Courage And The New Year


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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

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Acknowledgements: Redes by Kalliop3 at https://www.flic more...

37 thoughts on “Courage And The New Year

    • Hi, Barb. It’s so good to see you over here again. I like your word, forward, and can definitely see you doing that and moving onward and upward. Are you still ushering in the theaters? I never thought to do something like that. Sure sounds interesting and what better way to stay in tune with the arts and interact with people. I love it and happy for you. Wishing many blessings for you in the New Year. 🙂

  1. Pat, you have taken on a word that could really challenge you I wish you all the best and hope you don’t have to face any difficult decisions and situations like you did last year.

    You know I did have a word come to me and it was rebirth. I don’t do resolutions but on my birthday each year after Christmas I sit down and reflect on the past year and what I’d like to see in the coming year. It just so happens my time to reflect is very close to the New Year.

    I woke this new Year to an urge to sweep out all the corners of my house and self. I’ve already begun working on both which is when rebirth came to me.

    • Thank you, Lois. I know what you mean about the word and challenge. It’s interesting how it came to me and wasn’t something I was looking for. I must admit I was a little scared not knowing what I would be opening myself up to. I wasn’t even thinking about words and New Year’s resolutions for myself, as I’m like you in that it’s something I really don’t do. I guess that’s why I sat with it for awhile.

      It sounds like your word, rebirth, came to you in a similar way with an intuition of something going on the inside of you. I like it and sounds like it matches what your heart needs right now in your life. I love that there is a Source that knows all there is to know about us and meets us exactly where we need to be.

      It’s nice that your word is a bit more gentler. I can see all the good stuff coming in to replace the stuff you swept out. God bless, my friend, and Happy Rebirth New Year. 🙂

  2. So far the year is going well. I have some goals set and some great things in the works. My word so far would be Determined. I’m determined to reach some goals that I didn’t have the energy to even try for last year. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • Hi April — Happy New Year and I like that you have some goals set and great things are in the works. You’ve got a good word, Determination, that will certainly help you reach for the stars. I wish you all the best this New Year and I’m excited for what will come your way. You’ve set the tone and, no doubt, what you set your heart and sights on will manifest. 🙂

  3. Happy New Year to you too.
    I had a very trying year as well. I feel that trust is my word for this year. I don’t mean trust of others. I mean trust of myself. Like you and everyone everyday is different, I have choices to make, situations to live through. I anguish over decisions for days or weeks and in the end it was for no reason. Some how the universe gives me the ability to realize I made the right decision in the first place. I waste time when I don’t trust myself. So, this is the year I am going to trust in myself, or at least I am going to try. :o)

    • Oh, that word, trust, is huge Patricia. It’s one I know that will be intertwined with my word, Courage. I can feel and understand what you mean about a trying year and there’s been a lot of trust going on.

      Learning to trust ourselves is one of the biggest things we can learn and, thank God, we’re given little chunks of it at a time with what we can handle. I don’t think we can go to class or learn it from books. Learning it can only come from the tests of life and even then we don’t know how we’ll respond until we’re faced with it. I’m thankful we’re not alone in it and I’ve drawn on that inner Source many times that’s been so patient and gentle.

      I’m excited for you, Patricia, in what you’re about to discover about yourself. Be gentle and kind with yourself and, oh, my friend, there are so many blessings in store for you. Though your journey may be challenging, you’ll be shining through onto the other side. Happy New Trust Year! 🙂

    • Good words, D.G., packed with loads of potential — exciting. I like it. Did you pick them or did they pick you? I’m finding that’s what’s interesting in this process and there seems to be a difference. I’m not quite sure what that is, exactly. Whether it’s where we initiate and put the energy of the words out into the world to make change or the energy of the words come into us to make change.

      Many blessings to you, D.G., this Happy New Year and may you receive all the persistence, peace and possibilities your heart desires. God bless.

