Reverb13: One Word

(For the past three years, I’ve used Reverb10 prompts for every day of December. It’s a great way to reflect on the year and set goals for the future. I’ve kept my favorite prompts, added a few from other sources, and created my own month of questions.)

One Word.Encapsulate the year 2013 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2014 for you?

This past year’s word is Spacious for multiple reasons. First, because it’s a word I felt needed when I started the new school year in August, and put on post it notes all over my office. I wanted to remind myself that I did indeed have time to do all the things I wanted, despite the constant pressure from my genius but workaholic boss to be in a constant state of panic and frenzy. I tried very hard, and often did not succeed, to embrace every question and interruption and emergency with kindness and care. It was good to have the word up, because I do think it helped. I think it might keep it up.

On another level, even though the word didn’t always make me feel spacious at work, it is still the word of the year because one of the biggest lessons of the year is that my bandwidth is way bigger than I would have thought. I am working full time, taking a grad school class, had clients, found time to do stuff for myself, be part of my circle, but also and most important, managed to stay close to my husband. I was the most worried about that. I spite of it all, I found I had more energy than I realized or would have predicted. I am surprised and proud of myself for how spacious 2013 really was when all is said and done.

Looking to the new year, I have chosen the word devotion for 2014. I know the Reverb10 question does not ask you to deliberately choose a word to use for the year, but that kind of thing has become trendy lately: Instead of a new year’s a resolution, pick a word that encapsulates everything. So, the word I want to be the word I think of next year at this time as well as the word I will focus on for the year is the same. Devotion. It came to me in a rush, and I have had to take some time to figure out exactly what that means. I think that it is a lot like spacious.

Devotion reminds me to slow down, and do everything deliberately and with reverence. Working out is a form of devotion – devotion to my body and well-being. Kissing can be done with devotion. Love is devotion. As is meditation. And prayer. This year was very much about prayer in my daily spiritual practice for me and I want to continue exploring that. Mala is devotion. Devotion is also a way for me to approach my job. Devotion to doing a good job and being there for the kids and families I work with. It is a great way to relax, slow down, and do my work with calm integrity. Reading and continuing with the classes I am taking is also a devotion to something. Everything, when viewed in this context, is an act of devotion in some way. I hope it brings me a calm peace, as we’ll as helps me to focus on what really matters in the coming year.

P.S. Last year I wrote this.

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