For the past few years, as part of my new year planning, I’ve selected a phrase or word to remind me of how I want to show up, day in and day out, in order to become more of who I want to be.
This word helps keep me headed toward my north star.
A few years ago, my theme was Best Life Design. This theme nourished me as I focused my efforts on offering events and services to help entrepreneurs make a living in way that holistically fueled their best life and allowed them to make a greater impact in the world.
Two years ago, I was guided by Service. This word came through strongly as I wrote a book about the wisdom of my life’s greatest mentor. Walking with Justice teaches that it is our service to others that defines the quality of our lives. It was this focus on service that nudged me to step forward when my community needed guidance after the loss of three teens to suicide. This work led to the founding of the nonprofit Community Resiliency Project, for which I serve as director.
Last year, my theme was Ministry. Our community work was challenging me to learn and practice new ways to guide others through grief and adversity. This focus on ministry pulled me toward being a more vibrant instrument of peace and healing. I am very much a work in progress.
Over the past month, I’ve been letting “my word” marinate, trusting that it would show up with its special juiciness before the ringing out of the old and in of the new.
And it did.
In my community resiliency work, I’ve often reminded parents, teachers, and leaders that they always have a choice. Regardless of the increasing noise and chaos of our society from outside in, we can choose to take a deep breath from inside out.
We can choose to say: “No matter the pace and dysfunction out there, within this home, within this classroom, and within community, we choose peace. We choose love. We choose acceptance, compassion, and kindness. We choose to create an environment in which we thrive.”
Over the past year, I’ve personally and powerfully witnessed in both my community and servant leadership work how hungry people are to be seen, heard, and affirmed. They thirst to know that they matter and are needed. This validation was the greatest gift my mentor gave to me as a young lawyer – and it was life changing.
You likely will find the next sentence to be an oversimplification or a profound observation…
If you want to thrive, then make more daily choices that allow you to thrive.
The truth is that our choices, day in and day out, move us closer to or away from a condition of thriving.
Our daily choices, big and small, represent our quest for wholeness. They also serve as a powerful manufacturer of the natural consequences we experience in life.
We can choose who we are, what we think, how we feel, how we act, and the difference we’re going to make in the world.
My wish for you in the new year is that you become more aware of the power of your choices and intentionally make better and better choices that fuel your health, wholeness, and service to others.