My daughter, Lisa, has gotten me in the habit of choosing an inspiring word each New Year, instead of making resolutions, which I never seem to be able to keep. One word is easily remembered and can have a multitude of meanings, fitting into all areas of one’s life.
Last year I chose the word: Open. For me it means being courageous, trusting the universe and myself, of accepting what comes along, letting go of old ways of looking at things and moving forward. It means standing tall, taking responsibility and owning my life, warts and all. It is a word I shall carry with me always.
The opposite, Closed, is pretty much where I’d been for a long time. Because of certain circumstances over the years, I often took on the role of Victim. I stopped writing, painting, traveling on my own. In other words, living fully. With all of the many challenges, over the past year in particular, in desperation, I allowed myself to be Open to what was happening and in doing so, have literally removed myself from the cave I’d been living in.
With 2010, gone, never to be experienced again, I’ve chosen the word, Slowly, as my word this New Year. It speaks to me of living more simply, being mindful, experiencing every moment as it is. It means being patient, which has more often than not, been difficult for me.
I’ve spent years living on adrenalin, being anxious and out of sync with what I’ve truly wanted in my life. Slowly means listening to my own desires and living in choice. It means giving myself Time … to rest when I’m feeling tired, to write when the words want to tumble out onto paper, to make outrageously colorful art when I can’t keep my hands out of the paint pots and to simply be myself … not who someone else expects or wants me to be. It means giving myself time to make decisions that I frequently make too hastily, getting myself into situations that only cause my anxiety to get worse. It means I can sleep late if I choose. It means letting the bed go unmade, letting the dishes sit in the sink and to savor every bite of food I put into my mouth. It means I can say NO, to the things that have always distracted me. It means letting go of what I think I should be doing, let it take a seat, and wait for me to be ready to do whatever it is.
It means that when things around me are moving too fast for me, I can step off the carousel and give myself a break. It means taking the time to listen to others, to see the beauty in a sunrise, to take joy in the first daffodils that pop up in the spring … to truly hear the chorus of birdsong in the morning … to yawn, stretch and welcome each day as a new beginning.