Each year I choose a word to carry me through, inspire me, challenge me, comfort me and always continue to help me grow. I started in 2018 with Alignment, which despite combing through pages of word suggestions, was the original one I thought of! I wrote poems about it, took pictures that represented it, and looked for examples in my life. I got it printed on a charm that hangs from my rearview mirror and will be joined by its sixth friend this year! 2019 brought me Inspiration, where I looked to both give and receive that beauty. 2020 asked me to Elevate, looking for ways to lift, raise, heighten, enhance and improve myself, personally and professionally. 2021 demanded Simplify, scaling back, finding peace and committing to a slower pace. Last year was a reminder to Be. Presenting a False Self for decades, I chose to embrace my mindset shift to keep striving to show up as I am, authentically me. This year’s word came to me from two podcasts in one week. Jane Fonda discussed this word on We Can Do Hard Things and Poetry Unbound brought me Ada Limon-Wonder Woman, another reference. The word was Embodiment, and I’d never thought much about it. I LOVE words, but that was not one I ever used in any setting for any reason. But yet, it resonated. I looked up the definition. I skimmed and scanned articles. I saw its more current use. I saw its ties to mental health and mind/body connection. I thought of the yoga class I’ve joined. I thought of the guided meditations I’m practicing at bedtime. I thought of the ways I’ve been listening to my body through illness, grief and exhaustion. I thought of my poor body image over so many years. And I thought of the sexual abuse I suffered as a child. Embodiment certainly seemed to a be a word to invest in this year. A concept to explore and understand. A way to deepen my compassion and empathy for self and others. A word to grow with.
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