Thursday, December 29, 2011

Words for 2012

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.

Anyway, in thinking about this, I realized that it's not enough to simply say my word is "north". It's too vague. I think that if you're going to follow the compass of your heart, you need to set off in the direction of true north and hold fast to that. It means that in 2012, I will be carefully examining my beliefs and values and making sure, over and over again that what I do with my life in the next 365 days is in alignment with my true north. It's about living authentically, in the best way I know how. I am excited to see how this manifests in 2012. My heart is wide open to the adventure.

My friend Liz has posted at Roots of She about her word for 2012. She is also, brilliantly offering One (Powerful) Word custom bracelets in her Etsy shop so you can have a bracelet hand stamped with your word for 2012. I think this is a fabulous way to be mindful of your intention in the days to come.

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.


Seth said...

"True North" - what a powerful concept. The perfect word(s) to chose as a guide for a new year.

jennn said...


Silver Sisters said...

You've got to be kidding me! My word this year is True. As in be true to myself. As in the exact same thing. I knew there was a reason we met.

kimmanleyort said...

I really like your reflection on true north. I think if it makes tears come to your eyes, then it is truly coming from the heart. This resonated with me in a different way, since I will following my heart and moving back to Canada in 2012, after living in the U.S. for 25 years.

I'm really glad I discovered your blog through Vivienne's Getting through the Grey.

Zena said...

Love this post, this is a powerful word. I do the same every year but I still wondering what word will lead me during 2012 xx

PS my word for 2011 was visibility and indeed taking Vivienne classes gave me a great opportunity to develop it

Grace said...

Whenever I read someone's word and they describe how they chose it I take a deep breath as if somehow I can help them manifest it's bounty and beauty for them throughout the year.

My word for 2012 is F O R W A R D and my heart takes a skippity skip when I read it or it pops into my head during the day. Girl is pleased.