For the last two or three years, instead of making New Year's Resolutions, I have chosen one word to focus on for the year. According to Ali Edwards and Christine Kane, choosing one word lets us focus on that word throughout the year, lets that word guide us when we choose how to spend our time, and lets us aspire to desired results instead of forcing us through grim effort.
2009's word was delight. 2010 was flow. I have been amazed at how keeping that one word in mind affects my life and my choices—in a good way. So I was excited about the word for 2011. What would it be? What do I want to add to my life? I pondered different words; I was gifted with the word "reconnect" through a rock from Patti Digh. Would that be my word?
As I pondered, the word that returned persistently, that tugged at my sleeve as I considered others, that insisted on being my focus for 2011 is the word "shine."
Shine, as in "let your light shine," as in "lit from within," as in "be transparent," as in "be who you are and show that to the world."
Shine as in all the time. Take away the bushel or the cover that you throw over your light when you think it isn't safe to shine. Shine when shining may call attention to you. Shine when shining may be risky.
As someone who has spent life trying to be invisible until she knows it is safe to appear, this word is scary. Yet, I know it is the right word for me.
Patti Digh has written and talked about sharing the light that only you can bring to the world. Just today, Kathryn Antyr, the Collage Diva, wrote a touching message that says we each have a light that is unique to us; we must tend to our light and let it shine—whether it is blazing or dim, we need to tend it and share it with the world.
Since I chose the word Shine, I expected the New Year to start with shining and blazing. Instead, I've felt tired, lethargic, and dim. I've spent time sleeping, pondering, and doing only what is necessary. I've read blogs which have given me more to ponder. And I realize that even in this time of grayness, my inner fire is still burning, still giving off light. The light never goes out. I just need to tend to the fire right now.
Marianne Williamson's book, A Course in Weight Loss, talks about removing the brick wall that hides our real self from the world. Her course instructs you in how to remove those bricks one at a time. I feel that I've kept that brick wall nice and thick through the years. I've allowed my light to shine through windows and at times have opened doors wide to let the light shine. But I've always kept my wall in place.
2011 will be my year to tend to my inner fire and to let it shine—to remove the brick wall so the real me can be seen. To shine through darkness and sun, blazing or dim, to shine and give warmth and comfort to those who may need it—or who just want to enjoy it! My focus is to shine and be seen. I guess my theme song this year will be "This little light of mine; I'm gonna let it shine!"
It's my time to SHINE!