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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