What’s Your Word?

Last September, I shared with my high school students the power of choosing “Your Word.” Here’s the deal: each year around my birthday I choose a word that will serve as a tool, a reminder, a mantra, and sometimes a life raft for the year to come.

Last year, my word was “trust,” and with it I manifested a career change, a wedding, a house, and a cross country move. Through each step of these adventures, I kept telling myself to trust what the universe has in store, trust that what needs to happen will (even when it’s not what I planned), trust that it will all work out. And it did.

In August, I celebrated another trip around the sun, and with great thought have chosen my word for this year. While last year turned out to be a year of action, I think this year is one of settling in and preparing for life changes ahead. The word that feels right for me at this stage is “embody.”

To me, “embody” means being in the body, of the body, connected to spirit, presence, and self. It calls to mind awareness and the senses and a type of groundedness that comes from being wholly accepting and settled in oneself. Yeah, I want all of that.

Here are examples of how I hope to use my word in a few areas of my life:

Home: There’s no doubt in my mind that physical space affects mental space, so what do I want my home to embody? Creativity, growth, and love. For me, this means altars with meaningful objects, creating cozy spaces I want to spend time in (#allthehouseplants), and keeping our home clean and uncluttered so we can have friends over without me freaking out about all the junk everywhere (perfectionist tendencies, anyone?).

Relationship: When I think about the word “embody” in regards to a relationship, I think of being fully present both with yourself and with the other person. When we fully show up in our relationship and sink into how we want to feel with the other person, it helps both parties be more loving and communicative.

Body: This is the biggest one for me (as it is for many women). Embodying my physical self means not only learning how to accept and respect her, but also taking positive action on her behalf. Our bodies are complex, and I want to be as healthy and connected to my body as possible. Please note that by “healthy,” I do not mean skinny or fitting into a certain clothing size. I mean taking care of my thyroid, getting back to my yoga/meditation practice, trying acupuncture for my migraines, and showing up for myself every day.

So, as I did with my students last year, I invite you to choose “Your Word.” It doesn’t matter if it’s not your birthday or the start of a school year—you don’t need an excuse or the perfect start date. If the idea of a year is too daunting, pick a word for the season, the month, even just the day, and see how it changes your mindset.

Once your word comes to you (don’t force it or judge it), spend some time journaling how you’d like this word to show up in various areas of your life, like I did above. Your word may not manifest in the exact way you laid out, but as I found out last year, trust the process and you’ll benefit from the results.