The last few years I have chosen a word for each year, inspired by Susannah Conway. If you’re interested in finding your own word, do check out her website. She has a free, five day email course to help you.
Last year my word was peace, previous years I’ve had embrace and engage.
This year, I have taken my experiences with finding peace and honed that. For 2017, I would like to pay more attention to the little things, notice everyday magic, find the beauty in the ordinary.
What do I mean by magic? Well, Jane Yolen (as quoted on Myth and Moor) answered this well when she was asked if she believed in magic:
“I believe there are prestidigitators who can do card tricks and saw-the-woman-in half tricks. I believe there are politicians who can make us believe up is down and wrong is right. I believe there are preachers who try to sell us a mess of pottage.
“And then I believe that an owl in flight, a hawk in stoop, an otter rising out of the duckweed, a triple rainbow over the Isle of May, the New Jersey skyline as seen from the Highline in Manhattan on a night of the full moon, the small greenings of spring, honeybees on a blossom, and a newborn’s finger curled around mine are small everyday miracles, another word for ordinary magic. And that I believe in.”
“The world is holy. We are holy. All life is holy. Daily prayers are delivered on the lips of breaking waves, the whisperings of grasses, the shimmering of leaves.” – Terry Tempest Williams
(NB, the word holy is not one which resonates with me so in my head I have replaced it with sacred. Similarly, prayers have a very strong and not very positive connection with organised religion for me so I’m thinking more of blessings/gratitude/thankfulness/ wishes etc.)
Charles de Lint also describes this nicely:
“I do believe in an everyday sort of magic — the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we’re alone.”
As with last year, I have made a pinterest board to reflect my chosen phrase and as with last year, this may expand its scope as the year goes on. I found this has helped to keep the word in the forefront of my mind. Other ways I’ve done this include creating art with my word, having it spelled out in fridge magnets, embroidering it and put it on my wall and using it as part of my work password.
I have already started to note everyday magic/beauty/things which make me smile etc in my diary.
I plan to start carrying a camera more often. I used to take one everywhere but somewhere along the way I fell out of the habit. Carrying a camera means I look at the world differently – I notice the way light is falling or the shadows or a flower growing through the pavement.
Bri Anasaussy talks about how the act of noticing can help to anchor you in the present moment and probably does a better job than I could right now. Perhaps by the end of 2017 I will be better able to articulate what I mean. She touches on the seasons and cycles of nature and tuning into and noticing them more. In this line of thinking, I’m going to try following the wheel of the year, partly as a way of staying in touch with the seasons and also because I keep losing track of where in the year we are… I am also going to use this a change to stop and reflect and set intentions in much the same way I do for the new and full moon.
Vix from New Age Hipster explained this further in her recent newsletter:
“I love the wheel of the year, and not just because I enjoy bit of witchy earth based magic, but because I love stopping and taking stock of where I am.
When I started to work as a teacher we were encouraged to reflect on every single lesson we taught. What went well? What will you do again? What did the kids respond to? What was kind of a disaster? It was never a time to judge or feel bad about yourself, it was an opportunity to just take some notes – yep, that’s working, keep doing that, change this, try something else here, never do this again.
If you never stop to reflect on what you’re doing you can find yourself doing the same thing over and over again and wondering why nothing is changing…”
I am hoping to do a photography project where I take a picture of the same tree at each point on the wheel. I already have the tree in mind and am hoping, weather permitting, to start on Wednesday with Winter Solstice.
this is the tree I have in mind
I am hoping to do some check ins throughout the year as a chance to reflect on how I’m living my words, how its affecting me and what else I would like to do.
I’d love to know if you’re choosing a word for 2017!