Thursday, February 4, 2010

Word of the Year

Every year on New Year's Eve, I pick a word for the following year. It is always a verb. It is not a resolution. My word is a focus word, a gentle reminder, a guide. I write the word on little cards that I place where my gaze is sure to light--by my computer, the bathroom mirror, the car dash.

I have a New Year's Eve ritual. I build a fire in the fireplace. In the last hours of the year, I write a letter to the old year. I reflect on the year, on what I learned and experienced, on the themes of the year, on what I think I will remember. I thank the year.

Then I write a letter to the new year. I welcome the new year and share my hopes and intentions. I tell the new year what my word is.

How do I choose my word? Sometimes I am pretty sure I know before New Year's Eve, but more often I don't. As the year comes to a close, I open my mind and heart. The word comes to me, like a whisper in my soul.

This year my word is "Attend." It calls me to the present moment. It guides me to suspend my inner chatter and to look and listen. Sometimes when I'm caught up in distractions and reactions, I can hear it and I take a deep breath and pause. Attend.


  1. Hi Galen,

    Or whatever your real name is. A name is just a name, it's not our true identity anyway.

    This is a wonderful ritual. I wish I had thought about it and done it in the years past.

    Thanks for visiting my blog and leave a comment.

    Happy New Year to you.

  2. Ha! I do go by Galen in all my writing, and it is a name I love, so I will answer to it! Thanks for your comment. If you try it for next year and you want to share, let me know what your word is.

    Happy New Year to you, too.


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