WORK :: My Word for the Year 2016

Picking a word or phrase to guide me each year has been a great exercise in setting my intentions for the next 365 calendar days.  It also serves as a gentle reminder of my chosen intention and grounds me in my daily practices to achieve strength and clarity in this regard .  As the first day of each the month rolls around, I look at the 3 x 5 notecard on my desk and take a quick inventory about what I've done over the last 30 days to honor that word and myself.  It's like a promise and I like to check in with myself and see how I have kept on task or where I've deviated and ask myself why?

My former yoga teacher had us write an intention for the year + slip it under our mat during our New Year's Day yoga practice workshop.  I loved the idea + have done it every year since 2010.

My former yoga teacher had us write an intention for the year + slip it under our mat during our New Year's Day yoga practice workshop.  I loved the idea + have done it every year since 2010.

I had a hard time choosing a word this year.  I spent a few extra weeks making sure it was one that really resonated with me and that would serve as a call to action throughout the year.

I finally settled on the word WORK.  The word has many meanings and will hopefully motivate me on different levels.  I'm excited by my choice.

2016 WORK collage 

2016 WORK collage 

WORK, noun

  1. activity in which one exerts strength or faculties to do or perform something:
    a :  sustained physical or mental effort to overcome obstacles and achieve an objective or result
    b :  the labor, task, or duty that is one's accustomed means of livelihood
    c :  a specific task, duty, function, or assignment often being a part or phase of some larger activity

WORK, transitive verb

  1. to bring to pass :  effect <work miracles>

  2. a :  to prepare for use by stirring or kneading
    b :  to bring into a desired form by a gradual process of cutting, hammering, scraping, pressing, or stretching <work cold steel>

  3. to set or keep in motion, operation, or activity :  cause to operate or produce <a pump worked by hand> <work farmland>

  4. to solve (a problem) by reasoning or calculation —often used with out

  5. a :  to get (oneself or an object) into or out of a condition or position by gradual stages
    b :  contrivearrange <we can work it so that you can take your vacation>

WORK, intransitive verb

  1. a :  to exert oneself physically or mentally especially in sustained effort for a purpose or under compulsion or necessity
    b :  to perform or carry through a task requiring sustained effort or continuous repeated operations <worked all day over a hot stove>

  2. to function or operate according to plan or design <hinges work better with oil>

  3. to exert an influence or tendency

  4. to produce a desired effect or result :  succeed <a plan that will work>

  5. a :  to make way slowly and with difficulty :  move or progress laboriously <worked up to the presidency>

The definitions are so on point with me for the stage in my life and recovery that I'm in right now.  A close friend shared that she viewed the word WORK as negative and then later called me and apologized for her negative reaction to my chosen word for 2016, sharing that she had the negative association with it and thinking about her reaction gave her pause to think about why that was for her.  I laughed it off and told her that there was no reason to worry, I didn't take it personally.  I mean, it's just a word, right?  But words can be my magical unicorn if I give them permission.  Words cement thoughts and ideas for me; they anchor me and where I'm at in a process; they are powerful; and I can choose to place value on them or not.  It's all up to me.

A few thoughts and ideas for "doing the work" in 2016

A few thoughts and ideas for "doing the work" in 2016

For now, I'm doing the work.  

Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.  

Sometimes hard, sometimes easy.  

Sometimes paralyzing, sometimes absolutely freeing.

I'm doing it and I look forward to creating a shift in my life that helps me to have a different perspective.  Learning, evolving and growing has got to be the byproduct of hard work, right?  The more I push myself, the more I like myself.  The dark hole I used to fill with drinking, gossiping and doing things half-assed is now being replaced by really beautiful things, actions and experiences.  

I can't get to the other side of darkness without working really fucking hard towards the light.

I'm ready to to believe I deserve all of this.  Even if it's hard, even if it's scary, and even if it's uncomfortable.  

I'm ready.  Put me to work.