Monday, 5 January 2015

One word?

One word.  I’ve spent the Christmas break (in between barrages of exhaustive coughing) pondering on what my word is for the coming year.  Why?   Well, because apparently if one wants to change one’s life (presumably for the better) one should not focus on the externals (the new job, the new house, the new relationship, the new body, the new whatever) but on the feeling one wants.  It’s all to do with intrinsic, as opposed to external, motivation (or so the lovely Danielle Marchant says). 

Anyhow, it got me pondering.  What is my word?  What is it?  When in doubt, deflect the question (that old journalistic trick).  So I asked Kate and she planted her hands on her hips and said, firmly, ‘Strong. I want to feel strong.’ 
And I asked Sherry and she narrowed her eyes, pursed her lips and then said, slowly, sensually, ‘Passionate.  That’s how I want to feel.  Passionate.  About everything.’   
And it was tempting to nick both those as it would be very nice to feel both passionate and strong, but they weren’t right.  Not quite yet anyhow.  So I asked Jane, who had appeared on New Year’s Eve bearing champagne, tulips and seven loaves of bread (yup, seven.  I’d asked if she could detour via Blackstock Road and pick up a couple of flatbreads but she had gone to Waitrose instead and basically bought up the bread counter).   ‘What is your word?’ I said, as we sat by the fire (she glugging red wine and nibbling nuts; me mainlining lemon and honey and chewing garlic).  ‘Hmm,’ she said.  ‘Happiness.’ 
‘Nooo,’ I spluttered.  ‘That’s too vague.  What does happiness mean?’
‘Contentment?’ she suggested, tentatively. I shook my head, firm in my conviction that there had to be more.  One shouldn’t settle for ‘contented.’  It’s just too…much like giving up somehow.  Isn’t it?  Maybe not. 
‘Nope, sorry,’ she said, opening another bottle. ‘I just want life to be easy for once.’  And I get that, I really do.  But it still wasn’t right.  Not for me.

And so I turned to images, as I often do when words defeat me.  And I found that there was a theme; that they spoke a different language – one, not of my usual earth and my beloved fire and water, but of air.  And I don’t usually *do* air – it’s not my element at all.  Yet there it was…

And I coughed again and had to stop myself laughing because, of course, what is a chest infection but a problem of air, or lack thereof?  I even wrote about it in The Natural Year, my book on seasonal living.  About how coughing is, symbolically, the body trying to expel anything it doesn’t want – not just mucus and phlegm, but old emotions – ‘of taking in new energy and breathing out the spent; of taking in hope and expansive spirit and breathing out everything that is stagnant and repugnant for the soul.’ 

And it came to me that my word, for now, might be Lightness.  I need to feel light again.  I've had enough of feeling heavy, and claggy, and generally golem-esque, a creature of clay, bound by earth.  I want to fly, to lift up, to feel free and joyous and light and bright.  
So.  Light.  That’ll do nicely.  For now. 

How about you?  


Alison Cross said...

LIGHT! That's a good one!

I must find one for myself. I've done it with the ol' Tarot cards, but not by just focussing on how I want to feel....hmmm - this will take some thought!

Rachel Selby said...

I love your word. Mine seems so staid now. Oh well there's always next year. Happy Light New Year Jane xxx

Exmoorjane said...

@ali - yeah, I like it. And my Magician, Hanged Man, King of Cups and Queen of Wands (I'm snagging the whole bunch). :)
Come back and tell me when you're done pondering?

@Rachel - knew I'd seen someone else with a word around but couldn't bring it to mind (flu-fogged brain). Yours is a tough'un...stern but good. Solid. A very happy New Year to you too. xxx

Sally Townsend said...

Totally 'get' your ponderings, my word for 2015 is fulfilled !! Happy 2015 to you.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful – light – in every sense, an experience I miss but remember well from idling carefree in a sandy Mediterranean cove, swimming in turquoise waters, or reaching the top of a mountain enjoying expansive views.

I consulted the Runes and got – Breakthrough – fits, been feeling hemmed in :)

Happy New Year to you and all.

Exmoorjane said...

@Sally - fulfilled sounds good for you. Maybe this year we can fulfil a long-held ambition and finally meet up? :)

@Ashen - that experience sounds like my ultimate plan... :)
Ah, Breakthrough is a great rune...I like the sound of that. And yes, I get the feeling of being 'hemmed in' too. Maybe we need to unpick a few seams, huh?

Anonymous said...

I do the word thing at Candlemas/Imbolc, but since I went to a ceremony a good few years back and chose Invincible, I've stuck with it.

Exmoorjane said...

@Viv - I like that...though it does sound a bit like a ship. :)

family Affairs said...

I like LIGHT that's a good focus - am I allowed HOPE or is that too vague? Lx

Exmoorjane said...

You are allowed whatever you damn well like, Lulu. :) Hopeful is a good feeling, a very good feeling. xx

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Unknown said...

Good choice. I feel Light is just what you need. I'm choosing blossom, because I want to :) xxxxx