Just over a year ago I heard someone talk about the idea of choosing a word for the year at new years. It would be a word to represent an intention or focus for the coming year. Apparently I like to think about things before acting on them, so it took me more than a year to decide that I’d like to do this exercise.
I really love words and what they represent, so it was tough to narrow it down. I’ve got two words in mind and can’t seem to settle on the “best” one. In fact I think I might just use both of them!
Contentment is something I’d like to experience more of. I fully believe I can experience it at any time and that in fact it is not dependent on my circumstances. Eckhart Tolle has written a lot about being in the Now, and about the kind of relationship we have with the present moment. He suggests that we ask ourselves, “Do I want the present moment to be my friend or my enemy?”
He goes on to say that if you are feeling stressed and frustrated, you may be seeing life as “a ‘problem’, and you come to inhabit a world of problems that all need to be solved before you can be happy, fulfilled, or really start living – or so you think”. (From “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose”) I know I fall into that trap often, so rather than allow discontentment to rule, I can choose to make peace with what is.
Acceptance is the other word that came to mind and it overlaps with the idea of contentment. Again, I’m thinking of a peaceful approach to life and circumstances, rather than a feeling of always being at odds or at war with what is happening or what I anticipate will be happening. Acceptance doesn’t mean not planning or setting goals to make changes, for me it just means starting from a place of accepting that “it is what it is”.
These words are like seeds that I plant in my consciousness. With reminders to myself from week to week and month to month, by watering them with attention and intention, by putting them in the sunlight of my day to day thoughts, I hope that they will grow and flourish into the themes by which I live.
What about you, what word(s) would you choose and why?
Here’s to another year! May it be made up of moments in which I can experience contentment and practice acceptance.