        • That’s great, D.G. Either way, whether we pick the words or they pick us, it’s all good and puts us in a position to learn and grow. I have a feeling there’s going to be a lot of that this New Year. 🙂

  4. Happy New Year Pat! You have chosen a very “courageous” word, May you also have the strength to support you in the year ahead. The word that resonates with me is “faith”. Faith that my creator knows what is best for me and has a plan, one that is much better than I could ever imagine.

    The New Year is off to a great start. Hugh over at invited me to be his featured blogger for the month of January. I met Hugh recently through our mutual blogger friend Sherri and I am so grateful for this connection because I am meeting some wonderful new bloggers and enjoying some of their delightful blogs.

    Peace and love to you, my friend. Beverley xxx

    • Oh Wow, Bev. I’m so happy for you in making those new connections through Sherri. So, does being featured direct people to your site for the month or will you be writing posts for Hugh’s blog or be interviewed? No matter — it’s all exciting. I couldn’t be more thrilled for you.

      Your Creator has put you in a good place, my friend, and faith seems like the perfect word for you. When things move so fast our heads can’t keep up with it, it’s so nice we can go to be grounded in that sweet, loving place called faith. Love and blessings in the New Year! 🙂

  5. Happy New Year Pat! Your word ‘courageous’ certainly describes you, with all you faced last year. I haven’t found my word yet, but if I stop to think about, I would say ‘publication’ as that is my heart’s desire, to at last publish my memoir. As I get closer I panic more, feel more afraid, freeze, become assailed with self doubt, start to think I’m no good and can’t write. All that and more. So actually, thinking of it and reading your wonderfully inspiring and encouraging post, I think that I need to make my word courage too! Together, my dear friend, we’ll hold our heads high and walk into 2016, with God by our side and faith in Him to guide our steps. God bless you Pat, here’s to an amazing year…much love and hugs… xoxo

    • Oh my, Sherri. I can see how scary it might be and I feel what your saying about writing and getting published. It takes a lot of courage to not only face your innermost feelings but another to write them down and then publish it to the world — WoW! I’m so proud of you and what you’re accomplishing. I’m also glad to have a partner this year share this word “Courage” with me. We’ll be buddies and help one another. Hugs and God bless. 🙂

      • I love that, I love being your buddy, we will forge ahead together in courage dear friend, and we will support one another all the way. You are a great blessing to me Pat, I never take that for granted. Courage it is then. That is my word. Thank you so much. God bless you my dear friend, have a beautiful day… 🙂

        • Me, too, Sherri. It’s going to be interesting and I get the feeling more than I can ever imagine. I’m excited and glad to share it with you. We’ll see what happens. Hugs and blessings to you and happy Wednesday. 🙂

  6. Ok I don’t really do resolutions but if I was to have one resolution it would be to continue to wake up and be alive each day, because I am not sure how it would be to wake up dead, and I am not in the mood to do so, just saying so you know being alive is better then being dead. but since I have never been dead I really don’t what being dead would be like

    • Me neither, Joanne. I don’t do resolutions and comes as a surprise to me this challenge popped up for the New Year. The one resolution you share sounds to be the best one of all — wake up and be alive — for without that, there’d be no need for resolutions. So good to be alive. 🙂

  7. The thing I found out about courage, was that the more I used it, the better supply of it I had. It was like building up a muscle, so I called it my ‘courage muscle’ and made a point of using it regularly – often just ‘little’ things that maybe others wouldn’t see as needing courage, but were to me. And it built up. Despite my kicking and screaming 🙂
    After reading your words, the first one that popped into my head was ‘”stability”. I’ve been constantly packing my bags the past twelve months, and living in two places, and know it can’t continue. So here’s hoping my searching for a place to call home will result in ‘stability’.

    • I like that, Eremophila, and good advice on how to build courage. I guess we don’t have to wait for a catastrophic event to occur to see whether we have courage or not. We can put ourselves in circumstances to stretch ourselves and take it slow.

