It’s that time of year again – new beginnings, fresh starts and leaving the old crap behind. As is my tradition, instead of New Year’s resolutions, I am picking a word for 2018 to guide my year and set my intentions.
Last year’s word was co-create, which I defined as “co-creating my life’s purpose in partnership with my inner knowing. For the record, my words for the previous 5 years were light (2012), joy (2013), fierce (2104), stretch (2015) and release (2016).*
Gotta say, it took me til about September to get off my butt and get moving. I sometimes do a mid-year check-in on my word and in July I think I had even forgotten what my word was! Somehow, I wasn’t actually working my word and so, well, not much was happening.
So, after a pretty crappy and unsatisfying summer, I starting some slow and tentative steps towards putting in my side of the partnership work. I applied for a teaching job because teaching fires my soul. I joined a step group to do another run through the 12-steps in order to get some honesty around my deteriorating relationship with food. I started journaling again to try to articulate and release the blob of messy feelings that I was carrying around daily.
And I started to ask myself, what is blocking me from the process of co-creation? One definition of co-creation I found was “co-creation happens naturally whenever your soul or inner knowing inspires you to take action and follow your passion or pursue your life purpose.” Well, it was not happening naturally!
This is the image I used for last year … I certainly did not feel like I was cracking open or that there was any light shining out! In contrast, I felt blocked up by layers of clay and more and more trapped.
It became increasingly clearer that what was blocking me from co-creating my life was my increasingly dysfunctional relationship with food. Unhealthy choices, motivated by using food to comfort me from feelings of tiredness, loneliness, depression, stress and feelings of failure was resulting in more of my energy being focused on food and less on staying connected and healthy.
Which led me to my first idea for a word for 2018 … freedom. Specifically, freedom from food. I wanted to focus on freeing up all the time and energy I spend on having crazy-brain around food and having that available to co-create my life. I want to feel physically less tired and emotionally less sad.
For me, this is a very scary thing to say publicly (well, semi-publicly) because so often my intentions around food have left me feeling like a failure. Which is just not true. My physical and emotional relationship with food is SO much better than it was ten years ago. Ten years ago, I would not have been able to write any of this let alone share it.
So I am summoning up some courage and some hope and some optimism, and I am striving for freedom from food. I’m not sure what all this entails. I know I want to get out walking more and have sorted out some steps to making that happen (heh, steps). I know that I need to journal more often. I know that meaningful spiritual rituals are my keys to self-knowledge and connection. And I know that that I need the support of fellow travellers on the road to a healthier relationship with food.
I was all set to pick freedom as my word for 2018. And then I realized that at the root of all of this is the need to foster a deep sense of self-worth. That spending time on freeing myself from what blocks me from my personal goals … food obsession, behaviours that trigger depression, Facebook, iPhone games, over-service to others … is worth it because I am worth it. Not because I am special snowflake but because I am worth my own time and I need me to treat myself with love and take care of myself. That each healthy choice I make is worth it because I am worth it.
So, there it is, my word for 2018 … self-worth. It’s a scary word for me, exposed and vulnerable and honest. Let’s see where it takes me …
* For help and support in picking your Word of the Year check out Susannah Conway’s Find your Word free e-course or her Unravel Your Word workbook. Thanks, Susannah!!