…that’s how my “Word For the Year” crept up on me.

No fireworks, no grand visions of expansion and explosive wealth.  At first, I didn’t want to admit that this small little thing was actually my word.  It wasn’t fancy.  It didn’t imply that I would be rolling in money by the end of the year.  It didn’t instantly propel me toward massive overhaul of the Self. Also, it did not make me want to do jumping jacks or yoga.  What good was it, anyway?

So I tried, for a couple of weeks, to make other words “the word.”  I wrote about them in my journal, I thought Big Thoughts about them, tried to make them fit.  None of that worked, because this other one just kept padding around the kitchen in the middle of the night, making itself tea and generally getting comfortable despite my protests.

I should know better, by now, than to try to choose my word for the year.  Instead, I finally released control over it and allowed this sweet, soft thing to claim me:

Bare, it whispered.

Be bare, open yourself up and be vulnerable.

Let people know you more.

Let your work reflect who you are and not who you feel you “should” be.

Let your relationships reflect a willingness to be hurt, and thus a willingness to really be loved.

Take risks, especially the kind that will let you shed layers and masks.

So this shoeless spirit of a word has taken up residence for 2011.


Quiet, and scary, and interesting.  I’m committing myself to it for the next 12 months and look forward to where it takes me.