      I’ve done some of that over the years doing things out of the box and out of my comfort zone. I remember when I piloted talking-sticking workshops at work in the corporate world. It was a bit “woo-woo” and unconventional but I believe it served its purpose in helping people and provided a safe place where voices were heard.

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. It helps a lot and is valued given what I’ve read from you and seen what you’re about. I hope your word, Stability, will manifest in your life and prove to give you what your heart most desires.

  8. Hi Pat, I saw shortly before Christmas somewhere on TV bracelets you can order that have just one word on them, of your choice, that signifies you the best. Guess they are popular among the famous. At any rate, I’ve been thinking on it ever since trying to come up with my “word”. Its harder than it seems. Courage is a great one.

    • I haven’t seen those, Susan. Sure would be a good daily reminder of your word of choice. Courage is a good one and I don’t think it’s one I’ll easily forget — looks to be a good fit for me this year. Can’t wait to hear what will be your word for the New Year. 🙂

  9. Pingback: Stability | Eremophila's Musings

  10. Happy new Year. I’m still looking for this years word. Need to settle down for reflection time first. Too much doing and not enough being. I’ll read this post again before further comment.

    • Hi Marlene – Happy New Year to you, too. I’m happy to meet you and so glad you stopped by. I get what you mean about too much doing and not enough being. Holidays get that way and I got caught up in a lot of doing this year, too. It feels good to watch things settle and take a deep breath. I’ll be interested, after the dust clears for you, what your word will be. Hope you’ll be back and let us know. 🙂

    • Hi Carl — I can certainly understand your concern and seriousness of what’s happening in the world, particularly the Middle East. I think, in part, it’s what I’ve been feeling, too, and it appears I’m being prompted to get serious with getting my life in order.

      Whether we’re directly involved or not, we’re all connected and what happens – happens to all of us. I have to learn to take responsibility in me for what I can and, when I do, it will in turn affect everyone else energetically. If I’m fearful — then fear goes into the world. If I’m loving — love goes into the world.

      I know that sounds way too simple for the many horrific and complex events going on but I believe it to be powerful and effective. It’s what I know to do where I’m at.

      Your thoughts on that would be interesting and truly appreciated. Thank You for stopping by and commenting. 🙂

      • No, not silly simple at all but very profound. I think you have an attitude that radiates good karma. It can be contagious and the way we make good karma contagious is by living in goodness and kindness, by example so to speak. Making the world better starts with each of us in our own way whether it be in the microcosm of our immediate little world or in the macrocosm of being in a position of great leadership. Being a loving and nurturing parent is immensely important. Love , goodness and hope are the greatest legacy each of us can leave behind. Each little glow becomes a great light that will certainly destroy and burn away the evils of darkness.

        • Ah, thank you, Carl, for your kind words. They’re encouraging, hopeful and soothing given the world we’re living in today. You’re right about love, goodness and hope being a legacy but I also see it, like you say, a “little glow” and a balm that penetrates, rather than destroy becoming something more sweet and attractive than any evil could suggest. I can only hope to imagine how that would be.

  11. Happy New Year Pat, it sounds like last year brought you some profound experiences, so I have no doubt you’ll be able to find the courage to meet whatever it is that will test you. My word is joy, again, not something I really chose, but something that seemed to find me!

    • Hi Andrea and a Happy New Year to you, too! You’re right — last year was truly profound and miraculous. Interesting, though, it seemed like I had challenges but I didn’t feel alone in them. If I can meet whatever unfolds this year in the same way with the same feeling and guidance, then courage will be a given and will be there for me.

      I like your word joy. Boy, that word sets the tone for everything in how you approach every day and your life. I wish you much continued joy and many blessings this year. God bless. 🙂

  12. Opportunity! but you knew that already, Pat ;))
    Happy New Year again, hon (i’m catching up on my reading)

    • Is that your word, Karin, opportunity? I can see that for you and hope it carries through the whole New Year for you! Happy New Year to you, too, and no better than the present on catching up. Loved seeing you again. God bless! 🙂

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