Each new year I select a word that will represent my journey for that comming year. Last year it was the word FAITH. I learnt that to keep the faith is a very challenging practice for me, a recovering control freak. I also learnt that the opposite of faith is... FEAR and that I tend to spend quite a bit of time on this side of the spectrum. And so perhaps as an antidote to the uneasiness I had felt in 2019 as the end of the decade approached I landed on the word FEARLESS as my word for 2020. Fearless is also a great word. It's a strong word, conveys energy, go-getting, courage and a fitting symbol for me as I enter my fifth decade, or so I thought.
Then, on new years eve a friend politely enquired ... "And what do you want to be fearless about?" I looked at her blankly and mumbled something about the forthcoming political state of affairs, governance of the country and financial security but in all honestly I didn't have a heartfelt answer. I began to feel uncomfortable, I knew it wasn't the right word for me. I went to bed wordless!
When I woke up yesterday morning, 1st January 2020 I felt calm. The only urge was to make a cup of tea and just sit. Like most other people I typically kick off New Years Day with all kinds of plans, and goals starting with shedding my house of the Christmas decorations. This year I just sat and watched the birds. I listened to them chirping their little hearts out in the garden and then without any effort at all my word came to me... PRESENCE.
I've been practicing meditation for almost 15 years so this word was a bit of a surprise but to be fair I still find it a challenge. However, presence is more than mediation. Presence is about connecting to my true self and staying connected. It's about doing things because I love doing them and not because I'm anticipating or hoping for a particular outcome. It's about wanting to be human and more than just a productivity machine. Presence is doing nothing, just breathing and finding peace and contentment in the moment. It's connecting to reality without judgement, not comparing myself to others or allowing my mind to continually fluctuate between the past and the future. It's harnessing 5000 years of evolutionary power by genuinely connecting to others. in person. It's doing less and living more. And so happily I take on my word for 2020...PRESENCE. What's your word?
For your daily ritual and toolbox: meditate