Friends, family, advertisers, and even strangers broadcast their goals to change their body, lose weight, work out more. Hearing of it is inescapable. It’s on the radio, TV, the internet, magazines, and in stranger’s conversations as I walk down the sidewalk.
I can’t blame them, though. In fact, I feel empathy for them. Because I used to be one of them. Year, after year, after painful year.
But, this year, instead of making resolutions that will magically make my life “perfect”, I am choosing one word to focus on all year. This word will serve as a mantra, an intention, and a reminder – for all of 2018.
This year I am choosing the word:
I intend to allow myself to nourish my body. And I will allow my body to be it’s natural uninhibited shape and size.
I will also allow myself to BE my authentic self. My voice will be allowed to speak – and I will allow other’s voices to be heard as well.
And accepted. And loved.
I will allow my body to move when it feels good to move, but also to rest when it is tired. I will allow myself the space to grow and allow myself to follow my intuition.
As I follow my own path, I will allow myself space to grow and listen to my intuition. I am even curious and excited to see what this year will bring.
Allowing for imperfections, mistakes, and learning, I will also allow all feelings to be felt – knowing they do not last forever.
I will allow others the space to be who they are. They will have their own space to grow and flourish.
Letting go of my desire to control, I will allow life as it unfolds as it may. With curiosity and excitement, I am open to what is coming to me this new year.
The power of a word
Once I decided ALLOW would be my word this year, I realized all of the ways this word can be applied.
I am allowed to eat what I want when I want. Do I want to say “no” to someone or something? That’s absolutely allowed. I am allowed to think, say, and feel whatever is authentically within my heart. Just as those around me are allowed the same.
I am allowed to exercise and I am allowed to rest. I am allowed to ask for help.
And I am allowed to be imperfect, feel upset, learn from mistakes, and to keep going.
Why did I choose “allow”?
I knew ALLOW was the right word for me for 2018 as I kept seeing more and more ways I could use it to focus on the life I would like to have.
And then, suddenly, a beautiful insight dawned on me. The opposite of allowing is to restrict. I have spent more than 24 years of my life focusing on restricting.
Food has been restricted. And I have restricted pleasure, feelings and thoughts. I’ve restricted words and even my voice, thinking I should bury them down and keep them to myself. My hopes, dreams, confidence, and love have all been restricted.
The more I restricted, the smaller I got. But want to know what else got smaller? My life.
It became so small and so dark. It felt suffocating. With everything restricted there is no way to grow. There’s no way to flourish, and no way to thrive.
Recovery can not happen unless you consciously and vigilantly ALLOW it to be in your life. Over and then over again.
What will your word be?
Allow is my word for the year. Consider taking some time to think about a word that can guide you this year. Maybe this word, allow, resonates with you as well. Or maybe it’s something like trust, enjoy, grow, love, abundance, connect, truth, or expansion.
How can you find your word for the year? Simply sit down and brainstorm words connected to who you want to be, what you want to do, and what you want to become in the coming year. Let yourself be completely free in this activity. Don’t hold back at all.
After you’ve done that, look back at your list for common themes between words and ideas. Go through and highlight or mark connected words. Try to locate the deeper meaning behind the words instead of simply grouping words by category.
Then, start coming up with words that capture the essence of what you’ve written. It may be one of the words you’ve written, or it may be something different. If you feel you have a word that’s resonating with you, but it isn’t quite right, try looking up synonyms online.
Once you’ve found your word for the year, really commit to it. If you’re artistic, maybe you want to paint something using the word you’ve chosen to hang in your house. I decided to have my word for the year written on a bracelet. You can also go with something more simple by just writing your word on sticky notes and placing them where you’ll see them often.