It’s Time to Bring Your Word of the Year CloserMay 04, 2020
How is your heart?
I’ve been in love with this question forever and with the onset of the pandemic, even more so because we’ve been whittled down to our core. How is your heart has a better ring to it than how are you, don’t you think?
As I make my way through the days, my heart aches for hugs from whomever and wherever, the morning smiles of my local barista, the noise of children playing at recess across the street just as the school bell rings, and the carefree days of walking down the sidewalk without having to avoid humans. I can’t believe I’m saying this but my heart also aches for luxurious trips to the grocery stores when it didn’t feel like I was stepping into a war zone.
So it comes as no surprise to me that as my heart aches, I’ve managed to dismiss all of the intentions that I’d set out way back in December, just as the clock struck midnight on the 31st to ring in the new year.
Or at least I thought I had.
Let’s reverse time. Six months ago, I’d called in my word of the year as I do every year and let me tell you how crazy it is that my words show up for me exactly the way I need them to and not in the way I had intended them to.
My word for 2020 is Command.
I had planned for my word to lead me to feelings of worthiness. That’s why I had picked Command.
It was March 11, 2020 and I’d been feeling rather guilty for not spending enough time with my parents. So it hadn’t come as a surprise that I’d been longing to have them over to my home for a meal. I hadn’t want anyone else around – not my siblings, not my nieces and nephews and not even my own kids. That’s how desperately I’d wanted alone time with my parents as I’d become increasingly obsessed with their aging ways. Their grey thinning hair, slower movements filled with aches and pains, shortness of breath during conversations and subtle gaps in memory were brutal reminders of the phase they were breathing through. Imagining a life without them gave me the chills. I gently brushed these thoughts away.
We settled on a dinner date for March 11, 2020 and I was off with the preparations.
On the menu:
Garlic and chili shrimp
Roast chicken with tomatoes and garlic
Coconut whipped cream
A simple meal infused with a whole lotta love. The point was not to spend too much time in the kitchen and more time together.
They had told that they’d becoming at 7:30 and it was already 6 pm but I had everything under control being the true Virgo that I am. Lighting the candles on the main floor of my house had become a ritual whenever I’d have guests come over. Against the mahogany hardwood floors, the dancing glow of candlelight gave life to my home. Rustic fresh flowers in vibrant shades of rosy and blush pink surrounded by an array of greens displayed across the table-tops and counters shared a story of mama earth and her elements. Hand made ceramics in assorted shapes, sizes and colours filled the vintage table covering that I had just purchased from a cute boutique shop in India on my recent visit there. And of course, no dinner would be complete without music so I played my Dad’s favourite old classical songs on my Sonos speaker that was situated in my kitchen, the hearth.
Standing back, I admired all the pieces I had pulled together and leading with a full heart, I poured myself some wine and sunk into my thoughts.
I was so blessed to have the parents I have.
It was March 12, 2020 and now the World Health Organization had just announced Covid-19 as a pandemic. Frankly, I hadn’t understood the enormity of this situation the night before as my parents and I’d discussed anything but that when we’d cosied up next to each other over what ended up being a fabulous and fulfilling dinner date.
But after hearing the news?
My stomach had started to flutter, my heart uncontrollably beat faster and my mind raced at a crazy speed.
You see, my parents suffer from health conditions that are generally well managed but this COVID thing appeared to be a different beast altogether. From the numbers that were coming out, it was clear that it was going after the elderly and especially those over age 80.
Mom fits into that category nicely and not just that, her lungs aren’t the best. So there’s that.
Even in the midst of my panic state, I stepped into action mode immediately. Perhaps it was a mode of distraction and in that moment, it was very welcomed. It had become very clear to me that a safety plan was needed and I’d need the full support of my siblings and my parents to make this plan work, which even in the best of times, hasn’t been an easy feat. Being the black sheep of the family, I’ve often had to fight my way to be heard, to be understood and mostly, to feel valued.
Resistance was felt by all on our first family Zoom call, before social distancing became a way of life. I reached for the strictest of protocols while full well knowing that we’ll likely land somewhere in the middle. At the risk of sounding paranoid and crazy, I’d voiced my concerns clearly, loudly and shall I say, assertively?
Now here we are.
My parents – the center of my universe- are still safe and well. What’s better is that, they’re in good spirits too! It certainly can’t be easy to stay positive as an elderly during such times but they are. That’s everything to me right now.
So. It worked.
And then it worked again and again.
It worked when I joined hands with my ex-husband and implemented a safety plan for our kids and our selves.
It worked when my cat decided to starve herself just when the pandemic was announced and I had to triage her care with her vet.
It worked when I emailed my boss and clients and directed how we should be doing business in the early days before any formal protocols had been put in place.
It worked when I coordinated my in-laws’ trip from India. As a result, they travelled back home sooner than planned and in the most opportune time.
It worked when I continued to invest in my group business coaching program even while financials are uncertain.
It worked when I didn’t shy away from the discomfort of “worse case scenarios” and learnt to control what I could and to surrender to what I couldn’t.
It worked when in the midst of all this chaos, I was able to create a beautiful gift for you for no reason at all other than to help you to trust yourself, to trust uncertainty and to trust what’s unfolding.
And it worked when I finally realized that I’d be preparing for this crisis my entire life. My beliefs around health have been cemented more strongly into my being as this pandemic shed light on what I’ve already believed to be true.
In essence, Command I did.
As l continue to show up for myself, my loved ones and my community through some peculiar times with zest and vitality, I’m reminded that humans are utterly and amazingly resilient. You see, life does have a way of trekking on despite the illusion that the world’s in a holding pattern. Just as the sun and moon don’t need any cueing to show up, neither do we. Our breath is proof of that.
We’re fully capable of adjusting, shifting, rinsing and repeating this cycle. Many times if need be. It’s our minds that can get in the way of our spirit.
Allowing yourself to breathe into your spirit, can you show up for yourself right now in a way that you know best?
If you haven’t already, this is the time to lean on your word for 2020. Let it lighten your spirit and inspire you to return to the enthusiasm you had in the beginning of the year. Don’t dim yourself in the darkness of this time. Hold onto that shimmer that radiates within you and invite it out to play.
And maybe you’re so ready to return to your word of the year but don’t know how. Allow me to help you. It’s what I love doing most.
You see. During this period of hibernation, I’ve returned to stillness. It’s in stillness that I can not only hear myself but also to the calls of others. I’ve loved helping you call in your word of the year but I also wanted more for you and for me. It came to me that you need more than the intention. You need a way to live you word – to lean on it when you need it the most and to celebrate it when it shows up for you in big ways (and it will!).
I’ve created the Live Your Word journal as my way of celebrating our moments of stillness and to use the time we have right now to deepen and expand. This journal is filled with 40 pages of monthly inspirations, journaling prompts and actions to help you fulfill the promise you made to yourself earlier this year. You deserve that.
Go right ahead and open your free copy of the Live Your Word journal right here. I hope you fall in love with it just as much as I have.
How is your heart?