There’s this tradition at our church—one of several that really make it feel like home to me—that we celebrate on the Sunday closest to the liturgical holiday of Epiphany. On that day, following communion, everyone in the congregation is invited to choose a paper star out of a basket. On each of these bright yellow stars is a different word, your “star word” for the year.
As part of this tradition, which apparently has its roots in the Orthodox Church, we are all invited to take this word home with us and to allow it to sit with us throughout the year, to reflect on it and to see what meaning it might hold for us.
I’m a big fan of the “star words,’ even though my words from the past two years have not been as exciting as I may have wished—my 2014 word was “work.” (Yippee.) As it turns out, I’m am not alone in my affinity for this sort of visioning.
Jessica Lawlor over at the Get Gutsy blog, which has really inspired me and some of my thinking during the past several weeks, has given up the standard New Year’s resolution in favor of choosing three powerful words to guide her year. What a cool idea!
As I considered the opportunities open to me in 2015, I decided that I would choose some words for myself, and that I would start with just two. My “star word” would then become my final word—and yes, I was a little concerned about this plan following last year’s results.
So in honor of Epiphany (that’s today), here are my three words for 2015:
1. Peace: As I mentioned in my post for Jessica’s #GetGutsy essay contest, my 2014 was a busy, noisy year. This year I’d like to find opportunities for peace, both in the form of physical quiet and stillness and in locating an inner calm, a mediator for the more dramatic and anxious parts of my nature. In 2015 I am hoping this will include a return to my yoga practice, perhaps developing a home practice or a habit of meditation.
2. Voice: One reason I am seeking peace and quiet in the new year is so that I might better hear my own inner voice, whether it be the needs of my body or the direction of the Spirit. The word “voice” for me also means speaking out, amplifying that inner voice into outer spaces. One of my goals for the year is to practice my writing and perhaps to share it more often. Through practicing both stillness and creativity, I hope to nurture and strengthen my voice.
3. Daring: There it is—this year’s “star word” from this past Sunday, and I have to say that I really did not see this one coming. Generally speaking, I am about one of the most risk-averse people I know. When I played “truth or dare” as a kid, I always, always, always chose “truth.” So maybe this is the challenge I’ve been needing. I’m still working out what “daring” means in this context—maybe it can be applied to my first two words as I dare to disconnect from the noise or as I dare to lift up my voice or maybe even as I dare to open up to what that voice might have to say. Maybe it can extend those words—both “peace” and “voice” are draw connections in my mind to ideas of activism and justice, which themselves to me are daring. Or maybe there’s something else on the horizon that will require a daring leap of faith.
(And bonus: It’s like I have three perpetual blog topics to pull from for the year!)
To cement these ideas, I wrote them in big black marker on a bright pink piece of paper and tacked them up in my office just above my computer monitor. I’ve also created an inspiration board on Pinterest using these words, the images they evoke for me and some motivational quotes that I hope will help me along this year.
Follow Cat K.’s board 2015: Peace, Voice & Daring on Pinterest.
Here’s to a year filled with peace, voice and daring. Cheers!