Anne’s word for 2017- santosha

 I have written about this before, but for anyone new…

I came across the word of the year in early 2014. I liked the idea. A word to use as an intention, a though to remind me of my desires and hopes for the year. A word to help me stay on my path. A word to inspire myself.
I had decided to quit drinking for a year on December 1, 2013. By early 2014 I was in awe that life was already better without alcohol, but I was also anxious, clinically depressed and generally in the midst of a breakdown (or spiritual awakening, as Brene Brown would put it).

My therapist continually drew me back to the idea of unconditional self acceptance. A concept I didn’t really believe possible for me, as I could only see all my deficiencies and was unwilling to accept them in any way.

 And there is was. My word for 2014 would be ACCAPTANCE. I used it at yoga as my intention. I used it when I was mad at how life was. I used it when things didn’t go my way.

By the end of 2014 acceptance felt familiar. 

In 2015 i chose LOVE. I believe love is the root of everything. That we all need more love, not less, especially when we are angry, hurting, failing. And so I tried to respond to life with love. I was kinder and gentler to myself. 

I though love might continue and be my word every year, but when 2016 came around it was clear that my word would be FAITH. Faith in myself. Faith that I was ok, that I was a capable, competent and worthy person. Faith that I was on the right path.

Faith took me far in 2016. When we had to flee our home and drive through a fire (literally…I drove my van down a road burning on both sides). I had faith that I could handle the situation. And When I needed help doing that I asked for it. By allowing others to help hold me up when I was falling apart I realized that I truly do have faith in me. That I trust myself.   Staggering.

So. 2017. Starting my 4th sober year, I have chosen SANTOSHA or contentment. It is one of the niyamas, one of the 8 Limbs of ashtanga yoga. For me, it is being satisfied with what is…not rallying for or against what isn’t. It’s that deep feeling that everything is ok, that things are exactly as they are supposed to be. The fresh tattoo is on my right wrist, and is santosha in Sanskrit. I almost had it done earlier this year, but I decided to wait until we were in vegas this past weekend. Perfect timing.

Lao Tzu provides a perfect description of santosha for me.

โ€œBe content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.โ€ ~ Lao Tzu

And, because I was getting tattooed anyway, I added a bit of colour….(tattoo done by Lacie at Hart and Huntington Vegas).

I hope I have motivated you to choose your own word of the year. Blog about it or comment!

Stillness and peace



36 thoughts on “Anne’s word for 2017- santosha

  1. I love this blog post. I love your “words” and why you chose them. I love the quote. Thank you. Stillness and peace.

  2. what a great word, and I adore the tattoo.
    I’m still working on starting to write about mine…how’s that for procrastination? LOl….but I’ll have it done by the first

    i had the thought the there day that i might get a tattoo of all my words…this will be my 7th year….and then add each new one every year. I like the idea!

  3. I love, love, love this! I will give my word for 2017 some thought. Your tattoo is absolutely gorgeous and I love the colours. I already know what my word for 2016 was. Most defintley SURRENDER. xxx

  4. I am glad you explained the concept. I heard about it loosely and noticed some people on instagram doing it. I love the word contentment, in this world of plenty it is often hard to feel content with what we have, always seeking more. Great tatoos ๐Ÿ˜˜

  5. Faith: Faith in myself that I can do anything that I set my mind to and faith in God that He will always be there to help me achieve my goals. This was a wonderful post. Thank you!

  6. Anne – I love your word. And adore the tattoos. Wish I had the nerve to get one. I have an old one from the 70’s that could use a facelift – haha! I have heard about the word for the year, may just consider doing it this year as I am on a roll with sobriety once again…41 days today – go me!! You are amazing. Thank you for all the support you give others.

    1. 41 days is awesome. Hold on to the momentum going into Christmas. It is so worth it.
      I can’t believe I have tattoos. It’s one of those things I never thought I would do! But I love them. They make me happy!

  7. Once again I feel really moved by your words. All I could think was crikey how much faith you did need this year and how appropriate it was. I like the idea of ‘acceptance’ as a word as I see already how important this is proving for my own journey. I have sent myself the Lao Tsu quote so I can easily reference it when I need an timely reminder.
    I truly hope you get the acceptance you seek and deserve this year, your journey is an inspiration to us all. Thanks for always generously sharing.

  8. Beautiful in every way. Reading your word choices, I felt my own anxieties lessen and my shoulders come down. So inspiring. Happy for you and your etymological bouquet of brilliance, dear Anne.*

  9. This is a really wonderful post. The Lao Tzu quote is fantastic. I mentioned in my last post that I’m trying to help a loved one with an issue — and I realize they are trying to fill an emptiness that doesn’t exist, and in so trying have created a new emptiness. If I could somehow open their eyes to that quote I think their world might change. So I’m going to take some extra inspiration from your word and your post and try to help myself and those I care for.

    It’s going to be a wonderful 2017 — how can it not be? We already have everything we need.

    1. Yes. We are the luck ones.
      It is so hard when people we love are struggling. I always have to restrain myself from forcing my way on others…
      I am sure you are an inspiration to you family and friends. Just keep showing them what’s possible by example!

  10. Anne, I love your new profile picture, and your new tattoo! I also really, really like your 2017 word of the year. I’m thinking of “family” for mine. I’ll be explaining that further in a blog sometime between now and the new year ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I like family a lot. Craig had the Chinese character for family tattooed on his neck (he can be extreme sometimes…lol).

      There are so many good words. I hope I have many more years to choose them all!

  11. What a wonderful choice Anne ! Contentment….ah, it even feels good to say it! I’m intrigued, perhaps there’s a tattoo in my future. I like the charm bracelet idea as well!

    Day 174๐Ÿ˜

  12. I STILL cannot find a word of the year!
    Every time I think of a word, I think I have picked the wrong one…or that other bloggers have picked that word!
    I love the tat AND your word!!

  13. Wow and what a year it’s been for you, you have definitely needed faith. I think my word for 2017 will be kind. Kind in my thoughts, kind to myself and to others.

  14. HI Anne, what a beautiful post, a word can mean so much and make such a big difference when used to its full. I have taken a leaf from your book. The word I have chosen, and to continue to keep in mind through 2017 is “Gratitude” a word that I truly learned the meaning of through Sober Mummy’s blog. When I am feeling any negativity, I flip the coin and think of the positive side of the situation, feel grateful for the plus side. For example, it’s impossible to feel down about having to go to work when you are too busy thinking about how fortunate you are to have such a good job. I think it’s probably impossible to harbour both resentment and gratitude at the same time.
    I love the word “Santosha” too.

    Best wishes.

  15. I love all of your words. Acceptance, love, faith – I need more of all of these in my life. But I also HAVE more of these in my life than I did two years ago, and that is a true blessing. All of your words are so synergistic, complimenting each other so well. I am wishing you much contentment in 2017, and even more acceptance, love, and faith. Happy New Year, Anne!

  16. Wow! This really helped me today! I think I’ll read it a few more times. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thank you so much for sharing.

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