As with every year, I kept an ongoing list for my possible words in 2017. I tend to start this list around February because sometimes ideas come to me early in the year and I want to track them for different reasons. Throughout the year, different words feel like winners. They feel really strong. Here’s a peek at this year’s list:
The ones with the stars were ones I kept coming back to a few times. I have a tough time choosing words for several reasons.
- I don’t want to pick a word for something I wish I were. Like “easy.” I feel that when I pick a word that’s likely to make me feel intimidated, I spend most of the year feeling bad about letting myself down. The word should push/encourage me but it shouldn’t be aspirational. It should be inspirational.
- I loved my 2015 word (brave) so much that I feel I am always trying to find a word that will be as magical as brave was for me. I am learning that I will just have to carry brave around with me forever and not worry about having such a powerful word each time.
- Some words are more action oriented (like brave, adventure, nourish) and some are more introspective (like easy, equable, magic) and what I want is a combination of both.
As it seems to be my trend lately, I picked my word many many months before the year started. Even though I went back and forth many times and I am still finding myself wavering at times, I’ve settled on SHINE for 2017.
This word is coming from a story I mentioned a while back. Back when I was training to be a life coach, in one of my classes, we did a visualization exercise called The Captain. During my exercise, I was sitting in the woods (peaceful, quiet woods) when this little girl (who looked like me) came over to me and gave me a box. Inside the box was light. When I opened it, it shone everywhere, it filled the forest up. She said it was my light and that she was a reminder to let my light shine and that I was here to also be the reflection for others’ light so I can show them how their light is shining, too.
I know it sounds corny. But this is what happened when I did the exercise and I haven’t stopped thinking about it even though it was quite a few years ago, now. So when I was thinking about my word, I decided this was my year to shine (and help others shine).
I was tempted to choose light for my word this year because it feels easier. And it has so much room for multiple meanings. Shine sounds selfish and like being the center of attention. I don’t like either of those things. But I reminded myself that the girl told me to shine. So I decided to stick with it and understand this word a bit better. Here’s what shine means to me:
- Heal: To shine means I will focus on healing the parts of me that feel broken. To see myself as whole and enough. It means I am going to work on remembering that I have this big source of light inside me and that part of me overshadows everything else. Light comes through the cracks and it takes over the dark. I will embrace me, all of me, and let my true self shine.
- Open: To shine means to be open and to receive and give generously. There’s no limit to my light. I will not run out. I can feel others with mine and also allow myself to bask in theirs because it’s an unlimited resource. I am open.
- Bold: To shine means to be brave. To show up. To be bold. There’s no more hiding in the shadows. No siting back. It’s being there. Being visible. Radiating.
- Reflect: A big part of shine for me is reflecting other people’s light back on to them. Reminding everyone of how they have their own amazing light inside and encouraging them to shine, too. Imagine if we all chose to shine, how amazing would it be?
So there we go. Here’s to a year of radiance. Illumination. A year full of shimmer. Sparkle. Glow.
Here’s to 2017: my year to SHINE.