It's been a process to figure out this year's word. Some years, it's easy and just comes to the surface. This year, it's been a struggle.
Last year's word was flow. And like the word itself, it just appeared to me. It became a big undercurrent in my life, teaching me new lessons, showing me old blocks and rocks in my way and helping me move through my last 365 days slowly, quickly, smoothly, roughly and circutitiously. I wrote many journal entries and blogs about the teachings of flow.
Truth: I didn't want to let go of flow.
But the year was ending and I knew that true to the word flow, it was time to move on. I began my search for a new word for the new year.
Looking, listening, writing and reading. Nothing flowed out.
So, I did what I do when I'm stuck, I make a list. I started my list making with words I wanted to let go of...fear, guilt, fighting, comparison, defensiveness. Then using my trusty Thesaurus, I made a list of the antonyms of the words above...calm, innocence, peace, connect, safe, secure. That didn't ring any new year bells for me, so I added a list of related words...ease, encourage, nourish, empathy, serenity, light, confident, happy and faith.
Ah ha: I was forcing the flow of my new word of the year.
Why? Because a word I am most uncomfortable with kept popping up like a bubble underneath water. The word: Faith. I was raised in a very conservative, religious situation. I was required to attend church 6 out of 7 days a week for decades. To me, the word faith brings up bad memories of doing and going and being something I'm not in order to obey someone else's rules.
But...what would Merriam-Webster say?
Faith noun : a strong belief or trust in someone or something. That's the first definition. There are others that relate to religion and god and religious systems. But the very first definition is about someone or something.
Belief. Trust. In someone...me? In something...life? art? flow?
Yes. I see it clearly now. Flow and faith bubbling, twirling, cascading and rippling along together. To flow, I need to trust and to believe. So, maybe, I've always had faith and didn't know it. But maybe, now, it's time to be happy and show it.
Here's to the New Word of the Year for 2015...Faith.