affirmation words

Mid-Year Shifts to My Annual Word Practice

There’s been a shift in my thinking about this year’s annual word, BALANCE. 

The first pic shows my sticky notes from January when I came up with words/ideas that support my annual theme.

The second pic is this July. As I’ve let this word have its way with me, you can see I’ve begun to think about it in differently.

As a runner, as a nutrition coach, and as a 51 yo spiritual person, here are some thoughts about what these words are currently saying to me half way through 2022.

🐝 Can I shift my self-doubt to BELIEF? Believe in my ability to make good decisions. Believe that showing up every day to train will benefit me at the start line on race day. Believe in myself – that I am capable of handling challenges that come my way (and yes, that may mean asking for help!) Believe that the Universe and I are on the same team.

🐝 Can I move with EASE instead of striving? Hat tip to @stevemagness for planting this one in my brain. I pride myself on being a hard worker, whether that is in my training sessions or my jobs. But what if my posture and attitude were relaxed while working hard? It is not my nature to go easy on myself or others but it’s a concept I welcome because it feels better.⁠

🐝 Can I take discomfort and EXPLORE what it is teaching me? I resist uncomfortableness – most of us do – whether that’s my feelings, awkward exchanges, or 2 min hill repeats at rpe 9! But what if I didn’t resist? What if I explored the discomfort? Some people call this “embracing the suck.” Others call it “entering the pain cave” I’m looking at you @courtneydauwalter

Or, what if I saw discomfort as transformational? 

Pema Chodron writes about the concept of tonglen (breathing in pain, and breathing out relief for ourselves and others) in her book Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change. She writes, “We all experience pain and pleasure. We all gravitate towards what’s comfortable and have an aversion to what is not…[As we practice tonglen] We come to see pain as something that can transform us, not something to escape at any cost.”⁠

That last one is a doozy I know! But it’s the one that is speaking loudest to me right now. And I am listening.

You may wonder why I do this? Why do I give my brain and heart more work? Doesn’t life give me enough of that already? 

Well, I thrive on living life intentionally and this practice helps me do just that. I also think it helps me become more me. And isn’t that our life’s purpose? To become more of our truest selves? Oprah thinks so. 

In a speech I recently saw online, she says our one goal in life is to “Fulfill the highest and most truthful expression of yourself as a human being.” 

This quote resonated with me deeply. So I think I’ll keep doing all the things that help me become more me, including this little practice of meditating on annual and supporting words. 

Maybe you have an intentional practice in your life? Keep it up! Maybe you want to start one? It is worth it!




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