Do you choose a word or phrase as a personal guidepost for the new year?
It's a practice I casually adopted several years back—'casual' in that I don't put too fine a focus on picking mine; I sort of let it find me.
In my opinion, the right word or phrase is always obvious. Something that's been courting me for months, maybe even for the majority of the year.
Declaring my word or phrase is my way of acknowledging what's already there, what wants to be recognized, what's waiting to come into being.
As I mentioned, I've sensed something new brewing in my business for a number of weeks now. I haven't been able to put my finger on what it is exactly, but I've been sure that it'll require me to be flexible and innovative and far more experimental than might be comfortable.
I thought for sure my 2018 word was PERMISSION. As in: giving myself the permission to explore whatever needs exploring.
However, a few days ago, my friend and colleague (and an epic source of delight and inspiration for me) Alexandra asked me for my 2018 word. In preparation for a course she's teaching in the new year, one which I'm thrilled to be enrolled in, she's collecting students' words and phrases and making some sort of as-yet-to-be-seen concoction with them (see what I mean about her? She's delightful).
In reply to Alexandra's request, I found myself writing a phrase that might not seem so different from my initial thought...but the nuance is important:
Given my action-oriented angle these past five months, it's no surprise the verb feels crucial.
'Permission' is not enough.
It's a fine noun, expansive really—but on its own, it seems to exist somewhere...out there...
It's something I'd have to track down and try to catch.
I don't want to spend 2018 trying to find permission.
What I want for 2018 is to take a more active approach, a truly creative approach, to permission. I want to embody self-permission. Wherever permission doesn't seem to exist (or whenever it eludes me), I will create it for myself. And I will create it for you. And I will teach you how to create it for yourself.
I want to show you—in real time, or nearly—what it looks like to explore who you are, to discover something new, and to create the permission you need in order to evolve accordingly.
Up for a bit of soul-spelunking in the new year?
(I knew you were.)
This is my last email of 2017; I'll be back here, connecting with you once again, on January 2nd, 2018.
In the meantime, I wish you a holiday season of joy, peace, comfort, rest, relief—or whatever it is you most need, whether or not you know it yet.
Thank you for being with me this year.