At the outset of each new year, the providers at CML offer a word that they will use to guide them in the coming year. It has become a bit of a tradition to be witnessed in this way by our larger community. We make a public affirmation that reflects our intent to grow more fully into who we are becoming.
We invite you to do the same.
If you feel so inspired, please go to the post on our community Facebook page and share a word, or some thoughts of your own about the upcoming year and how you hope to shape your growth. We look forward to witnessing you in your transformation.
“Spaciousness” – Hillary
This word has been calling my name for a while. I need it. I need to feel vastness. I want to look out across the open sky and know that there are endless known and unknown possibilities—scary, exciting, beautiful, mundane. I want to feel both small and insignificant, and also more powerful than I’ve ever felt before. I need there to be room for all of it. I want to experience the expansiveness of time, without ignoring how quickly it passes. I want to be curious about all the paths that can be taken, while also recognizing that it’s ok if I’m not doing everything, all at once, right now. There is space for me. There is time for me. I give myself permission to dance in this messy wonder and feel the shifting winds.
“Feel” – Jenna
The word I am keeping in my focus as I head into 2023 is Feel. I want to Feel more and think less in 2023. I want to feel more joy, pleasure, and peace. I want to feel connected to the people in my life who I love and cherish. I want to feel more at home in my body and less trapped by the thoughts in my head. I want to feel alive and connected to my inner knowing. I want to Feel all the things in 2023.
“Rebirth” – Kara
My word for the year is rebirth. This word was inspired by a practice I engage in every year with my tarot cards. I add my month and day of birth together for one sum. Then separately, add the digits of the upcoming year….2023. My tarot card for the year is Judgement.
Judgement, at first read, sounds harsh, but this card is an invitation to be inspired, awakened, or reborn. This year I am called to let my inner stirrings guide me toward something new.
“Intimacy” – Laura
I have found an exhilarating wonder and freedom in moments of intimacy with the “suchness” of life. Interestingly, this is as true in profoundly unpleasant moments as in the precious pleasant ones. This intimacy is natural – completely uncontrived – and deeply connecting yet purely impersonal. Sometimes it emerges spontaneously. More often, it arises when my attention, mind, and heart are relaxed and receptive – mindful.
The gifted teacher and inspiration Frank Ostaseski writes of this kind of intimacy as “undefended openness” in which we “fully embrace and lovely engage” in life as we “come closer and stay close.” To intimacy with life in 2023 and beyond!
“Becoming” - Louisa
Entelechy, a term coined by Aristotle, refers to the capacity to realize or bring into existence something that is merely potential. For instance, the acorn’s entelechy is to become an oak tree. I think of it as the “Blueprint of Becoming”, the means of turning thoughts and ideas into reality by getting out of our own way to become who we are meant to be and do what we are here to do.
This year, I would like to honor the deep interlacing of both becoming more fully myself as I work to support others in their becoming. There is something about the co-existence of the complexity and the simplicity, the mystery and the practicality, of this that I find compelling.
“Nature” - Marilyn
The Oxford dictionary defines nature as the phenomena of the physical world collectively, including plants, animals, the landscape and other features, and products of the earth. My intent in writing on nature is not to explore the definition, but more importantly to me, to explore the importance of nature to our well-being and how we can experience the benefits of nature.
Being IN nature surrounded by “the phenomena of the physical world” is essential to so many aspects of our well-being. Nature can be calming, creativity boosting, and mind-expanding. M. Amos Clifford, founder and Director of the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy guides and programs in Santa Rosa, California, states that being out in nature is necessary to the very essence of who we are. Clifford runs "forest therapy" programs which are rooted in what the Japanese call, Shinmin-yoku, or forest bathing. The forest bathing, or the idea that going for a walk in the forest, without smart phones, and other digital devices is a form of preventive and even healing medicine.
According to Ayurvedic principles, being out of alignment with nature can lead to illness and unhappiness, and science is just starting to confirm this idea. Spending less time in nature and more time indoors is resulting in our natural biorhythms being out of balance and harmony.
So take a step into nature and notice: Do you see the green plants or do you see the spaces between them? Getting closer, really close, and get down on the ground and take a look. What are the colors you see? How many shades of green? Breathe in the scents and listen. And also look up!
Or you can choose to take in the bigger picture, the landscape, and notice the colors, smells, and sounds.
It requires you to be present.
In a deeper sense nature can fill us with a sense of gratitude, but also a sense of responsibility and reciprocity. Robin Wall Kimmerer states the following in Braiding Sweetgrass, “We are showered every day with gifts, but they are not meant for us to keep. Their life is in their movement, the inhale and the exhale of our shared breath. Our work and our joy is to pass along the gift and to trust that what we put into the universe will always come back”.
Experiencing nature as well as ensuring nature is there for others who follow us, is part of the bounty that is gained for us when we recognize nature’s importance to our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
“Light” – Pamela
My word for 2023 is LIGHT. The illuminating light of understanding, the light of life and connection, and also to lighten our collective weight as we continue to heal from the past several tumultuous years. To live is to sometimes get hurt, but as Rumi said, “the wound is the place where the light enters you”. I hope for all of us to let the light in.