Last December as I strolled the streets of New York City, I looked up at the Macy's Believe sign and it hit me that I had found my 2017 word for the year. Here's what I wrote about it.
This word, believe, was truly a guidepost for me. I'm better able to recall what even happened this year because of keeping this intention top of mind. I know that sounds like a stretch, but if I ask myself how I used believe to guide me, I'm able to pull out a bunch of examples throughout the entire year:
February: Believe that I have a place on stage with the Listen To Your Mother production and auditioned with 40 other women in DC. I was one of 13 women who performed in DC for the final year of the show.
April: Believe that having a hard conversation with my sister about our communication styles will lead to better outcomes and less stress. This was smack dab in one of the hardest parts of our year when we, as joint powers of attorney for our mom, were selling our childhood home in NY. From Virginia where we both live. Almost everything that could go wrong did. But that conversation stayed with us and at the end of this year I feel closer to my sister than ever before.
September: Believe that there is still worth and value in my writing class that I poured my heart and soul into even though enough people did not enroll to make it happen. Ouch. This one was really tough. But I fully believe in this content and I'm trying again in January.
See how the outcome doesn't matter too much?
Both really great things and really crappy things happened when I intentionally put my energy into believing. But I was able to work my way through the the anger, sadness, and disappointment. I didn't give up or turn my back. And I think this had something to do with setting the intention of believe.
To be completely honest and upfront - lots of things happened this year where I was not acting from this intention or from any intention at all. (Well, maybe hunger or exhaustion...) I have lots of room to grow. You don't have to be perfect or aim for perfection to get started with this. It really helps to give yourself the grace to screw up and to let go of the outcome.
So... did you have a word or intention to guide you for 2017? Try looking back to see how events played out when you made decisions and connected to others from the place of your intention. I'd love to hear your personal experiences and whether you feel it's a useful practice.
Didn't have a word or intention for last year and interested in trying it for 2018? Let's do it together. I'm still looking around for mine. I was introduced to the idea of a word for your year from Susannah Conway (who I don't know personally but whose work totally resonates) and she has some really beautiful resources you could check out to get you started.