Last year my word was practice, and I'm finding that I'm having resistance around heading into another year and a new word. I think it has to do with the fact that practice was a resonant word for me. With practice, I deepened my writing practice, I settled into my role as a student of zen meditation, and I started my coaching practice. As I write this, what I'm realizing is that all of that stuff, it's for life. Practice was not last year's word or this year's word or next year's word, it is a part of who I am.
That feels big. It is like waking up to the fact that I am an oak tree or a cedar tree or a redwood tree. I am not going to switch types, or wake up as something else one day this year or next. I will grow and develop--there will be change, but practice will always be a part of me. So even though the calendar pages will flip one after another as they do, that word, practice will carry on.
And yet, here we are, beginning our next turn around the sun. It is the time of year to choose another word. Having lived in a major word for myself last year, there is a new spin on thinking of a word for this year. Will it be another lifer? Or will it be one that comes and goes the way flexible was in 2013? Or are there a hundred other ways to live with a word that I haven't experienced yet? Only another year + another word will tell.
In a way, this year's word chose me. When it popped into my head, I thought, "No, no, that is a selfish word. You need a word that is more inspirational. Something stronger. Maybe something prettier." And yet, even before 2014 ended, I felt the word coming to my aid, popping up when I felt myself wanting to shut down, turn away or take sharp action. Whenever this new word shows up I feel a tiny frisson of insecurity or unsureness, and it was this feeling that made me think, "this is a word I need to experiment with."
The word is ask.
As in: ask for help
As in: ask for insight
As in: ask what's possible
As in: ask what's needed
As in: ask if there is another way
As in: ask and you shall receive
As in: ask what's important about this right now
Asking for me feels very humbling. It means that I have to admit that I don't know, that I can't do all that needs to be done alone, it means that I don't have all the resources I need, and it means that sometimes I may be told no. I may find that what I want is not possible. What gets that little frisson going, that feeling of insecurity vibrating, is that ask is a word that could break my heart, which may be why I sometimes avoid asking.
But ask is also a very curious word, an open word, a word that has a lot of possibility. It is a word that is important to coaching, to writing, and maybe even to meditation. Ask sometimes feels
like a bud that hasn't opened yet
or like looking up into the sky and asking "what's possible?"
For me, ask feels like an interesting challenge to take on in 2015.
How about you? Will you pick a word? What will it be? Would you consider posting it here or on Facebook?
Wishing you a Happy Healthy Peaceful New Year.