Friday, January 5, 2018

One Word for 2018: Listen

For the past couple of years, I have taken time at the beginning of the new year to reflect on the past and set some goals for the coming year. It's time to come up with my #oneword for 2018. I'm not one for resolutions.  They sound so...well, resolute. So final.

Instead, I focus on finding a touchstone word, a word that serves as an inspiration and call to action for what I want to accomplish and who I hope to be in the coming year.  Last year, my word - resonate - kept me focused.  My word - resonate - helped me connect with the texts, the ideas, the people, the actions that resonated with my beliefs, values, and priorities. If it didn't resonate, it was time to let them go.  This was not always easy.  It meant letting go of some negative thinking about myself, about my physical appearance, letting go of projects and idea that I had been working on for years.  And while that sounds easy to do, when you've latched onto an idea or thought for so long, it is difficult first to recognize it as a habit, and second to release it.

This coming year, I hope to build on what I have learned from my focus on what resonates. To do this, I have to get better at listening.  This includes listening to myself, listening to my loved ones, and listening to the voices of others.  Listening does not mean that I need to agree or accept.  Instead, listening is the act of acknowledging.  And while I hear my voice, the voices of my loved ones, and those of others, I am not always so good at honoring and acknowledging those voices.  I hear up until the point that I have thought about how to respond.  This is not listening. This is waiting for my turn to talk. Listening, really listening, is an act of compassion and empathy.  This is what I hope to cultivate in 2018.

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