Spacious: My Word for 2013

When I chose my first word of the year in 2011 (wholehearted), I have to admit I was fairly skeptical. I mean, what could one word have to do with an entire year?

It turns out, quite a bit.

Intention is more powerful than we (or at least I) like to think sometimes.


My word for 2012 was soften, which made its way into my life in a number of ways — both wanted and unwanted. Ultimately, it was a year of continuing to strip back the layers and come more fully into wholeness and vulnerability.

Every time I encountered a situation that made me want to put up my old armor, I invited in my breath. And then I scanned my body to see where I could let go.

Because although quite a bit of my softening practice was internal, I found that if I didn’t do the same on the external, physical level, I couldn’t really get anywhere. After all, it’s hard to soften when your jaw is clenched, your belly is tight and you have buns of steel (and not from doing a 20 year old workout tape).


I really debated about what word to choose for 2013. I went back and forth with a few, but the first one that came up a couple months ago was spacious. And it just keeps popping into my consciousness, so I’ve decided it’s a keeper.

This is primarily because a big part of what I want for myself this year is even more room for trusting my intuition. And it’s hard to do that when I start the year off not choosing the word my intuition served up in the first place.

Taking It Out for a Spin

So what does spacious mean to me? Well, I hope to find out in much more depth. But what it’s bringing up right now is something deeply internal, subterranean even — a feeling from the inside out that I am unhurried and have space to breathe.

I’m hoping to tune more into my somatic markers, or cues from my body. I’ve been playing with this lately with small things. When faced with a choice like “what type of tea do I want in the morning?” I’ve been taking a moment and checking in with what my body is telling me. My most reliable somatic marker is a closing or opening feeling in my solar plexus combined with either a smooth breath or a catch in my exhale. When I feel the opening and full breath, I know which tea for me. I choose toward spaciousness.

This might sound trivial, but my hope is that by checking in during these seemingly insignificant moments, I’ll train myself to do this by default – so that when the big moments come, as they always do, I’ll be better equipped to stay with myself on solid ground.


In addition, spaciousness also looks like practice to me — commitment to sadhana, or daily, grounding routines. I think this is going to include a regular meditation practice (I’ve been resisting this one for years) as well as yoga.

After that, we’ll see what spacious becomes for me. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

If you choose a word for the year, what’s yours? I’d love to hear!


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16 Responses to “Spacious: My Word for 2013”

  1. Toni Wagoner

    I choose my first word, actually a phrase, at the beginning of 2012. I chose “awareness leading to peace”. Like you I was skeptical but as you say, intention is huge and the awareness and peace that have come into my life are astronomical. This year I chose a base word with four words that I see as related to it. My word for 2013 is Holiness along with Faith, Love, Peace, and Focus. Let the year begin…:)

    • Anna Guest-Jelley

      I totally agree with that — it’s incredible how much the word figures into a year! Love yours for 2013!

  2. Tami -- Teacher Goes Back to School

    my word is connection. it came to me during the holidays when i was trying to figure out what feeling i wanted to cultivate and what i’d been missing and what ultimately made me hate the holidays all these years.

    it’s hard to do that when I start the year off not choosing the word my intuition served up in the first place <— I love this. If the universe is going to whisper, you'd better listen.

    Looking forward to seeing how our years unfold.

    Happy New Year, Anna!

    • Anna Guest-Jelley

      Thanks for sharing this, Tami — sounds like we’re both starting from a place of connecting with ourselves, which has gotta be good.

      Happy New Year to you, too! xoxo

    • Kim B

      During a New Year’s Day intention setting practice I attended, the word that kept coming to mind was “vitality.” Living (and being grateful for) a life full of vitality. Looking forward to discovering this word’s depth of meaning in 2013. Recently discovered your site — thanks for your guidance and inspiration.

      • Anna Guest-Jelley

        Oh, I love vitality as an intention for the year, Kim — beautiful! So glad to connect with you here!

  3. Adrienne


    • Anna Guest-Jelley

      Ah — such a good one.

      • Flying Yogini

        I am so astonished looking back at how soften was your word for 2012 and how much of your journey involved exactly that adjective. Seriously, wow. We need to talk! 😉

        Spacious is one of my favorite words ever. It represents opening and also holding your own. I think it is stunningly perfect for your 2013.

        you are wise my sweet friend. of course, i already knew that 😉

        • Anna

          I know, right? And the year before my word was wholehearted, which was also 100% spot-on. That’s why I choose super carefully now b/c I know it will definitely manifest through the year.

          Hugs to you, dear friend! xoxo

    • Beth Loughran

      My word for 2013 is “stay”. Stay within my breath, stay and explore what a difficult posture tells my body and what my body is telling the posture! Stay ,find peace and listen. Instead of moving to the next experience, that might be more satisfying. Stay and listen with my whole being to those I love instead of trying to fix it all for them. Allow them to “stay” .

  4. Rosie

    Oh, spacious is a gorgeous word for the year. Cannot wait to hear what unfolds on your journey with spacious as a touchstone. My word, I believe, is flow. I was auditioning Easy, Flow, and Revolutionary (which might all sound different but really were getting at the same underbelly of intention) and then today, during a workshop, I said something about Flow as it were already my word and I knew my subconscious had spoken. Happy Spacious New Year!

    • Anna Guest-Jelley

      Sounds like we had a similar process this year, Rosie! I also auditioned a few, but spacious just kept coming forward as the choice. Look forward to hearing how Flow shows up in your life in 2013!


  5. Nanci

    The word that keeps coming back to me, time and again, is connection. I would say that one of the most important aspects of the word connection is the connection with my own self, that mind/body/spirit connection. I can already tell, however, that this is not going to be the only connection that I will be asked to “connect” with. All I can say at this point is I’m ready to truly begin now, however that journey may unfold.

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