The past couple of years I’ve chosen a single word as an intention for the year ahead instead of making resolutions. For me, lists of goals and resolutions are easily abandoned, but a single word follows me through the year in a more fluid way. I also find it easier to hold a single word more lightly, letting it be a guide but not something that determines my success or failure.
2014 was the year of Harvest, which unfolded as a year of working to improve my follow-through on projects and gratitude for the bounty in my life.
2015 was the year of Practice, which kicked my butt in many ways. Practice is hard work! But I loved having Practice as my intention because it wasn’t about being successful, it was just about getting in there and working at it. If I was honestly trying, I was practising. In fact, Practice was such a great intention word that I considered keeping it for a second year in a row. I never really want to give up my practice. So this year’s word is layered over top.
2016 is my year of Heart. As I was reflecting on possible words and intentions to choose for this year ahead, the word Heart came up and I simultaneously felt a strong draw and resistance to it. That’s my cue to dig in. Well, I sat with that resistance for a few days before deciding, but that mix of strong feelings usually means I have something juicy to learn there.
Why the resistance, I wondered? Isn’t Heart a lovely thing to focus on for a year?
Yes, some things in the heart are lovely and warm and sweet. But there’s also vulnerability and hurt and smallness. There’s honesty. And pain sometimes. There aren’t really many places to hide when your heart is out there in the world.
This is my practice.