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.
“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ~ Lao Tzu
And, because I was getting tattooed anyway, I added a bit of colour….(tattoo done by Lacie at Hart and Huntington Vegas).
Stillness and peace