If you could tag the New Year, what word would you use? Words like peace, hope, prosperity would be the natural choices I might choose. But, I didn’t have a choice.
Courage popped into my head and was something I couldn’t shake. The word seemed to have chosen me and have a life of its own. I have a strong feeling that I am being challenged on a different level. Would I accept the challenge, open to change, and be willing to face my fears? “Yes”, I say with a bit of trepidation.
I’ve been sitting on this since New Year’s Day. I’ve seen a lot of you making resolutions and I wondered how I should begin 2016. Last year was the first time I entertained resolutions when I embraced the New Year with an invitation to the miraculous.
I typically don’t do resolutions because I know me and I don’t like the feeling of coming up short. But there was something different that happened last year when I put out that declaration to the world. God heard, took me seriously and showed me many things throughout the year that were nothing short of miraculous.
Now, this New Year is only 4 days old and I’m being led once again but in a different way. I’ve been given a word to set the tone for the whole year and I’m being invited to walk in faith and be willing to have courage in whatever unfolds. It makes me think of this quote by Patañjali:
“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all of your thoughts break their bonds: your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction and you find yourself in a new, great wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” ― Patañjali
Some courageous things happened last year but I can’t say I went into them as a willing candidate. I had my fair share of doubt and lack of trust. In fact, you might even say there was a lot of resistance ― “kicking and screaming” ― and some hyperventilation (yes, I can get myself worked up to that point). So, without Divine strength and intervention, at times, along with remembering my invitation to the miraculous, I doubt I would have made it through as well as I did.
I’m reminded of an old post I wrote some years ago, where I learned about the power of words from Patricia Singleton in “Seeking, Truth, Spiritual, Warrior—Words For Who I Am”. She talks about Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat, Pray, Love, One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia” and a discussion the author had with an Italian friend, Guilio, on his theory of words.
I thought it was interesting how his theory, with reference to people and places, defines each city with one word and describes the thoughts of most of the people who live there. Examples: Vatican = POWER, New York City = ACHIEVE, Los Angeles = SUCCEED. Whatever the majority thinks, that’s the word for the city. Patricia goes on to reflect on her own life and speculates on how we each may have a personal word that defines us, too, and that it changes throughout our lives as we evolve.
I took note of this, then, and could see where there was some evidence of it in my life as I learned and changed. Yes, I did think there was some truth and validity to this theory but also thought that there was so much more to each one of us that could be described in volumes no less than a single word.
Now, it seems I’m about to revisit this again but with a word that would reveal things about myself I may not have been willing to look at or be honest with years ago. I just wasn’t ready before, I’m not sure I’m ready now. I can only imagine what tests will be thrown my way, knowing all too well the things that transpired last year. I’m a little apprehensive and, yet, I remember how I wasn’t alone. I learned a lot about myself and I am in a better place for the experiences.
Maybe what I learned last year, as I reflect on what happened in “Making My Way Back”, was how to trust myself more in making decisions about my wellbeing, like when deciding about my cataract surgery. Or, in the critical situation when two fawns died in our corral, I felt a gentle strength and was able to bury them and not be so overcome with grief I couldn’t function.
In the past, when I met difficult situations, I would look first to the help and opinions of others, not myself. But, last year I had no choice and the invitation to the miraculous showed me how.
It’s these, and confronted with ordinary life choices, that I’ve sometimes found myself paralyzed looking for a way out rather than trusting my inner wisdom and instincts. I think the universe began teaching me last year and hasn’t finished.
Lord knows how many times I’ve freaked out when my computer went haywire (new Windows 10 – yes, hyperventilating freaking out ― isn’t that crazy) or threats of malware. I want to get someone else to figure it out and fix it.
Or, when I worked and I’d have an irate client on the phone and wanted a supervisor to handle it (my old supervisor would appreciate me writing this ― even mentioned it in a review as something I needed to improve on).
It’s not always the big things that could send me into a panic ― it’s the little things where I’m unsure and don’t trust myself. I feel like I’m in the dark, caught off guard and can’t find my footing.
It’s time and it looks like the universe has prompted me for the challenge. In order, like Patañjali says, for me to be a greater person than I dreamed myself to be, I can no longer hide from what fears, big or small, that I’ve tucked away. I have no idea what this New Year holds but, with God’s help, I’m ready and willing to face whatever unfolds.
How about you? In this New Year, is there a word that strongly speaks to you and challenges growth, new perspectives, career or personal relationships? Maybe there’s something within you that’s been holding you back from realizing all the things you’ve ever wanted but just couldn’t find. Ask for your word for the New Year and be open to hear what comes your way. Then trust ― the choice is yours and the rest is up to you.
I’d love your thoughts on this and hear how your New Year is going, as I take my challenge and journey on the road to my new adventures with Divine guidance and Courage.
Pat from the ‘ol kitchen table