One thing I love about the beautiful and peaceful this winter season and the inner work of Christmastide is the ability to stop and think about how I want to craft our life – for me, for our family. Do you ever think about that? Many of the parents who read this blog have made very conscious decisions in their parenting in order to provide the healthiest home environment they can for their children, so I know many of you do.
Often I need that mid-school year check in. Things can so easily get off course depending upon what emergencies came up in the fall. So I often use this time between Christmas and New Year’s to think about what are the most pressing needs for each and every family member, including myself, and what would be best for building for the future. Often what we need and what our family members changes with the age/developmental stage of our children, the age we are (!!), and the seasons. So each year, I invite myself to turn inward and think about, “What does my family need? What does my spouse need? What do I need? What is the most important and essential thing that we need?”
Sometimes this leads toward me thinking of a word to carry myself through the year. You can see the little tradition of picking a word for the New Year and some of the things I typically do with that word here. You can see my word this year, “replenish,” on The Parenting Passageway Facebook page as the pinned post. Some people will go so far as to choose a word to embody their entire family. We have a family motto that we have had for years (KIPPA – kindness, integrity, positive attitude, patience, adventure), but I am meditating on the idea of a word for 2018 for our family.
People often ask about choosing a word for their year. Sometimes a word is obvious depending upon what has happened during the year, but if not I usually start by thinking what is the most important and essential thing and will that word help me or us strive in that direction?
Once I have my word, I think then is the time to work artistically with my word and see what arises. This is almost like the idea of just free artistic journaling as mentioned in the book The Artist’s Way. And then I need an action plan if there is anything that needs to happen. This year, my word will require some action, otherwise how will I feel replensihed if everything remains the same? Something will have to change in my inner or outer world. And the final piece is the action. It is not enough even to dream or to have a plan. As I always tell my children, the dream is free, but the hustle is real!
Can’t wait to hear about your word!