I'm so excited about this practice that I want to share it with everyone!!!
It's been a powerful practice for me and I'd love for you to have that experience as well, if it speaks to you.
Here's my experience with it for the past 2 years, along with some guidance on how you can come up with your word for 2016.
In the last few weeks, I’ve found myself filled with a brand new feeling: patience. And if you have known me for a while, it’s probably the last word you’d associate with me.
Here’s a bit of background:
Even though I was born in 1968, I feel like I came to life in 1993.
Why? Because it’s the year I read my first self-help book.
The year I realized that there were actually solutions to the issues I’d been trying to figure out since I was a young child!
Since then, I’ve been working on myself relentlessly. Working on improving myself, healing myself, creating what I most longed for, etc.
There have been many ups and downs: many depressions and periods of apparent stagnation, and also many periods of great joy, alignment and flow with life, creativity, progress.
And always, underlying it all, a drive to get somewhere, to move more quickly through my list of things to work on, so I could finally be the person I wanted to be, so I could finally have what I most longed for, so I could finally no longer live in emotional pain.
Somewhere around the beginning of 2014, I came across Christine Kane’s idea of picking a word for the year as an alternative to New Year’s resolutions.
I love this kind of exercise so I decided to play. I spent a bit of time pondering what was ready to be birthed in my life in the coming year, and my word came to me very easily: SHINE.
I had just launched Parenting For Wholeness a few months before, and felt that what was called for was for me to really own my gifts, my purpose in the world. To fully step into my ability teach what I knew, to inspire, to help people, to make my difference in the world. There was a deep knowing in me that THIS was my next thing.
When I came to the end of the year, I realized that my word had massively come to life in my life: I had created a thriving business, had a rapidly growing following, had created several successful programs (including my Clean Parenting™ Program which many have said is THE bridge between the theory and practice for peaceful parents, and should be taught in all schools,) and already had many clients whose lives had been changed through the parenting and emotional healing work I did with them.
So I was excited when came time to pick my word for 2015. But this one felt less exciting. It was much more personal and vulnerable. What my inner knowing told me I was ready to grow into was LOVE.
As someone who grew up not feeling loved and feeling that she was deeply flawed, one of my biggest struggles in life has been dealing with love addiction. Getting lost in relationships in the hopes of finally filling this painful hole inside of me that still so desperately craved the love and unconditional acceptance all children should have.
I’ve also as a result of it struggled with many other, interchangeable addictions, like cigarettes, food, tv, even dancing, as well as my addiction to fixing myself so I’d finally be good enough to be loved and feel worthy.
So 2015 was about really learning to love myself. No longer being at war with myself, judging myself, or trying to fix myself. Fully accepting myself, all my feelings and preferences, learning to give myself what I’ve most needed and longed for from others.
One powerful thing that evolved throughout the year is that the unhealthy relationships I was still engaged in really got highlighted. I did loads of healing work in my weekly counseling sessions, to clear all the crap that was keeping me stuck in relationships that caused me a lot of pain.
Through this work, I realized I had to let relationships go. I started truly valuing myself.
I discovered that I actually deserve to be happy!
And that as a highly sensitive person (HSP) being around toxic people is not something I’m able to do if I want to thrive and even be functional.
And then I discovered just a few weeks ago that there is nothing wrong with me.
This fall, I realized that I what I wanted was to learn to live WITH me. To really get to know myself and to accept myself unconditionally, the way I do my 3 daughters and strive to accept everyone.
What would my life look like if I fully honor every part of me, every quirk, every sensitivity and challenge? If I really learned to do Eliane well, giving her what she needs to really thrive and flourish, to fully meet her needs?
About 2 weeks ago, driving back from the grocery store, I started thinking about 2016, and what word I’d want for it.
And I was awed to realize the extent to which each of my words came true in the past 2 years!
I really am shining. I’ve built a pretty amazing business with a wonderful team, being fully myself, with a large following who is really supported and inspired by my work.
From being a complete unknown 2 years ago, I saw a post recently from a mom I don’t even know describing while sharing one of my articles that she ‘used to practice attachment parenting but now practices parenting for wholeness.’
I’m now regularly contacted to speak and be featured in publications.
And I do feel love now. Not only do I live with a deep acceptance of myself, and a commitment to get to know myself and learn to create a way of living that will fully meet my needs and honor me, but I’ve developed 2 new incredibly deep friendships that feed me in places I didn’t know were accessible.
