Taking a holiday from real life over Christmas and New Year meant that my usual goal-setting, word-choosing, intention-setting routines for the first week of January didn't happen in the way they usually do. It was a longer process for me this time, a slower burning. Over the past few years, I've enjoyed picking a word for the year - I've often found that it has spurred me on. My word for 2010 was action and boy oh boy did I get off my arse that year. 2011 was all about building on what 2010 had delivered, so I think my word last year was "expand" (I don't have a blog post or journal entry to confirm this, I'm just going off memory). But what was my word for 2012 going to be? At first I wasn't sure.
Being back in Australia for six weeks was amazing; everything I hoped it would be. Wanting to make the most of this precious time with my family and friends, I found myself living far more in the present moment than I had been recently. Being present made me realise that some of the things I was sad about, or worrying about, were actually really, really good things. Things that would help me grow and move forward. Being removed from my life in the UK and everything that was causing stress or sorrow for a solid period of time, my mind was forced into a reflective quietness where I could think about the future and the coming year from a calmer and more balanced place.
There is a lot of hard work ahead of me this year. Sometimes, in awful, nail-biting 3am moments, I wonder if I'm really ready for it, or capable of it. So many wonderful people believe in me, and I wish I could extract the essence of their faith into a bottle that I could sniff, like eucalyptus oil, to unclog my blockages and propel me onwards to where I need to go. Deep down, I know. I do know. I just need reminders sometimes.
And so, without further ado, here is my word for 2012:
I had been thinking about my word, and what do I most need right now, for a few weeks, while I was in Hobart, in between lattes with my inspiring friends; after a tearful hug with my sister who, in one of my wobbly moments, told me how much faith she has in me; and a taxing but ultimately exhilarating and inspiring business meeting with a kick arse coach; and in my quieter moments, listening to an old Bee Gees album as I drove by myself in my mum's car, tears rolling down my face, wishing with all my heart I could stay just a bit longer.
And then, in Melbourne, in a shop I'd been to a million times, there it was. Glittering from the rack, the one word I needed to hear. I know what I need to do. The belief of others is amazing, and bolstering, and such a tonic for your weaker moments, but at the end of the day you must believe in yourself too. It's the only way you'll ever get where you want to be.
I've worn that bracelet every day since. Every day, I am reminded to believe.
What's your word for 2012?