One of the ways that I try to bring more magic into my life is to choose a word or theme for each new year. It’s an idea I picked up from Elise Cripe via Ali Edwards, and 2017 will be my fifth time choosing a word. So far I’ve had reach in 2013, abundance in 2014, grace in 2015, and light in 2016. It makes me so happy to look back on each of them and think about the ways they did (or didn’t) come up for me throughout each of their respective years. I find this exercise so fun and interesting because there’s really no downside. Worst case: you forget you have a word (cough, 2015), and best case: you get a kick out of noticing your word everywhere you look and potentially have a new lens through which to see the world or help you to make decisions.
Like I said in my year in review post, light was my favourite word so far, right up there with abundance for me. It was fun that light is an actual physical phenomenon, so I could literally look for it out in the world, but I also noticed it in quotes, songs, and situations.
This year, my word is embrace. Let me tell you what it means to me, and what I hope I’ll do more of this year:
- Embrace others: As in, hug. As in, spend lots of time with the people that I love and cherish so much. Prioritize people! Say yes to quality time, and any chance to see my people. Hug them when I see them! Love them. I want to cultivate a sense of community this year in ways big and small, and spend my time and energy deepening my dearest connections.
- Embrace the situation: Even in the few short weeks since choosing this word, I’ve been shocked at how many of my thoughts in any given situation are some iteration of “things would be better right now if they were like this…” or “I wish that person would be a little more like this…” or “maybe we should do this thing right now”. Basically, wishing things were different from how they actually are. I don’t think that striving to accept people or situations means becoming complacent, I think it means valuing acceptance over criticism; honouring people as they are over how I wish they might be acting; and sitting with it instead of forcing things to look, be, or play out a certain way. Just let it be the way it’s meant to be.
- Embrace my everyday: Ooh this one makes me feel calmer and happier just saying it out loud. Because to embrace my everyday means I want to celebrate it, document it, love it exactly as it is. It means not devaluing my everyday just because it looks less pretty than someone’s Instagram account. It probably means checking other people’s Instagram accounts way less often. It means taking more photos and practicing gratitude for what I have. And most of all it means working to make my everyday as lovely, happy, cozy and special as I possibly can.
- Embrace the season: I mean this one both literally and figuratively, as I am not much for winter. But I’m also talking about the season of life that I’m in: I’m single, in a new city, trying to make friends and make a life and make a career all at the same time. It’s a lot! It’s easy to want to skip ahead to some mythical time when “things will be more settled” and “things are more figured out” (spoiler alert: that time is never), so for me, embracing the season means being okay with the weird, awkward parts and the incredibly awesome parts all at the same time. I want to remember to get out there and find my tribe, settle into my community, and make the most out of this season because before I know it, it will be over. I mean this literally: when I lived in Korea and then Ecuador, I always felt like that season would last forever, but of course it didn’t, and now those times are behind me. You only get one shot to make it amazing! I want to make it amazing.
- Embrace myself: I want to do the things that I really love and that make me happiest. I want to stop trying to be different or “better” than I am. Acceptance. I want to trust my gut (I’m sorry for all the times I haven’t listened to you, gut!) and let awesome things flow to me.
I think it’s going to be a pretty amazing year. My new hashtag, if you want to follow along, is going to be #embracethedayproject.
Happy 2017, everyone!