Day of Rest: New Year, New Word

I wasn’t going to pick a word this year. Up until this morning, I wasn’t going to pick a word.

As I wrote about how I wasn’t, I took a look back at years past. How in 2011, I made my last New Year’s resolution and it was “to be a better friend to myself.” Then in 2012 it was “retreat,” 2013 “freedom,” 2014 “home,” 2015 “nourish,” 2016 “path,” 2017 was a whole phrase “I don’t know what’s going to happen,” and then 2018 I had intentions but no resolutions or word, and in 2019 I didn’t choose a word but it would have been “re-tire(ed),” and of course in 2020 what was there to even say as we all spent the year in a stunned silence going out on our back step every night at 8 pm to howl with the rest of the animals, and 2021 wasn’t much better or any less confusing and I didn’t know what to say or think about it, not a single word made sense, and in 2022, this year, I jokingly chose “nope.”

And after writing about it for a bit, I considered words like “mercy” or “love” or “surrender.” Then the word came that floats around for me quite a bit: “embody.” Wanting my actions to align with my truth, wanting to be present and responsive in my body, to have all the wisdom I’ve gleaned and carry around in my mind and pockets settle in and stick right in the center of my broken tender heart, that final stage of knowing where you don’t have to force it or try, it’s just who you are.

And yesterday, @asoulcalledjoel posted his morning check in on Instagram, ending with the blessing, “may you allow your authentic longings to be embodied — in every step, in every breath, in every action,” and I couldn’t stop thinking about it all day. So, even more than this year’s word is the mantra, “allow your authentic longings to be embodied.”

Though you cannot
remember it now,
you have taken a vow
with the stars
as your witness,
to offer your heart
to this world.

You have agreed
to remain naked, raw,
and vulnerable forever,
to enter into
the heart of sadness
and the ocean of tenderness
if that is where love calls you.

Your only guide
is the unknown
and the only map
is found inside
the cells of your own heart.

~Matt Licata

Happy New Year, kind and gentle reader. ❤

9 thoughts on “Day of Rest: New Year, New Word

  1. Rita Ott Ramstad

    I think I’m going to steal your word, or some version of it. I’m on a journey with my body. For too long, I have made the poor thing carry all my trauma and stress. I want to learn how to embody healing, literally.


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