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.
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.