives I don’t know about, but talking, asking, getting clarity. That kind of light. Also, to shine the light of compassion into dark corners; the light of fairness into decisions; the light of caring into relationships.

Light as in the opposite of heavy. To see the humor, the easy side first, to enjoy that view before I think of all the reasons that are heavy and burdensome.

Light, as in set a spark to. To build a fire of enthusiasm, to hold something close to my heart in warmth and enthusiasm.

Light, as in nature’s gift. Sunlight, moonlight, starlight. To make sure that I don’t spend too much time in front of my computer’s glow and get out more—where the real learning starts.

“Stand in your own light” is the phrase I use to describe my coaching practice. No more attaching yourself to someone else’s glory to make yourself look good. You are enough. You have enough. You can stand in your own light.

It’s a wonderful word to hold up to this year. I see it as a way to guide me through both spiritual and mental darkness, to remind me that more gets done by compassion than by anger;  by working than by thinking about working; by creativity than by pedantry; by trusting my gut instead of living in my head.

Yes, it is my word for 2010.

What’s your word for this year?

Quinn McDonald is a writer, life- and creativity coach.

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28 responses to “Word for the Year

  1. Ps oops sorry Barbara Martin – just ‘discovered’ I missed your word & it was Discovery – great one – bon voyage :-)

  2. hello good people – it was as interesting reading about your words as Quinn’s (light fantastic) words themselves. Great idea & feeling the fear about committing to something … even a word ha! … Ok … BEAUTIFUL is the word I have chosen. Although ‘blessed’ with genetic good looks they were always reacted to with lust, envy, jealousy, judgement, isolation etc etc (was even a beauty queen!! – mother put me in for it, not my choice) & so the connotation was always negative.

    Now I know this year I’ll learn to see the beauty in mySelf & others & mother nature with Truth & Love. Already after moments of choosing it, there is great excitment & a surge of healing. thank you xxx

    PS Barbara Martin – have you chosen your word yet? Please share

  3. Hi Quinn,
    The word I chose is “stretching”. In the literal sense, stretching my muscles to stay limber, avoid tightness.
    And stretching as in trying something new, stretching in a different direction. I have proven to myself in the last year that I can do more than I have previously thought I was capable of. So, I wish to continue to stretch myself past self-imposed limits.

    For you, Quinn, don’t hide your light under a barrel!
    Vicky F

  4. I am at the beginning a new creative journey. The word Light has brought me back to the work we did 5 years ago. Remembering that work, a new/old light has been shed on my new journey. Once again, I thank you.

  5. Focus. That is my word for the year. I’m far to scattered and stretched. I want to reign in my thoughts and endeavors this year.

    • Focus is one of my favorite words. One of my coaches once taught me the law of subtraction–you want to do something new, you have to give up something in progress. What a lesson!

  6. Let there be Light! Being in an interior desinger, I love light, lighting, and what they do to colors and textures. I may borrow the word!

  7. I don’t have a single word, but instead, a theme for 2010…Embracing Creativity. I am following creative paths that present themselves to me and embracing the journey, mistakes and all, because sometimes mistakes turn into treasures!

  8. creativeliberty

    I did my “resolutions” a few days ago, but guess what? They ended up being 3 “words.” Simplicity, mindfulness and flexibility.

    I think this approach is nice–somewhere between the ambiguity of intentions and the possibly-overly-planned goals of resolutions.

  9. For me, the word is “weaver.” Let me explain that. On New Year’s Eve I reached into my bag of Crone Stones – these are special divinatory stones kind of like runes…but they utlize small pictures symbolizing various architypes of women, of the Goddess. The stone I pulled out was “The Weaver.”

    On New Year’s Day, when I did my first tarot reading of the year/decade, the card that showed up in my future was The Web…again symbolizing the concept of the weaver.

    This is the year – the decade, perhaps – of weaving the threads of my life. The threads might be spun by Fate…but it’s up to me to create the tapestry.

  10. I like your word very much.

    Mine is Presence. It has already made a difference in the new year for me.

    I really enjoy reading about people choosing words and the impact it has on their year!

    Blessings, Olivia

  11. What a wonderful word in which to hold this year. So many meanings worked into this simple word.

    I don’t have a word for the year, although I did search for one. Instead, a motto kept coming into my head as I went about my daily work. It seemed to choose me. The one that says “You don’t have to be the best. Just the best one who shows up and does the work.” That thought keeps me moving forward when the gremlins take up residence in my head. :-)

  12. Beautifully written. So refreshing and light.

  13. Last year my word was fulfill, this year it will be prolific.
    I love to choose a word for the year…it’s powerful!

  14. Great associations — I can see you now on your motorcycle just trippin the light fantastic. ahem :) Truly an illuminating post. And such an all around useful while also inspiring word!

    I am fooling around with a word, trying it on for size, will sleep on it and check it again tomorrow. Such a big thing, a year, to ascribe to a word.

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