Every year about this time, I focus on a word or phrase that is meaningful to me and use it to aim my attention (and intention!) in that direction for the new year. Sometimes I have to think on it for awhile before it comes to me and sometimes it just pops into my head.
My word for 2011 was SYNERGY.
Synergy: the working together of two things to produce an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects.
My intention for 2011 was to be open to opportunities where I could combine my energy with others to produce a greater effect, whether through art or altruism to make use of the gifts I possess. 2011 became that in spades. Just days after I chose this word, I won a spot in Vivienne's Wading In self-portrait class, which touched off an entire year of creative synergy with others. I loved the whole experience so much that I signed up for 3 more classes following Wading In. My classmates contributed enormously to my growth as a photographer. Their work encouraged me to be brave, to take risks and to experiment with this new (to me) media. I continually surprised myself.
Altruistically speaking, I had the opportunity to serve this year as well. I've been volunteering since I was 5 years old. I volunteer because I believe in giving back-it's my way of tithing to the universe. Every single experience I've ever had serving others leads me to believe that what you get to keep in return for yourself is enormous. I always feel I am my best self when I'm helping others.
Over the last few days, I've been pondering what my word should be for 2012. This morning, it came to me:
Okay, so it's two words, but let me explain. My whole life, I've listened to this line in our national anthem "...our True North strong and free..." which to me is the most beautiful part of the lyrics. I've always thought these words weren't just referring to our geography, but perhaps they also meant that when you commit to following the true north of your heart, that allows you to experience a strength and freedom you would otherwise never know. Maybe that's not how the words were meant to be interpreted, but that's what they mean to me. My eyes well up every time I hear them. They move me deeply.
If you also observe this New Year's ritual, please leave a comment and share your word or a link to your post about it. I'd love to hear what you hope to manifest in your life for 2012.