When treated with carelessness, lack of care, kindness or respect, instead of it feeling normal because it’s what I was used to for 47 years, it now feels off and I no longer put up with it.
So on that drive back from the grocery store, I was filled with hope to realize that what I most deeply need and long for is absolutely accessible to me.
Two years in a row, I chose a quality that was most calling out to me and achieved it in ways I wouldn’t have even imagined possible. This made me incredibly excited about each new year to come, about the potential for my life over the next years and decades.
It makes me feel incredibly empowered and for the first time in my life, I KNOW that whatever I most want IS accessible for me.
Hence my life is now filled with a deep sense of trust and this oh so new feeling: patience.
Having lived with a sense of urgency my whole life, how relaxing it is to finally feel that I have time, that there’s no rush!
Back to this drive a few weeks ago, I asked myself ‘What do I want for 2016?’
And I knew, without a doubt, what I wanted more than anything else in life. I’ve wanted it for a very long time.
It’s a feeling I’ve experienced many times in my life, but most of the time only for a few days, sometimes weeks, and one time, from 1993 to 1995, for 2 years: THRIVING.
What I call thriving is when I’m in a sense of flow. Things work out easily for me. Sometimes even magically. I feel in alignment with myself, instead of what I’ve felt most of my life: at war, judging myself, in resistance, feeling that life is hard, in lethargy, depressions, drowning in uncomfortable emotions, unable to make decisions, feeling unable to do life and function in the most simple of ways.
When I’m thriving, I easily care for every aspect of my life and even sometimes achieve a quality that’s extremely elusive for me: balance.
But sitting at a stop light, I could feel that though I do deeply want to live from that place of thriving, it’s not my word for 2016.
I’m not ready for that.
It’s a deep longing and long term goal, but not what my being knows is next for me.
And then I knew.
As I thought of what IS my word for 2016, my breath deepened and there was a deep sense of knowing in my belly.
It’s not glamorous and won’t make it on a list of enlightened or empowering words. Yet just as I’m about to type it here, I’m getting choked up. Because it’s something I really desperately want in my life: to FUNCTION.
I no longer have grand expectations that I’ll be an action machine, ultra-productive all the time, as I blessedly get to experience occasionally.
I’m no longer trying to eradicate the part of me that needs lots of down time, that needs to turn in and cocoon herself, that’s so sensitive that many things that feel like no big deal to most affect her deeply.
But I do trust that as I really accept myself, honor my feelings, honor what’s really important to me, honor my deep sensitivity and the unique way I experience life, I can and will find a way to function in the world.
I’ll no longer spend lots of time overwhelmed in negative feelings, because I’ll be lovingly addressing them on a deep level, I’ll be meeting my needs, and creating a life that feeds me and works for me.
I’ll no longer continuously be caught up in the should-rebellion civil war that’s plagued me my whole life. The rebellion that’s served me beautifully when I refused to do what I was told by relatives, society and so-called experts. I ignored everything I was told that didn’t feel right when it came to parenting, how I lived my life, and even how I grew Parenting For Wholeness. Yet this rebellion really backfires on me as it turns anything that’d be good for me into a ‘should,’ like eating healthfully, caring for my body, taking care of tasks that are important to me or meeting my responsibilities.
I’ll learn to care for myself in a way that feels loving and works for me, is not a ‘should,’ so I’ll have the energy and desire to attend to this amazing life, community and mission I’m blessed to have.
My beautiful word lives in me and I feel it lovingly and steadily pulling me toward what will most fulfill me.
I really can’t wait to see where I’ll be at this exact time next year!
How about you? Do you have a word that comes to mind for 2016? If so, I’d love to have you share it with me in the comments, along with a little background (or not,) if you’d like.
I had everyone on my team and in my Sisterhood group do it, and I’ve been amazed at how powerful and engaging of an exercise it’s been for all of them as well!
It’s been touching and connecting to read what each woman chose. We’re saving the Facebook conversation so we can look back on it at the end of the year.
And if you're ready to experience a peaceful and joyful family life, where EVERYONE's needs are met, including yours,
I still have a few spots in my Clean Parenting™ Program starting Monday January 11th.
Email me at Eliane@ParentingForWholeness.com to schedule your free 30 minute session, so we can explore if this in-depth transformational parenting coaching program is the right fit for you.