There’s a younger man in my office who recently became engaged. He met his now-fiancé in high school and had been dating her for the past 12+ years. When he told me he had proposed, I congratulated him then asked if he’d like a little piece of advice.
At the beginning of every year, a dear friend of mine picks her word for the year. It may be a word that represents what she wants to focus on for the year or how she wants to show up.
I love this idea and for last few years I’ve chosen a word for the year as well. One year it was Release, another year it was Trust.
As this new year dawned, I began pondering what my word for this year would be. I think I’ve settled on Explore. I’d like to continue my inner world exploration through meditation and add outer world exploration as well. This can take the form of exploring a new place in the great outdoors or exploring a new idea or activity.
So today I ask you to ponder the same question: What’s your word for this year?
There are so many things I love about the holiday season. One of my favorites is the way the season sparkles with lights. Since darkness comes so much earlier this time of year, it’s a joy to see so many homes and trees illuminated in a bright celebration. They bring to mind this verse of “Silent Night”:
“Son of God, love’s pure light Radiant beams from Thy holy face With the dawn of redeeming grace”
These lights are like joy, hope, grace and peace all wrapped up in a little twinkling bulb. Kinda like the babe himself, twinkling in a manger.
So what’s your favorite part of the holiday season?
I don’t know about you, but Thanksgiving felt like a non-event this year. I usually spend it with a house full of family, all of whom are amazing cooks. There’s always a buzz of activity along with great food and spirited conversation. This year, it was just me and my two sons. And although we had a nice conversation around the table and made a few of our favorite dishes, it just wasn’t the same. Thanksgiving didn’t feel like Thanksgiving.
Because of this, I’m feeling the need to make sure Christmas feels like Christmas. And I think lots of other people are feeling the same way I do.
Lately, I’ve been trying to practice being in the present moment. I’m learning to accept and be present with both the comfortable and uncomfortable things in my life. This week, I discovered the importance of not only practicing this with myself, but also in my relationships with other people as well.
Here’s what happened.
My dear sister called and was very upset about something happening in her life. I wanted to soothe her and make the pain go away. My mind was racing trying to think of what to say and how to help and I spouted out a few suggestions.
And then she said,“I don’t need you to fix this. I just need you to listen.”
Yesterday morning, as I read through profiles on a dating app, there was someone who wrote in his bio “music and laughter are the sticks that stir my soul.” I absolutely love this imagery—the sticks that stir my soul—and would add the sticks are also what lights a fire within us. I paused to ponder what my sticks would be and settled on dancing, biking through the woods, and watching the daily play of the sunlight.