My guiding word revealed itself this week. I’ve been recovering from a CSF leak the past few months and this past week I wrapped up watching The Queen’s Gambit and finished reading From The Ashes. What do these things have in common? Well, they’ve all helped me determine my 2021 guiding word.
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I had been home since early October recovering from a presumed spinal CSF leak. I was told it would take about 3 months to fully heal and was instructed to do minimal activity. No bending, twisting or straining. I was not to lift anything more than 5lbs. Drink lots of water, caffeine, eat nutritional food and REST.
A week before Christmas the phone rang. “I had a chance to look over your scan and I’m happy with what I saw,” he said. “The extra fluid around your brain is no longer there which means we can assume the leak has healed.”
This was amazing news and I was thrilled. Despite the news, I found myself worried. What if it wasn’t healed properly? What if I do something and it causes it to re-leak? Three months would take me to the first week of January 2021. Technically, I should be healed. Technically, I should be able to get back to normal. Yet, I’m fearful to getting back to normal. I don’t ever want to experience that pain again.
I expressed my concerns and hesitation of getting ‘back to normal activity’ to Dr. L of which he understood. Then he said, “It’s important you jump back into life. God forbid if an emergency happens and someone falls and you need to help that person. You need to slowly get active again so if something does happen you’re ready to help.”
One is fictional and based on a book about a chess prodigy, the other a memoir of being Métis and homeless. Both are strikingly different, yet very similar. They both dealt with addiction and the trajectory of their lives from losing their parent(s) at a young age. They both dealt with self hate as a result, and it’s interesting to see the choices that are made when you feel you don’t deserve love.
My guiding word
So what does my CSF leak, Queen’s Gambit and From the Ashes have in common? They’re all a journey in healing.
It was clear to me that healing became a prominent lesson in 2020 and there is still lots of healing left to do…
So for 2021 my guiding word is: heal
How to choose your word
I’ve been doing guiding words the past few years and I’ve always found it easier than the traditional New Year’s resolution which I almost always fail to keep.
The idea behind selecting a guiding word for the year just felt simpler.
It’s meant to give you a focus, by setting your intention for the year. This word is intended to provide you with a way to help you make decisions and set your priorities and goals. I also find it can crossover to many areas of your life.
A few things to consider when choosing your guiding word.
- Reflect on your past year and think about the challenges you faced and the sparks of joy that you’ve felt. What were your needs? What lessons did you learned? What most stood out for you?
- What areas of your life do you gravitate to? Whether this is an area you feel most at peace or happiness, or perhaps it’s an area you feel uncomfortable with or unfulfilled.
- Finish this sentence: “In 2021, I want _____ ” . Write down all the words that comes to you. List them out. Consider each word and pay attention to how each word makes you feel. Depending on the season of your life, you may be drawn to certain words more than others. I find the words that scares you a little will bring you the most growth.
- From your list, choose the word that speaks to you most.
In my experience, the word chooses me. What I mean by this is, a word will come up and will just feel right. I don’t overthink it. I listen to my gut and I encourage you to do the same.
I know this doesn’t work for everyone which is why I gave a few pointers to try to help you determine your word. However, if you’re like me, it will just come to you.
Eventually you will come to understand that love heals everything, and love is all there is.GARY ZUKAV
I’m taking my doctor’s advice and I intend to jump back into life. I’m excited to see what 2021 will bring.
I hope this was helpful and I hope the word you’ve chosen is meaningful for you. Here’s to 2021!