My word for 2018

Finding my word for 2018 was a month-long journey with plenty of plot twists. Where did I finally land?

Before the year began, I committed to giving myself space and time to think about what I needed and wanted in 2018. In years past, I rushed to create resolutions or pick a word before the ball dropped on New Year’s Eve. Resolutions usually failed and the word of the year faded from thought before summer was over.

I gave myself the permission to find the breadcrumbs the Universe drops. Space to consider where my life has led and where I want it to go over the next twelve months. I still intended to select a word for the year, but I was open to the possibility that I would select a word for each month, or even each season. The side of me that always needs a plan knew I needed to wait and see what arose.

Anytime a word caught my eye, so to speak, I jotted it down. As I reached the end of January, the Notes app in my phone listed many possible words:

  • Release
  • Nurture
  • Strength
  • Stability
  • Security
  • Inspire
  • Brave
  • Patience
  • Thrive
  • Trust
  • Worthy
  • Audacity

I wanted them all. But none of them fit. None of them sat right in my gut and in my heart. And then, like so many times before, my intuition got chatty on my commute to work.

My intuition started chanting, “MANIFEST, MANIFEST, MANIFEST.”

I sat with it for the drive, rolling it over in my mind. It still didn't feel right. It wasn’t resistance so much as a sense of incompleteness.

So I looked back at my list of words. Was there a common theme? I realized it wasn't about a single word for the year. Manifest was just the first step.

Clarifying the theme

The larger theme was to manifest four very specific things in 2018:

  • Abundance
  • Courage
  • Connection
  • Well-being

When I think of what I want December 2018 to look and feel like, it goes something like this...

Abundant

Financially secure, on the road to financial freedom, in deep gratitude for what I already have.

Courageous

Trying new endeavors, putting myself out there, challenging myself, pushing beyond my comfort zone.

Connected

Nurturing my current friendships and support systems, finding ways to remain emotionally intimate with my partner, creating new relationships.

Happy & healthy

Having a reserve of energy at the end of the day, enjoying mentally stimulating and physically challenging activities, free of migraines and PMS, engaged with life and feeling as if I have a purpose.

By the end of 2017 I felt disempowered. The world kept throwing one thing after another at me. And rather than take up the fight, I laid down and let it all roll right over me. I sat in front of Netflix night after night and felt sorry for myself.

I can’t take another year of giving up. At the end of 2018, I want to truthfully say that I followed the breadcrumbs the Universe laid down for me. No more hiding. No more waiting for change to happen.

I know that I'll probably still live in the same house, have many of the same relationships, might even have the same job. I'll still be butting heads with my teenage son, struggling to understand the Medicare system, and cussing out Huntington's Disease.

But over the next eleven months, I want to look in the mirror each morning and say I am doing everything in my power to manifest abundance, courage, connection, and well-being.

And then...

As I started to write this post and refine may ideas I typed the word “manifest” into an online thesaurus. I was expecting to see words like create but instead saw words like obvious, clear, apparent.

Whoa, what wait?

I always thought that the word manifest meant to create. But it didn’t. It means “clear or obvious to the mind or eye”.

Manifest still fit with the four areas of focus, but once again, it just didn’t feel right.

Was I resisting, or was MANIFEST a breadcrumb? I scrolled through the list of synonyms.

And there, in the middle of the list, the word EMBODY.

Ah, that feels better. I googled the definition - “be an expression of”

In 2018, I will embody (be an expression of) abundance, courage, connection, and well-being.

Eureka, I think I have it!!!

The next steps

I’m looking for the breadcrumbs. I’m letting the control freak take a vacation and asking the Universe how I can embody these four areas in the next year. Unsurprisingly, the Universe had already dropped crumbs for me to follow.

Breadcrumb 1

The first was finding a storytelling class put on by my local community education program. The instructor is a woman I have seen in action and have admired for many years. The price is right. All it takes is an act of courage.

Breadcrumb 2

The second was seeing an article on Apartment Therapy about a year-long shopping ban. Before I knew it, I had fallen down an internet rabbit hole and found the More Than Enough Stuff Challenge. It clicked and I’ve decided to try something similar for 90-Days, beginning February 1. Ninety days where I only buy consumable and necessary products. A reminder that I already have enough and a chance to build more financial security.

Waiting on more breadcrumbs

Courage and abundance, I am starting there. Connection and well-being will follow when I am ready, when I have what I need to bring them into being.