Tuesday, 6 December 2011

looking back; looking ahead

I was looking in my journal from this time last year. I wrote about my word for 2010 - what the year had meant to me, trying to summarize it in one word. I chose the word "dive" because we had spent 4 months of that year in France, and dove into a new experience. We also dove into an investigation into different kinds of community living and visited 2 ecovillages. A year of a lot of learning and exploring.

Then I tried to choose a word that would lead me into 2011 - prod me on. I couldn't choose one, so I chose two: simplify and connect.

I really like this exercise - of looking back, and looking forward. Of choosing one word to light my way.

So I'm doing it again this year. As 2011 wraps up, I can see how the words "simplify" and "connect" have led me in different ways this past year. I've been inspired to declutter over and over and over again (still not done), to try out blogging as a way of processing ideas and connecting with others, to welcome someone new into our family, and to get better at saying "no" so that I have time for the "yes" things that I really want to do. When I look back, I can see some movement and improvement in some areas where I was yearning for change last year at this time.

The word that keeps popping into my mind for 2012 (can't believe I'm even writing that number!) is: CHERISH. For me, this word has connections to family, friends, community and the earth, and also to the small moments and memories. It means slowing down, breathing evenly, practicing gratefulness, and looking at the world with a sense of wonder.

Some images that say "cherish" to me:

quilts on a clothesline
Eden and a ladybug
Photo credit: Open Shutters Photography
What about you?

What is your word for 2011? What word will light your way in 2012?


  1. i enjoyed your post, rebecca...especially because the idea of a new word for 2012 {yes...eegads!} has been rolling around in my mind. my word for 2011 was peace. it's a word that sat well with me throughout the year...an intention that i lived out more successfully than in years past {but still an effort and a work in progress!}. i have not selected my year for 2012 yet, but will do so in the next few weeks. i so enjoyed this exercise last year...loved the gentle exploration, the mindful intention.
    i *love* your word: cherish. it's a word that just sort of wraps itself around you and holds you close...

  2. Michelle: looking forward to hearing about your word!

  3. Can't wait to hear where your word takes you this year!
    Chose two words that have resided together in a beautiful tension for me in 2011...Possibility and Enough.
    And my word for 2012 is Grounded. I had a moment for stillness and silence recently and had an image come to mind of my feet planted firmly on the ground, an open stance, arms and palms open with a flow of giving and receiving.

  4. I'm still waiting to find my word for this coming year. I've found in years past that it works best for me not to overthink the word, but just let it arrive. This past year's word was "heart." I think I lived it out in a physical way more than an emotional way: literally calling on my heart to work as I swam, ran, biked, and trained for races.

  5. Beth: I love that word - grounded. And the image that came to your mind - beautiful! Can't wait to hear where this takes YOU!

    Carrie: let me know when the word comes to you!