The idea of choosing a word to embody your intentions for the upcoming year is one you might have heard of before. I’ve been doing it for a few years now, and I even try to use this approach to new experiences… like a vacation or a special event, or maybe even a yoga class or retreat. By thinking about what it is I really want to FEEL and what it is I want to actually happen or take place, I can usually come up with a word pretty easily.
>>Shout out to Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Mapping for leading the way in this area.
The problem I often have is choosing only one word, and since I’ve always believed “rules” are meant to be broken… I don’t choose just one if I don’t feel like it.
That brings me to 2016. Something just feels really good about this year. Something really juicy and blossoming and ready. Something full and expansive and special. Something very me.
After working on some 2015 reflections (my words by the way were Open, Trust, and Listen) and journaling out some intentions and plans for 2016, it became pretty clear, pretty quickly, what my word for 2016 would be.
Everything seemed to point back to this feeling of connecting with my true, healthy, core self – the me that’s always been in there but sometimes hides, gets ignored, or is over-shadowed. Being aligned with who I really am is the next step in my journey. And if 2015 was the year of opening up and really learning to listen to her — then it only makes sense that 2016 be the year that I take it to the next level.
Alignment isn’t a particularly pretty word to me, but I am confident that no other word can better represent the changes I’m going through right now… the massive expansion that is taking place inside my heart and my mind, and that will continue to throughout this next year (and beyond).
When I imagine a life being lived in Alignment, I imagine a life where I am listening to my needs and what I long for. I’m investing in myself. I’m making healthy decisions. I’m taking soul-sparking, out of this world adventures. I’m connecting on a level with people that I never imagined before and experiencing more beautiful relationships. I’m allowing myself to crack open so other people can really be let in. I’m putting myself out there and taking risks. I’m doing what feels right and what resonates with me. I’m saying “no” when it’s not a “hell yes.” I’m exploring the things that interest me, and I’m not worrying about finishing the things that don’t.
Alignment is about empowering myself to create and manifest the life I know I’m meant to live.
The life I’m already living… but that much better. I don’t think we have a capacity for awesomeness, and my life is no different. I’m not the kind of person cut out to be just content or have things be good enough… I want more. I want more fulfillment, more joy, more laughter, more meaning, more friends, more love, and more adventure.
It’s not longer, for me, about figuring out what makes me happy or what I’m passionate about or how to leave a job that doesn’t fit with who I am and who I want to be. I’ve been there, I’ve done that. (Not to say I won’t be there again.) But I’m now in a place of being. Of listening and being. Being me and everything wonderful that comes along with that.
I know with all my heart that this is what I’m meant to do… just be me. And everything else will start to fall into place.
The other words that really align with my main word (see what I did there?) are these three, and they kind of embody some different aspects of Alignment that I’m working toward and turn it into a more tactical practice for me.
Feeling connected in communities… not just finding my tribes (I’ve found many) but really getting involved in them. Really putting myself out there and having one-on-one relationships vs. the social settings all the time. Being vulnerable and fearless when it comes to making new connections and having no expectation of the experience or relationship.
Connection, for me, is also about not settling or getting comfortable when it comes to who I spend my time with.
It means making very conscious decisions to surround myself with people who love and accept me, but also challenge and inspire me. It means letting people in who are also in a place to let me in, who want to have real conversations, share their story and opinions with me, support each other, and connect on a deeper level.
Expansion is about continuing this journey I’m on and being committed to doing the work. I’ve seen now time and time again that when I really open up and trust in the process, and in those that can guide me through it, I can be transformed.
This also represents expansion physically in the form of travel. I long for international travel and exciting new places. I long for solo road trips and new challenges. I know these experiences can be just as transformational as the ones that happen inside of me.
This is probably the toughest one for me, and one that is speaking the loudest to me right now. I want to specifically focus on being kind to myself and taking into account my own needs and feelings. I, like most of us, have parts of me that I’m particularly sensitive about – parts of my personality that I worry people don’t like or isn’t enough (or in my case is too much). I want to focus on accepting myself so that others can accept me as well, and to be quite honest… I also want to work on accepting that not everyone will or has to like me.
With Acceptance, comes presence. Being present with my partner, whoever I’m with at any given moment, and with myself.
That presence also represents being okay with where I’m at and what I’m doing. Not focusing so much on controlling everything or planning the future, but allowing some things to unravel. This is a really hard one for me, and I’m not sure I need to let go of control — but I think the challenge in and of itself will be a learning opportunity. I’m not sure what this will look like exactly, but it’s something that’s been on my mind.
What are you excited about? What are you planning for? What is your word??
I think the more we share are intentions and dreams, the more real they become.
Put it out into the world and let it sit. Write it down, come back to it, and revisit what it is that these words or dreams or goals mean to you. I plan to do this throughout the year and I am fully anticipating shifts in perceptive — that’s what life is all about and I am more than ready for the ride!