In my mid-twenties, I was in a workshop at a conference where we were asked to come up with one word that described our mission and then follow that with a sentence that explained it. The question seemed so daunting. Just one word? But I’m a word hoarder. I love words. I need more than one, I reasoned. And then my word popped up to me like destiny.
Voice, I said. It was my first succinct explanation of what I was finding to be my vocation.
What was my point in life? To help people get at their own voices so that they could express themselves and act from an authentic place. Sometimes I could instigate that by using my own voice. Often times, I accomplished my mission by listening, questioning, suggesting. Mostly, I want to encourage people to explore, integrate and solidify their voices in order to empower them with their own truth, confidence, hope, passion, and action.
While my overall mission is still rooted in voice, I find that it is really helpful to choose a word at the beginning of each new year that will help guide my intentions and energies for that year. Two years ago, when Happy first came home, that word was Peace. It was such a hectic time with things moving at intense paces, and, in the midst of that, I wanted to remain still in my heart and mind, to be at peace with this part of my life as I knew it would blink by. Last year, my word was wellness. I had really put everything possible aside to welcome Happy to our world and get him adjusted and my wellness had been neglected. As I have watched my dad struggle this year, fully aware that he was the picture of health as he went into his health crisis, I am ever more aware of how much wellness matters. I will rededicate myself this year to both wellness and peace because both of those words symbolize concepts that are important for me.
But, it’s time for me to find my NEW word for 2011. I have an idea of what I want this year to look like, a sense of what I want to be able to say on the other side, but I have yet to find its defining word. I am looking for it, and I want to encourage you to look for your word, too.
What does a word for the year have to do with self-awareness, self-esteem, and a positive body image? I find that having a focus, an intention, reminds me that I am the keeper of my fate. I can make my life happen. And knowing that we make our lives happen is the cornerstone of healthy esteem and realized self-awareness. And healthy esteem and realized self-awareness allow us to control our body image, not to have false images or ideas control us.
So, when you think about what you are about this year, what word comes to mind? Share your answer here (I will, too), and I’ll compile them later for everyone!