When I drop a pebble into still water, I am captivated by the expanding ripples it creates. It is a simple demonstration of how one small action can have an ongoing effect. This came to mind as I was choosing my word of the year for 2021.
I began this exercise in 2016, when a dear friend gave me two words of advice. He said, “JUST JUMP”. He encouraged me to believe and trust in myself to say ‘yes’. I took his advice and jumped.
This clear focus on one word each year has had such a positive impact in my life. So much so, I have maintained this “word of the year” exercise since then. Each year I choose a word that resonates with me. A word that provides me with inspiration, perspective, and clarity. This word supports me by regrounding me quickly to the one thing I am choosing to focus on.
In 2017, I chose “BUILD”. I needed to rebuild my life both professionally and personally. In 2018, “ELEVATE” helped me reach new heights. In 2019, “BELIEVE” gave me a daily reminder that I needed to believe in myself and in others.
My word for 2020 was “RISE”. I had no idea at the time how important that chosen word would be. Rising to an unforeseen challenge, to supporting my community, to caring for my clients and family.
This year, I chose “BREATHE” as my word of the year. The small action of sitting still and focusing on breathing has a huge ripple effect on everything else in my world. Whether you call it meditation or see it as a quiet pause. The act of slowing down, being aware of your body and your surroundings, and observing the act of breathing is calming.
We need to breathe to survive. We do it unconsciously thousands of times a day. When you start to pay attention to the muscles in your body expanding and contracting and listening to your breath in your head, something remarkable happens. You become more aware and present in the moment. You are able to be still; to slow down and to take a little break.
For me, choosing “BREATHE” is a reminder to stop and pause. To make a choice in how I show up. And to find gratitude for things in my life; pebble-sized or ripple-sized. A few minutes to breathe can help me find an answer to a problem, reframe a situation, adjust my mindset, and be ready to contribute in a way that can start even more positive changes.
My hope is that each of you take the time to find your word for 2021. A word that supports your purpose and creativity. A word you can draw energy and inspiration from.
I would love to know what you choose for your word of the year. Please share in the comments or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you health, happiness, and prosperity for 2021.
Rippling water image by Rony Michaud from Pixabay