Discovering my word of the year is a combination of things:
- reflection on the year that past
- a draw to different themes
- intuition or inspiration of the Spirit
- the ‘under the rock’ thought process
This year, I found myself outside of a formal ‘sit down and reflect on the year’ moment with my favourite questions and set aside time. I couldn’t sleep and was up around 4:30am with my journal, reading my psalm of the day, and then reflections on the year started to pour out. During this time, words started to emerge. I jotted them down at the top of my page, a thing I often do when ideas come up that seem somewhat irrelevant to the current journaling moment, but are things I want to tuck away for another day.
As the days went on, my brain and heart and soul were still spinning. As new words emerged I would flip back to that first page from that sleepless morning and jot the words next to the ones already there, seemingly, unknowingly, adding more clues and depth to what my word of the year would hold.
The ‘under the rock’ process began…The ‘under the rock’ process, if you haven’t heard of it before, was something I learned many moons ago during my training to become a life coach. The idea is that often, when you first discover something, it’s like finding a rock. It feels exciting and engaging and there’s a sense of contentment at the discovery. But often, the rock is a marker. It signifies that there is something below. So we ask ourselves, ‘what’s beneath the rock?’. As I went through my process of discovery, I realized all the words I had been writing down were rocks marking the treasure below. Words like;
All these were, in my imagination, shiny, beautiful, glimmering rocks. Each rock itself was incredible and would have been a fitting word to settle in on for the year. However, as I picked up each one and examined them, I began to notice that they were all part of the treasure to be unearthed.
I type those words with a flutter in my chest as I know the word can come with a lot of ‘woo woo’ weirdness around it. The idea of ‘claiming abundance’, or the idea that I’ll start thinking that I am abundant and cheques will show up in the mail as people remember back when ‘The Secret’ was a big thing and the law of attraction was popping up everywhere. Abundance can seem scary to those who want to be mindful of their faith… The idea can be preached that we should want for nothing outside of Jesus so desiring abundance must be a bad thing, or on the opposite, end abundance can also be something different denominations tell us is our birthright, that when we are abundant it means we are in ‘God’s favour’ and ‘God is pleased with us’ and we’ll have money and cars are will live a lavish lifestyle.
Well, friends, none of those things are what abundance means to me during this season of life.
Abundance to me means ditching the scarcity mindset.
It means ‘using the good tea’.
It means taking delight in the things I have instead of ‘saving them’ for something special.
It means acknowledging that I already have so much; my closet has clothes, the cupboards have food, my desk has pens.
It means desiring all the good things ahead.
It means saying ‘yes’ to opportunities.
It means trusting God.
It means getting out into nature and seeing the world God has created.
It means I have time for what’s important.
As I worked through the Aligned & Designed At Home workbook, reflecting on the questions presented, I noticed how my word was affirmed even then. When I took the moments to notice if any themes had begun to arrive during my reflection, the phrase that is written on the back pages of my 2023 planner are as follows: I am abundant in life, living feeling free to pursue passion, play, and dreams, with an outpouring of delight. When I boiled that down to one word, it was abundance.
Since ‘trying on’ my word over the past couple of weeks, just reminding myself ‘I am abundant’ has already proven to be a beautiful intention to have in my ‘back pocket’. When having to turn down an opportunity to share yoga at a corporate retreat because we moved to Tennessee, I am able to focus on the gift it is to be considered, and remind myself that new opportunities will come as we settle here more; I am abundant. As I invest in relationships with friends that have turned into group chats and planning evenings out, I am reminded of how seeds planted over the past 5 months are growing; I am abundant. Even as I went to a friends house to check out some clothing she is clearing out of her closest, I went there reminding myself that my closest is full of clothing and only to pick out the things I really love and that there’s no need to take something that doesn’t fit well or that isn’t my style, and that I can release the ‘ill fitting hand-me-down’ days of my childhood; I am abundant. I can share about Aligned & Designed At Home with excitement, showing up online consistently, knowing what Lea from the Green Light Collection and I have put together is something special and beneficial for people, not something I need to shrink away from; I am abundant.
From abundant creativity and problem solving, to abundant blossoming friendships, to abundance leading to contentment in what is already in my sphere, abundance seems to be reprogramming many of my mindsets and habits, opening me up to where scarcity and fear have been lodged in, and gently uprooting them with every reminder of abundance, every sip of ‘the good tea’, and every moment when I pause and give myself the reality check that ‘I am abundant’.
As I spoke with my own spiritual director this month, my word of the year came up. We ended up chatting about how the kingdom of God is truly one of abundance. Everyone having enough, no one going hungry, no one hoarding their greed, a true world of mutual flourishing. Abundance feels like an invitation from the Divine of not only mindset, but of action. Where do I have much I can share? Where can I oppose systems that keep some wealthy and others barely making it by? Abundance stirred to action allows for justice, too.
Affirmation of this ‘word of the year’ has come in many seemingly little ways. Like the day I saw multiple beautiful cardinals out my window after previously only seeing one. My gaze was first stirred to one, then another, then within seconds more and more appeared until my view was filled with at least 6 males and even more females. Last year, before my word of the year was even in my thought process, I remember being so blown away by the seeing of just one cardinal! I hadn’t seen it again after that day until this moment where I saw a group of them. Other ways have been in books that I’m reading for my post-graduate year of study, to my morning devotional, which have addressed the scarcity mindset vs one of abundance.
It feels as though the world has been urging me to settle in and commit to the word. Note that when I say ‘world’ here, I am saying it with the acknowledgment of the Divine revealed to us through the world; that God speaks through nature and books and people and our every day experiences. In the moments we slow and still God is whispering. In the moments of softened reflection, of embodied awareness to our internal weather, we notice God inviting us to explore.
As I sat at my desk on a sunny afternoon, the sun reflecting brightly off the snow that arrived abundantly in Tennessee over the last two days, I thought of my word of the year. As I picked through the letter beads, searching for the treasure of the letters I needed to spell my word, and as I laid out each letter, followed by creating a rainbow pattern with the crystals and gold beads, I considered how, even in this moment, I was feeling abundant; abundant with gratitude for being able to co-create Aligned & Designed At Home (and the original Aligned & Designed in-person!) with Lea. Abundant with gratitude for the practice of creating, to be able to make something beautiful I am so excited to wear. Abundant with joy for the sunshine and the way it makes the snow sparkle like glitter. Abundant with love as I consider getting to do this after a birthday weekend where I felt so loved and encouraged by all of the beautiful messages friends were sending. Abundant with hopeful expectations for this year that will unfold. Of all the days we have left until we turn to 2025, there are millions of little moments where choosing abundance will impact how I live my life.
I am ready to see how this intention taken with me into this life will show up in both expected and unexpected ways.
May your word of the year manifest in ways both expected and unexpected, in ways more beautiful than you could have imagined, and in ways that reveal the ever-present, ever-loving Divine with you at every moment.