Generally my word for the next year starts to emerge in my world in October or November. What I mean by that is it’s something that keeps coming up in conversations or books or podcasts or anything I am listening to or reading. I definitely let my word choose me versus my trying to pick it.
I didn’t (or so I thought) have this happen last year and was mostly resigned to stick with my same word (expression) from 2017. I felt I wasn’t yet done with it and I would continue with that and the same sub-words (which I’ve had a couple of years now): focus & light. I wanted to move focus a little more towards the center where I thought it needed to be.
During December Reflections on Instagram with Susannah Conway, I even declared my same word for 2018 and wrote out my feelings on that.
In the beginning of the calendar year I always pull back a bit, practicing silence, signing off and out of social media apps. I read, slowly get back to my routine and mostly rest. This time of year always has a way to get me back to my center.
I was listening to the audio book The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer, and he was discussing the journey to transcendence and made a statement about centering or being centered and something else about releasing. Aha! Centering. Or center. It was there all along. In my Instagram post about my word expression. In the meditation mantra I’ve been using this year of “I am”. In the idea of moving focus more to the center. It hit me just like that. My word for 2018: Center
Ok, so now I have a word, what does it mean?
Once this happened, I was working in Susannah Conway’s workbook Unravel and was able to go a bit deeper into what center would mean for me. For one, it is about focus as well. It’s about awareness, self-awareness. Centering ties into other virtues I try to adhere to, like with contentment (niyama: Santosha).
So what do I do with this word?
Well for one, I want to be aware of my center. I talk a lot about duality. Darkness & light, ebbs & flows. And I work at being aware of emotions & thoughts, and keeping a balance. I try to find myself in that center. So being aware of extreme emotions, not being overly celebratory or egocentric, and yet not melodramatic or sinking into the lows. For me awareness & recognition always lead to a change in habits & growth.
And how exactly do I put this into practice?
Awareness is another word for meditation or practice for me. A consistent yoga practice helps, asana practice (or postures) is very centering for me. Meditation gives me a chance to recognize what is going on in my head, heart & body. Only with recognizing what is happening, can I then see where adjustments need to be made. All of these practices contribute to centering.
Keeping my word visible helps. Even a simple sticky note in my general eye line at work helps.
I’ve also felt a desire to focus more on the heart chakra (anahata) which is the center of the 7 chakra energy centers.
It’s energizing when the universe leaves these breadcrumbs and even more miraculous when I actually am aware & start to collect them!
Have you chosen a word for 2018? How will you practice your word? Do you do any sort of scrapbook projects with?
I am planning to make a page about my word.