Word of the YearJan 06, 2023
Word of the Year 2023
I attended the annual White Stone Ceremony at Unity Church of Houston this week... read on if you want to do your own white stone ceremony at home!
This is a long tradition at Unity… and many others have practiced this art of choosing a ‘word of the year.’
The approach at Unity was a little different than I’ve ever done it before.
I have always given my word of the year a lot of thought.
I always try on many different words, and want to choose just the right one. I change my mind many times.
The experience at Unity invited us to come to the ceremony with no word in mind.
They explained that in ancient Roman times, if a person spent time in prison, when they were released, they were given a white stone. This was evidence that they were purified, they had all the rights of any citizen in the community, they would be protected by the law, and most importantly, they had a clean slate.
We were each given a white stone, mined and cut from stones in Jerusalem, and we were led in a meditation. We were invited to allow our word to rise in us, rather than searching for the perfect word. The person leading the meditation spoke gently, guiding us into a relaxed state, and some of the words that she was saying wanted to float to the surface to be noticed… but I kept trying to be a still and open vessel for my own knowing to arise.
Some words that bubbled up from the stillness: joy, presence, present, now, release, strength
When STRENGTH came up… it felt like my word.
It’s not a word I ever considered for myself. It’s not a word that’s been on my mind. But when it popped into my head I said YES! and I stopped listening for more words.
Strength will be a powerful word for me this year for a few reasons... first of all, I learned that I have bone loss in my spine (random!) and it can be reversed, but I need to do 'strength bearing' exercises. My youngest baby is going to college and I will be empty nesting, for real! I'm growing my business, probably moving, everything is going to change this year... I shall need my strength. This stone is a beautiful pointer for me... a reminder to cultivate strength, to tap into the strength I already have, and to expand my capacity for strength this year. I'm ready.
As the teachers were guiding us in the experience, they reminded us not to judge the word that wants to be ours. No saying, ‘yuck’ to any words. No forcing. No directing. Just be open to discovering what word resonates for you.
Learning to listen to myself feels like a brand new baby skill. I’ve been tuned into external influences for so long… society, family, friends, what other people will think, religion, social media… it can be really hard to HEAR the real you.
The REAL YOU is not the thinking mind. It’s the larger part of you that is able to notice WHAT the mind is thinking.
So, if you want to give the ‘word of the year’ exercise a try… consider the practice of allowing the word to reveal itself to you, and see if you like it!
I'm not suggesting there's a right way to do this… you can make ‘DIVA’ your word if it thrills you!
I hope you have a beautiful weekend ahead, Sunshine! It’s been gorgeous here in Houston!
P.S. Remember! I am offering a chance for you to be one of my test subjects as I go through a new advanced coaching certification.
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