If you were to choose a word for this year – a word to ponder and play with for a whole year – what would it be?
Instead of a New Year’s Resolution this year, I chose to follow the suggestion from Abbey of the Arts. The writer of this web site suggested following the advice of the desert mothers and fathers and to ask for a word, “something to nourish me, challenge me, a word I can wrestle with and grow into.” I didn’t do the Abbey’s free online mini-retreat for finding my word, because as soon as I thought, “What should my word for 2013 be?” I got a mental image.
It was of the word “nurture.” At first I was a little resistant. Shouldn’t my word be bigger, stronger, more ambitious? A powerful word, one of going and doing and making an impact? One to challenge me, push me?
Then I realized that “nurture” is perfect.
This past year of 2012 was tough, one of completing breast cancer treatments, of extreme weakness and slow recovery. One of feeling the effects of chemo linger and linger. One of radiated skin and seromas and draining and more draining. One of making my way as a cancer survivor and discovering what that means. One of great change and challenge.
So “nurture” is a lovely word for 2013. It reminds me to take care of myself. It reminds me to take care of others. It reminds me to take care of animals and plants and the natural world.
It reminds me to be tender. To be kind and open and present.
It also reminds me that I have talents and gifts that I need to nurture. Gifts and talents that won’t grow, won’t develop without my nurturing care and attention.
I see “nurture” as a slow word, one that doesn’t ask for hurry or speediness or deadlines. It does, however, ask for attention. For me to attend to what presents itself this year. For me to be fully present to what is.
Yes, “nurture” is the word for me for 2013.
Though we’re more than two weeks into 2013, you might want to ask for a word, too. I promise that it will be just what you need.
All you have to do is ask.