For the past few years, I’ve come up with a word of the year — something that encapsulated my desired focus and aspirations for the coming 12 months. I fully expected to do the same this year as well, but when January 1 rolled around, I just wasn’t feeling it.
No single word was calling to me — and the words that did keep springing into my mind (such as anger, bewilderment, disgust, and disillusionment) were hardly ones that I wanted to serve as my theme for the year! But trying to force myself to “fake it till I make it” with a positive word (such as optimism, enthusiasm, or joy) just didn’t feel authentic.
Over the next few months, however, one word did keep coming up…again and again:
And, unlike those other words, this one actually felt good. It fit.
This small but powerful word can mean a lot of things — such as non-resistance, non-interference, or letting yourself and others be who they truly are. My spiritual mentors, Abraham-Hicks, even call their workshops “The Art of Allowing” and say that this is the most important lesson for most humans to learn in this lifetime. But to me, the word was mainly a reminder that I didn’t have to judge my emotions or beat myself up for not feeling bright and chipper — I could simply allow myself to feel what I was feeling. Period.
As I let this word’s energy seep into me, I felt lighter. I breathed easier. And I actually did start to feel a bit more bright and chipper (well, at least some of the time!).
Maybe ALLOW can be my word of the year, I thought.
But something about that word felt incomplete. It felt too passive — too yin. I needed some active yang energy to balance it out!
Around that time, my wife and I started thinking of ways to shift our energy, take positive action, and “be the change we want to see in the world.” Our first step was to change the theme of our next collaborative book, which we titled Goodness Abounds: 365 True Stories of Loving Kindness. We felt that this energy was (and definitely still is!) so needed in our country and around the world. And, selfishly, we wanted to immerse ourselves in goodness, to surround ourselves with these uplifting reminders that, despite what we’ve been seeing and hearing in the news, we still live in a kind, loving, and GOOD world.
And now I see that, without even looking for it, I’ve stumbled upon my second word of the year:
Like allow, goodness means many things to many people. To me, this year, it mainly represents that active force of positivity, soulfulness, an insistence on truth (or satyagraha, as Gandhi called it), and direct action to bring more soulful truth, love, and kindness into the world.
That feels good, too.
It feels empowering to realize that my life — including my thoughts, my actions, and my emotions — isn’t determined exclusively by my environment. I don’t have to be a passive recipient of others’ energy, at the mercy of the world around me (or even my own thoughts and emotions). I can actively take steps to shift my vibration, change my focus, and maybe even bring a little more goodness and light into the world.
So this year, I’ll be focusing on the GOODNESS that is within my power to bring about (in my life and in the world around me) while I ALLOW myself to feel whatever I may feel, without judgment. And since I get to make the rules for my own life, I’ve decided that I can decide on my word of the year in mid-April — and that it will actually be two words:
And that’s just what I plan to do!
P.S. If you’d like to join me in celebrating goodness, I’d love for you to share a story in our upcoming collaborative book, Goodness Abounds: 365 True Stories of Loving Kindness, which will celebrate goodness and the many people who actively bring more of it into the world. If you’re interested in joining us, this is a perfect time because we’re offering discounts until April 30. (Please click here or visit www.goodnessabounds.com to learn more.) Thank you for all the goodness you’re bringing into the world!