Many of you may have noticed a trend called “one word” over the past few years. Instead of making a long list of resolutions for the new year, folks are choosing just one word, which sums up their intentions for the year.
I want to share my word with you for four reasons: one because I want you to make me keep my word, two because I want to have a word with you about something I need to fess up to, three because I want to put in a good word for something truly important to me, and four, because, in a word, life goes by quickly and our days are priceless.
My word for 2012 is GIFT and here's what I want to ask and share:
1. Make me keep my word: The biggest reason I chose the word gift is that I want my focus for 2012 to be on what I can give to others. I want to use the gifts I have to give back to the world what I'm here to give. And I want to do it in a way that keeps the focus off of "what's in it for me" and on "how can I surprise or delight someone right here, right now?"
Every day I have so many opportunities to give — whether it is my time, money, or presence. I'd love it if you could help me stay true to this. Send me a note once in awhile and ask me, "What did you give today?" Ask me, "Who'd you make feel great? Who'd you help? What'd you offer?"
2. Have a word: So what I need to fess up to you is that sometimes this whole Simply Celebrate world gets so confusing to me because it combines practices I love and believe in with business tactics and money-making strategies. I might start out with a focus on something I want to give, but before long, that focus switches to "what's in it for me" in terms of building a mailing list or making a living. Of course this is just a reality that is part of the mix when one is attempting to create a seamless life, but still … it leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I don't like how it feels when I am focused on getting.
I really do want to make a living doing work I believe in. I know there is a beauty in receiving. But I want my spirit and energy to live in the place of giving. I know from experience that that is the place where I feel the most rich. When I'm focused on myself and what I'm getting, I'm mostly looking around at how shiny and popular other people seem. Then I shrink. I hold back. I feel poor. When I stop looking at what other people have and are and do, and I focus on what I am and have and can give, the world opens up and suddenly everything is shiny and bright. I'm just a part of it all. We're all one big family. That's where I want to live.
3. Put in a good word: This probably won't come as a surprise to you if you know me at all, but I truly believe we need to change the way we view gift giving in our culture. In 2012 I want to continue my campaign to get us all to pay closer attention to the intention and impact of the gifts we give. It is time for a shift from "money talks" to "it is the thought that counts." And I mean that. Those of you who have made Love Lists for people in your life know how much joy can come from these amazing gifts that don't cost a dime. There are so many ways we can give to people in our lives that bring us closer to one another or that help someone see how much they are known and loved. I want you to join me in exploring ways we can give gifts that feel vibrant, alive, and connected.
4. In a word: Life is a gift. I know this sounds trite. But it is also true. Every morning I listen to an audio recording I made reminding me that "You and everyone you love are going to die. It is going to happen sooner than you want or expect. Don't take this day for granted. Find the energy and vitality to truly live it. Find the awareness to be present to what a gift it truly is."
My word for 2012 kind of chose me. I really didn’t think about it so much as let it land on me. On New Year’s Eve, I was reflecting on 2011 and imagining what I wanted for 2012. The word “gift” kept flitting through my mind. Or, to be a little more woo-woo California about it, the word actually seemed to take form in my blood. It felt like it just bloomed in me and spread, like the way cherry blossoms seem to suddenly appear one day after the rains and cover the entire tree.
I encourage you to see if you have your own "one word" waiting in you, ready to be seen and held and brought to life in new ways. Let me know if you find your word — or if it finds you!
I’m fortunate enough to be a part of a delightful collective of women artists who are all choosing one word, writing or creating art from their words, and then celebrating together in the form of a “Wordhop.” I met these gals in a class called “Flying Lessons” taught by Kelly Rae Roberts, who is an amazing and colorful visual artist, entrepreneur, and spirit. You can meet these "Flytribe" women —and learn about their words— by visiting the official Flytribe Wordhop page. Check 'em out. Words may be cheap, but not these — they're rich with creativity and meaning.
May we all stay true to our word!